behind came to a halt, while half a dozen riderless horses rushed madly through our lines. The enemy's cavalry farther to the rear still rode forward and got jammed up with those in front. This solid body of the enemy afforded a splendid opportunity to the infantry. It was, however, but a moment, when the fence to the right and left was broken through, and empty horses and reeling riders could be seen rushing in headlong flight across the fields.
The enemy having now ascertained the position of the infantry immediately brought his artillery to bear, while demonstrations were made by his cavalry on both flanks, however keeping out of range of the rifles of the infantry. I now received repeated messages from Lieutenant-Colonel Meek that the enemy were passing my flanks and about to surround me and urging me to fall back. I, however, considered the infantry quite able to maintain itself against the enemy's cavalry in its choice position at Salem Cemetery, hoping that the latter would again attempt our overthrow, and thus give us again an opportunity of punishing them for their daring. I, however, sent skirmishers out on the flanks and ordered two companies of the right wing of the Forty-third to take position several hundred yards to the rear, where they could overlook and command the bottom and bluffs of the small creek running between the cemetery and Jackson. After waiting in this manner for about half an hour, and the enemy making no attempt to come within range of our rifles, while its artillery commenced to tell among my men, I determined to fall back out of range of its shells. The Sixty-first was first called in and sent to the rear with instructions to take position in the timber, where General Brayman subsequently found them; the Forty-third following slowly, retiring in close column, doubled on the center, while falling back over the open fields so as to be able to meet, by forming columns against cavalry, any sudden attack the enemy might be tempted to make. That regiment was then also placed in the position where the general assumed command.
I am greatly indebted to Lieutenant-Colonels Meek and Dengler and to Major Ohr for the valuable assistance given me, while I cannot speak too highly of the coolness and bravery of the officers and men of the Forty-third and Sixty-first Regiments.
The loss in the Sixty-first was 1 man killed and 3 wounded; in the Forty-third but 1 man was wounded so as to disqualify him for duty, and in the Eleventh Illinois 1 man and 2 horses were killed as they were falling back in the road toward Jackson beyond the creek, west of the cemetery, by shells that were fired from the cannon in the road at Brooks', and passed high over the heads of the infantry.
The loss of the enemy must have been severe. According to the best information I can receive his loss was 60 killed and wounded and 3 taken prisoners, including 1 lieutenant. The latter were immediately sent to General Sullivan's headquarters.
For the better elucidation of the foregoing I beg leave to submit the annexed plat,* kindly furnished me by Lieutenant-Colonel Dengler. I also beg leave to submit herewith the report made to me by Lieutenant-Colonel Dengler.
I have the honor to be, with high regard, your most obedient servant,
Colonel Forty-third Illinois.
Aide-de-Camp and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.