it, the left resting where the right of the first had rested. It was in excellent order. I was passing along it, speaking words of congratulation and encouragement to the men, when a flag of truce, borne by an aide of General Forrest, approached. I rode forward and demanded his message. He answered: "The general understands that you have surrendered." I replied:"The general is entirely mistaken; we have never thought of surrendering." He said a white flag was hoisted. I answered: "You are mistaken; or, if not, it was done without my authority or knowledge, and you will so report to your general." He departed, but shortly returned with his flag of truce and said, "The general demands an unconditional surrender." I replied: "You will get away with that flag very quick, and bring me no more such messages. Give my compliments to the general, and tell him I never surrender. If he thinks he can take me, he can come and try." He left.
In the mean time Commissary Sergeant Thompson, of the Fiftieth Regiment, had informed me that, when the charge had been made upon the two companies left to protect left to protect the train and our rear, the wagoners had become panic-stricken, had driven the train northwestwardly into a hollow where it had been captured, and that with a single company be could retake it. I turned to the Thirty-ninth Iowa and asked, "Will any company volunteer to retake our wagons?" Company G, Captain Cameron, instantly responded, and was placed under the command of Major Attkisson, of the Fiftieth Indiana, and recaptured the train, taking several prisoners, among whom was-Major Strange, General Forrest's adjutant-general; Colonel McKee, his aide, and one or two other officers. This was scarcely accomplished when I learned that you had arrived from Huntington with Colonel Fuller's brigade, and I soon saw his guns moving into position.
It is reported to me by Lieutenant Colonel Wells, who held our right, that on the repulse of the enemy's cavalry he appeared to commence withdrawing, under the cover of the wood-his forces passed our right, southwardly-and that when Fuller's brigade opened fire his retreat in that direction became a perfect rout.
We were not during the entire engagement driven from a single position; but, on the contrary, whenever an opportunity offered, the enemy was driven before us with resistless vigor. Only in a single instance did any part of our command get into the slightest confusion. When our line was ordered to face to the rear and repel the enemy's flanking column a part of the Thirty-ninth Iowa (some three or four companies of its right) obeyed most handsomely; but the other part, from not properly receiving or not fully understanding the orders, seemed to hesitate, became confused, and finally began to break. Seeing this I rode rapidly to them, hoping to remedy the difficulty. The enemy had scen it also and concentrated upon them a terrific fire from his musketry in front and the battery on the right, under which they completely gave way and crossed the road to a skirt of wood a short distance to the west. Their officers, assisted by my aide, Captain Silence, and Adjutant Simpson, soon rallied them, and they returned in good order to and resumed their place in the line in its new position at Red Mound, with their confidence in themselves and mine in them fully restored. It was one of these companies that, under Major Attkisson, retook our wagon train. When it is recollected that this is a new regiment, having had little or no opportunity for drill; that this is not only its first engagement but its first march; that for nearly two hours it undauntingly maintained its position under the severest fire, and when I call to mind the terrible ordeal of the moment, the wonder is not that they did no