the day. The regiment remained in position on the right of the brigade all day, at intervals under the fire of the enemy's artillery, without becoming generally engaged. Late in the evening the regiment fell back with the brigade to the transports and re-embarked during the night and moved down the river 2 or 3 miles.
At daylight ont he 29th the regiment again debarked and took the advance of the brigade, marching about 2 miles, to a point near where General Morgan's division was engaging the enemy. At this point the regiment was commanded to halt, where it remained until abut 3.30 o'clock, when I received orders from the general commanding the brigade to charge the enemy's intrenchments, about one-half mile distant, near the base of the hill. There is near the base of the hill a slough, or, more properly, a swamp, which could only be crossed at one place (a narrow causeway which had been constructed), and at that only by the flank of the regiment. As the head of the column emerged from the crossing it became exposed to a terrific fire of musketry from the intrenchments in front and also to a fire from the enemy's batteries on the right and left flanks. These batteries were so situated as to perfectly command this point. After effecting the crossing the head of the column filed right, the left coming forward into line,t he right resting on and inside (the side next the enemy) of a strong abatis, which had been formed by the enemy for his own protection. Here I was informed by the general commanding the brigade that contrary to his orders the regiment was not supported by others, and that I should hold the position I then had until he could ascertain if support was coming, providing I could do so, leaving me to judge of that matter for myself. I held the position about thirty minutes under a fire which cannot be described. At the end of this time, seeing that I had no support and that neon was coming; that my regiment was the only one on the field; that my officers and men were suffering dreadfully from a fire which could not be returned effectively, I gave the order to fall back, which was accomplished in good order though with great loss.
The regiment went into this action with 480 men and officers of whom 112 were killed and wounded.
Among the killed was Lieutenant E. C. Miller, of Company G, who had command of the 30 men on the 28th. No braver officer has fallen in his country's cause. Under any circumstances the loss of so many brave men is a matter to be deeply deplored, but in this instance it is doubly painful, as no advantage commensurate with the loss wa obtained.
The offices and men of the regiment join me in tendering the general commanding the brigade our earnest, heartfelt thanks, both for the part he took in the charge, going as he did at the head of the column, and for the manner in which he spoke of the action of the regiment in the field.
It would be invidious to speak of individual acts of bravery, as all did well. Every officer and man did his whole duty and regretted that he could do no more.
Hereto attached you will find a list of the killed and wounded.*
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. A. WILLIAMSON,
Colonel, Commanding Fourth Iowa Infantry.
Asst. Adjt. General, Third Brigadier, Fourth Div.,
Thirteenth Army Corps, Right Wing.
*Embodied in revised statement, p. 625.