HDQRS. 4TH DIV., DIST. OF WEST TENN.,
Number 112. Bolivar, Tenn., October 8, 1862.
Officers and soldiers of the Fourth Division! Comrades in battle! Partakers of the weary march and the long watches, by your discipline and courage the victory has been won; and the title of the "Fighting Fourth," earned at Shiloh, has been burnished with additional splendor on the Hatchie.
We were ordered on a forlorn hope to the aid of our beleaguered brothers in arms at Corinth. The march was arduous, the undertaking desperate. My orders were to reach Rosecrans at all hazards and relieve him or perish.
By the blessing of the God of our Fathers and our Country the forces which assailed that indomitable garrison at Corinth were scattered and broken by their invincible courage before our turn came; but there was yet work for the "old Fourth." The heavy mass of the enemy were retreating by the State Line road, when, after crossing the Mudy, we met them. Each arm of this division, gallantly co-operating with the other-cavalry, infantry, and artillery-over a rough and dangerous enemy, made no breach in the serried advance of this command. Aided by your brave comrades of the Sixty-eighth Ohio and Twelfth Michigan, from General Ross' command, field after field was swept, position after position seized and occupied, until the crowning struggle of the day came on for the occupation of the high grounds east of the Hatchie. The bridge across that stream was carried at a charging step, the work of the artillery was done, that of the infantry commenced in deadly earnest.
Major-General Ord, a stranger to you, but to whom the division by its well-won reputation was no stranger, and who had hitherto led the advance, was struck at the bridge and disabled. The command then devolved upon your old commander. By misapprehension of the nature of the country across the Hatchie a large portion of the division had bee massed in impracticable ground on the right of the road and exposed to a terrific fire of canister at short range. That you bore it without the possibility of active return speaks well for your discipline. Knowing the ground, I immediately determined to throw out the main force to the left, crown the hill-side, and flank the enemy, and it is among the proudest moments of my life when I remember how promptly the several regiments disengaged, themselves from their temporary confusion and extended to the left, and with what a will over, the crest was gained and held, the artillery rapidly in place, and the field of Matamora was won. The broken fragments of the Confederate Army recoiled before your solid advance; their main line of retreat was cut off and their troops forced over the broken ground east of the Hatchie. Our duty was accomplished. Our wounded, the bloody witnesses to the desperation of the fight, were to be cared for. Already the victorious column of Rosecrans was thundering on their rear. It was my duty to bring in the forces that remained to me.
You have returned to camp; no colors lost, not a man nor a gun missing. It is a triumph, and you, and I for you, have a right to be proud.
With your in this achievement were associated the Sixty-eighth Ohio and Twelfth Michigan Regiments. They were worthy to be with you, and their conduct receives the praise of their commanding officer.
And now the necessities of the service remove me from the immediate