About 4 o'clock p. m., most of the re-enforcements being in position, the order was received to advance the whole line and take of silence the enemy's batteries immediately in front. The order was immediately obeyed, and the advance was made with the utmost enthusiasm. The enemy made a desperate resistance, charging our advancing lines with fierceness, but they were everywhere routed and fled with precipitation. In this advance the chief loss fell upon the division of General Willcox, which was most exposed, being on the right, as I have said above, but it gallantly overcame al obstacles, and the success was complete along the whole line of the corps. The battery of the enemy was found to be across a gorge and beyond reach of our infantry, but its position was made untenable, and it was hastily removed and not again put in position near us.
General Sturgis' division was now moved forward to the front of General Willcox's position occupying the new ground gained on the farther side of the slope. About dark a brisk attack was abe by the enemy upon the extreme left, but was quickly repulsed by Colonel Fairchild's brigade, of Rodman's division, with little loss.
About 7 o'clock still another effort to regain the lost ground was made by the rebels in front of the position of General Sturgis' division and part of the Kanawha Division. This attack was more persistent, and a very lively fire was kept up for about an hour, but they were again repulsed, and, under cover of the night, retreated in amass from our entire front.
Just before sunset Major-General Reno was killed while making a reconnaissance at the front, and by this lamentable occurrence the undersigned was left in command of the corps. Early in the engagement Lieut Colonel R. B. Hayes, commanding Twenty-third Ohio, was severely wounded in the arm whilst leading his regiment forward. He refused to leave the field, however, until weakness from loss of blood compelled him. Major E. M. Carey, of the Twelfth Ohio was shot through the thigh later in the action, in which he had greatly distinguished by his gallantry and cool courage. Captains Skiles and Hunter, and Lieutenants Hood, Smith, Naughton, and Ritter, of the Twenty third Ohio, and Captains Liggett and Wilson, of the Twelfth Ohio, were also wounded in this engagement. Captain Liggett has since died. Lieutenant Crome, commanding a section of McMullins battery, was killed whilst serving a piece in place of the gunner, who had been disabled.
In the Kanawha Division the casualties were 528, of which 106 were killed, 336 wounded, and 86 missing, of all of which a full list will be immediately forwarded.*
I take pleasure in calling attention to the gallantry and efficiency displayed in the action by Colonels Scammon and Crook, commanding the brigades of the division. The manner in which their commands were handled reflected great credit on them, and entitles them to the highest praise.
I beg leave also to mention my indebtedness to capt. E. P. Fitch, Captain G. M. Bascom, and Lieutenant J. W. Covine and S. L. Christie, of my personal staff, for the devotion and courage displayed by them in the laborious and hazardous duties of the day. Also to Brigadier Surg. W. W. Holmes, medical director of the division, for his tireless activity and efficiency in his department.
The conduct of both officers and men was everything that could be desired, and every one seemed stimulated by the determination not to be excelled in any soldierly quality.
*But see revised statement, p. 187.