ordered. Notwithstanding the enemy poured upon us a terrific fire of shell and canister this movement was executed in splendid style, every man coming up steadily and promptly into line. Finding no regiment in line to support me in a charge upon the enemy, and believing it folly to hold my command under a fire so murderous to no purpose, I ordered them to take shelter under the bank of the river. This they had hardly down when I discovered re-enforcements coming over the river, and at once ordered my men to advance to the front and left across an open space to a heavy wood. The ground to be passed over was being swept by grape and canister, but the men, encouraged by their officers, came treed the woods in line of battle, prepared to meet the enemy, but he had fallen back. I then threw out skirmishers in front to the edge of an open field, who reported the enemy formed in line of battle to my right and front, on the brow of a hill, supporting a battery. A heavy fire from the battery rained down upon us, but the woods prevented it from doing us serious damage. My right battalion was also exposed to a galling fire of musketry, but my whole command remained in perfect line and never manifested the least uneasiness. In this position we remained for some time, receiving and returning an almost continuous fire.
I was then ordered by General Veatch to move forward, which I did in quick-time, my skirmishers moving in advance. I soon entered the field, and when I had advanced some distance was ordered to halt. My skirmishers reported that the enemy was planting a battery on a commanding eminence to my right and front. This fact I reported to my commanding general (Veatch), and he at once ordered me to charge it. I was preparing to execute the order when my skirmishers reported a heavy line of infantry just over the ridge to my front. This I also made known to General Veatch, and he ordered me to use my own judgment concerning the propriety of charging it under such circumstances. By this time the battery was silenced, and I advanced my command to near the summit of the hill, where it remained for some time, while the woods in front were being shelled by our batteries. I then threw forward skirmishers into the woods, who soon returned and reported that the enemy had fled.
I fell it my duty to state that my command did its whole duty, obeying every order given with and an understanding. My officers were constantly at their posts, ever cheering their men, both by their words and their acts, with one single exception.
To the acting field officers, Captain Cornman, acting lieutenant-colonel; Captain Smith, acting major, and to Adjutant McKnight, I am much indebted for the good conduct of my men under very trying circumstances.
Accompanying this you will find a list of the killed and wounded of my command, which under the circumstances was not heavy.*
With much respect, I remain, your most obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Fourteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteers.
Captain F. W. FOX,
A. A. G., Second Brigadier, Fourth Div., Dist. of West Tenn.
*Embodied in revised statement, p.304.