our forces were repulsed. We were ordered to make a charge with the bayonet. The brigade moved out and deployed in splendid style. It moved with alacrity and perfect order, clearing the field and reaching the river, where we were ordered to halt. Our right flank was exposed to the enemy's infantry, concealed in the woods on our right, while he annoyed us with a battery across Stone's River.
General Palmer attempted to drive the foe from the woods, but, meeting with strong resistance, his aide appealed to me for re-enforcements, and the Thirty-second Indiana was detached for that service. They met and repulsed two regiments, driving them across the river at the point of the bayonet. Nothing could exceed the gallantry and enthusiasm that this heroic regiment exhibited in this emergency. Our brigade changed the fortunes of the hour, and, under cover of our lines, the enemy was driven back and three pieces of artillery captured. Though under arms night and day, and maneuvering, we were not again brought within range of the enemy's musketry.
I must mention the fortitude and good cheer with which the officers and men submitted to the hardships and exposure of four long days and nights, without adequate rations or shelter; they cheerfully subsisted partly on parched corn, and rested in drenching rains.
On visiting the field over which we retired on the 31st, abundant evidence was presented of the desperate struggle. Our men rallied whenever summoned, and delivered their fire with deadly effect. Though the enemy's wounded and many of his dead had been removed, it is safe to affirm that his killed exceeded ours as three to two, and that vast numbers were wounded. It was before our fire that Generals Rains, of the rebel army, was killed, and a vast number of subordinate officers and men killed and wounded. Every rod of ground over which we retired was marked by the blood of the foe, and our men reached the center with empty cartridge boxes.
Our loss was terrible, but unavoidable, and is, to a great extent, compensated by the result ultimately obtained. We went into action with 2,458 men and 113 commissioned officers. In killed, we lost 96, including 4 officers; in wounded, we lost 365, including 14 officers, and our missing reach 682, including 6 officers. Many of our missing escaped, and are safe in the rear, but it is probable that 400 were made prisoners.
Lieutenant-Colonel Drake, Forty-ninth Ohio, fell at the post of duty, bravely cheering his men. By his death the State has lost a valued citizen, his community an ornament, his family a noble husband and kind father, and the army a most gallantly and faithful soldier.
Captain Keller, of the same regiment, fell as heroes love to fall. A true patriot and accomplished soldier, he carried with him into camp and field all the graces of Christianity.
Captain Willett, of the Eighty-ninth Illinois, fell while bravely leading his command, and such were his accomplishments as a gentleman and soldier that it will be difficult to fill his place.
Throughout these trying days and nights officers and men did their duty nobly, with a few exceptions-a few officers failed to earn the confidence of their men, and some privates sought safety in flight.
The Fifteenth Ohio evinced the greatest courage, and many of its officers deserve special mention. Colonel Wallace, always prudent, energetic, and brave, fully sustained his high reputation as a soldier, and won the admiration of all who witnessed his conduct. Lieutenant-Colonel Askew fell, early on the 31st, while heroically cheering his men.