I received orders to move my command to the right to support the battery, the infantry having given way on the right, and the First Missouri Brigade of rebels upon the front subjected the regiment to a direct fire from the enemy, who came moving [sic]. In the meanwhile I was moving my command by the right flank. After moving to the right about the depth of the regiment the enemy opened a galling fire on me, which was impossible to pass through. Having lost 2 men killed and quite a number wounded I ordered the regiment to half front and open fire, which they did. The rebels still advancing in front and my former position being occupied by them, the left gave way. I had my color-line guard and about 60 men under cover of a log and did good execution; but the former position being occupied by the enemy subjected me to a cross-fire, which it was impossible to stop, when I ordered the column to retire a few paces to the buildings in the rear, where the men delivered a fire and retired slowly to a position near the post headquarters. I then rallied a portion of my regiment, and with a column took my first position on the field, the fire being at first quite warm. After the fire upon the enemy had ceased I returned to the rear to rally the men and get the stragglers in, if any. While doing so I was much affected by the sun and dropped on the ground.
I sincerely regret the last two movements of my command while under fire, and more particularly the last one, when I had to move by flank under a tremendous fire, as I had the men well formed; and had my order been to the front, we would have proceeded forward in order had the command all moved to death.
I must recommend to your particular notice (for boldness, bravery, and strict obedience of orders) Lieutenant B. D. Salter, commanding Company E, who during the two days' fighting was at his post, and at the last move by flank kept his command in particularly good order, holding his ground under a murderous fire; and, being himself wounded, still remained with his men until ordered to retire from the open field. Also Actg. Lieutenant George S. Searle, who was most efficient in ordering his men (Company F) in the charge on Friday, when he received a severe wound in the thigh. To Captain Robbins, of Company H, the color company, who by bravery sustained the colors. Although sick, I am pound to say he most gallantly sustained them. Also to my adjutant, Lieutenant Flansburg, for his coolness and bravery in delivering orders, deserves most high praise from you.
I regret most exceedingly the repeated orders I received to move my command while under fire, and must say had I been allowed to retain the second position in the rear of the Seventh I should have endeavored to charge the enemy and b y that means stopped their entry into town, but received orders different. I obeyed them, in my judgment, to the disadvantage of my command, as I my men ready for a charge, and the flank movement was unfortunate, I think.
After having rallied my men the second time and planted the colors in the old position I was succeeded in command by Major Forsse, who moved with the brigade to the breastworks for the night, waiting orders to report to the post commander.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. J. HURLBUT,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Fifty-seventh Regiment Illinois Vols.
General THOMAS A. DAVIES,
Commanding Second Division.