the foe. I decided to retreat by the flank, when my horse was shot under me and myself struck and all my staff and orderlies dismounted or otherwise, which prevented me from communicating the order to the regimental commanders. The rear line, then consisting of the Twenty-first Illinois Volunteers, was the first to withdraw, by the order of Lieutenant-Colonel McMaking, the commanding, Colonel Alexander having been wounded. Colonel Stem and
Lieutenant-Colonel Wooster, of the One hundred and first Ohio Volunteers, having been shot down, and the ranks of the regiment dreadfully thinned by the fire of the enemy, it gave was and retread. The thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteers held its position until the enemy was within a few steps, and then retired. This regiment would have suffered far more severely in its retreat had not a heavy fire from the Fifteenth Wisconsin Volunteers, judiciously posted by Colonel Heg to its left and rear, kept the enemy in check until it had left the wood and partially reformed along the fence, on the right of the Fifteenth Wisconsin Volunteers, where an effective fire was kept up, holding the enemy at bay.
This only gave the foe on our right and left the more time to envelop us. All that now remained of my brigade crossed two open fields and entered a wood about 200 yards east of Griscom's house.
The regiments were painfully reduced in numbers, but I formed a line at this point, and several volleys of musketry and artillery were fired with destructive effect upon the ranks of the enemy; but the foe was still on our right at Griscom's house, with none of our forces at that point to oppose them, and being informed that General Davis had ordered a still farther withdrawal, I retired my command about half a mile to our rear, and again endeavored to rally the men, about it was evident that they were so utterly discouraged that no substantial good could result, while no supports were in sight.
At another point, about half a mile farther to our rear, I rallied all who could be found, and took a strong position in the edge of a cedar grove, holding in until the enemy came up, when my med fired one volley, and broke without orders. I conducted them to the rear, passing through the lines of our reserves, and halted at the railroad, where we remained during the afternoon collecting our scattered men.
During the two days' fight the loss of officers was so great that some companies had not one to command them, and others not even a sergeant. Our regimental colors were all borne off the field flying, though four color-bearers in succession, of the
Twenty-first Illinois Volunteers, were shot down, and two of the color-guard of the Thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteers, three the color-guard of the Fifteenth Wisconsin Volunteers, and four of the color-guard of the One hundred and first Ohio Volunteers fell. Our artillery was all about brought off in safety.
I have to report the loss of many officers, who were ornaments to our army, and who will be mourned by all who knew them. Col. L. Stem, One hundred and first Ohio Volunteers; Lieut. Col. David McKee, Fifteenth Wisconsin Volunteers, and Lieut. Col. M. F. Wooster, One hundred and first Ohio Volunteers, were unsurpassed in all the qualities that make up the brave soldier, the true gentleman, and the pure patriot. Capt. James P. Mead, Thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteers, fell, shot there times, while fighting the enemy with his revolver after his regiment had retired. Lieut. John L. Dillon, Thirty-eight Illinois Volunteers, commanding Company E, fought with a musket until he was shot once, when he drew his sword and cheered on his men till he fell dead. Other instances of equal gallantry were observed in the other regiments, but to recount all would give my report an undue