commenced pouring a deadly fire into the ranks of the enemy. It was not long before I heard some one say that Colonel Read had fallen. I went immediately to where he was lying, and found that he had been shot directly in the forehead, thus falling at this post and facing the enemy.
My attention was at once called, by one of the officers, to the fact that the enemy was flanking us on our right. I directed the men to fire right-oblique, but could not check them. They rushed forward, opening on us a deadly cross-fire. I saw that in a few moments we would be surrounded, and consequently ordered a retreat, which was made across an open field to the woods, a distance of some 300 yards, exposed all the time to a destructive fire of artillery and musketry, killing and wounding a great many of our men.
At the woods I tried to rally the men, but we were so closely pursued by overwhelming numbers that it was impossible. The regiment became very much scattered, although the officers did all they could to keep them together. Many of them joined other regiments and fought during the day. I was able to keep enough men together in the brigade to form a nucleus around which to rally.
A few of our men acted cowardly, but the regiment, as such, fought as bravely as men could. As to the officers, I must say, to my personal knowledge, that Captains Van Deren, Young, Low, Martin, Lacy, and Pinnell, and also Lieutenants Mitchell, Williams, Patten, Albin, Jacobs, Braddock, and Bigelow, stood to the work, and have gained a name as brave officers. I must speak of Adjutant Lamb, as doing his duty as none but a faithful officer could. Likewise, Assistant Suregons McAllister and Wheeler, who staid with the wounded and dying, although they were compelled thereby to fall into the hands of the enemy for a time; they have done their part to the utmost, to both officers and men. Last, but not least, the chaplain, C. S. Bradshaw, was with us all day, assisting to carry off the wounded. He conducted himself in such a manner as to command the love and esteem of both officers and men. Sergeant-Major Harding did his part with true courage. Sergeants Boyle, of Company C, and Harding, of Company D, also deserve a great deal of credit for the manner in which they rallied their men, their commanders having been wounded early in the action.
For numbers and names of killed, wounded, and missing, I refer you to report already made.*
Major, Commanding Seventy-ninth Illinois Volunteers.
Capt. D. C. WAGNER,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
No. 42. Report of MajorJoseph P. Collins, Twenty-ninth Indiana Infantry.
CAMP NEAR MURFREESBOROUGH, TENN., January 7, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken by the Twenty-ninth Regiment Indiana Volunteers in the advance on Murfreesborough from Nashville, and the battles before that place.
On the morning of December 26 last, we struck tents, sending the
*Embodied in revised statement, p.208.