right and left in the open fields, hurrying their shattered and broken ranks without the range of our guns. After a lapse of some fifteen minutes they commenced shelling the wood where we were stationed. The range of their guns was very exact, shells bursting all around us. I was then ordered by you to fall back 50 yards, in which position we were not better protected than in the former one. You had in the mean time received intelligence that large re-enforcements were being sent from Jackson and ordered me to fall back 1 mile and there await them. Your orders-were executed in the promptest manner and best order, and after the re-enforcements arrived I again advanced with my regiment and that night encamped on the ground where the fight of the morning had taken place.
I may justly be proud of the valor of my men which they have displayed on this occasion. All officers and soldiers have behaved well and deserve my heartiest thanks for their gallant conduct.
The loss from this regiment is very trifling. We have only 2 men slightly wounded, while the enemy's loss must have been very considerable. We learned from the inhabitants living along the road that the rebels lost between 60 and 80 in killed and wounded, besides 3 prisoners which we took in the morning.
The regiment sustained in this fight its old reputation for bravery so gallantly and nobly won on the bloody battle-fields of Shiloh and Pittsburg Landing.
On the morning of December 20 we again advanced till within 10 miles of Lexington. Here we encamped for the night, this regiment occupying the advance. Not having come up with an enemy, the expedition returned on the 21st to Jackson, where the regiment was encamped on the fair ground.
Colonel Lawler, commanding post, ordered me on December 23 to report my regiment at 5 p. m. on the Bolivar road, the men to be supplied with three day's rations. Marched the same night to Medon Station, from where, on the 25th, we reached Denmark at noon. From here we marched, by way of Glover Creek, to Toone's Station, arriving there at 11 a. m. on December 26.
The regiment had now been on the move from December 18 to the 26th. Many of the men had not provided themselves with blankets, and in consequence suffered a great deal from exposure during the nights, as no shelter of any kind was provided for them. They had few cooking utensils, and none could be obtained at the quartermaster's department at Jackson; and even for those we had we could not procure any transportation. The weather up to the morning of December 26 had been very favorable. The men had borne the excessive fatigue of long marches very cheerfully, but on friday morning a drenching rain commenced pouring down, making the roads almost impassable and using the men completely up. Under these circumstances I thought it advisable to dispatch Adjutant Wagenfuehr to you to inform you of the condition of the regiment and to solicit your endeavors to have the regiment returned to Bolivar. You were kind enough to procure from General Brayman an order for the regiment's return, on the receipt of which I immediately started for Bolivar, arriving there at 6.30 p. m.
This brings my report to a close. Although meager, it will still convey to you a general view of the operations of this regiment for the last nine days.
Before concluding, I wish to assure you of, and thank the men for, the patient endurance and fortitude with which the officers and men have borne the hardships during this time.