toward Murfreesborough and rejoined the division, which we found moving into position beyond Wilkinson's Cross-Roads.
In a short time orders came for us to support a cavalry reconnaissance of the country lying to the right of our front. No enemy was found in this direction, and we returned to the division. We were then placed in position as a reserve for the other two brigades of General Johnson's command, occupying the extreme right of the army.
Early the next morning I received orders to form a line of battle 150 paces in rear of the First Regiment Ohio Volunteers; this done, the command "forward" was given. In this advance, Capt. A. H. Speed, of Company C, was struck in the abdomen by a spent ball and severely injured; but, like a true soldier, he retained the command of his company until late in the evening, when he was ordered to the hospital.
When the First Ohio reached a fence on the crest of a hill, it became hotly engaged. At the same time there was rapid firing from the Sixth Indiana, on the left, and also from some regiment on the right of the First Ohio. A section of Simonson's battery had been moved to the front, to the left and abreast of the First Ohio. A battery of the enemy immediately opened upon it, and their shells killed and wounded many of my men. Presently I observed the regiment to the right of the First Ohio in full retreat, and in a few minutes I saw the First Ohio moving to the rear.
I could see no enemy, on account of the intervening ridge, and supposing that the First Ohio had exhausted their ammunition, I instantly prepared to take its place; but just before it reached my lines, to my utter amazement, a mass of the enemy appeared, moving obliquely upon my right flank. A change of front was imperative. While executing this movement, refusing my right to the enemy, the First Ohio passed through the right of my regiment and threw into great confusion my four right companies. Their officers promptly arrested this, and I here take occasion to thank Capt. John Lucas, commanding Company F, First Lieutenants Thomas Foreman, commanding Company A, and Joseph E. Miller, commanding Company D, and Second Lieut. A. Sidney Smith, commanding Company I, for their steadiness at this trying moment.
In the mean time, my left getting into position, poured its fire into the steadily advancing columns of the enemy; but the troops to my left were giving way, and the enemy, getting a battery into position, almost enfiladed me. The right of the division was completely crushed in, and I had no connection, consequently no protection, here. It was soon manifest that I must fall back or be isolated.
A new position was taken some 200 paces in rear of our first, and here I believe we could have successfully resisted the enemy, but some general, I do not know who, ordered the entire line to fall back still farther, and those who like rapid movements would have been more than satisfied with the celerity with which some of the floating fragments of regiments obeyed him.
Pending this movement my attention was called by Colonel Baldwin to a piece of artillery abandoned by those whose business it was to look after it. A full battery of the enemy was playing on it at the time. I immediately yoked the Legion to it, and, with Huston and Thomasson as the wheel-horses, it was dragged to the railroad, where the new line was forming. I was shortly ordered to move by the flank farther up the railroad, where a position was taken that was not assailed on this day.
I had gone into the fight with 320 muskets, a portion of my command being on detached service; 19 men were killed, including Captain Ferguson, of Company I, who was one of our best officers; 80 were wounded.