and Lieutenant A. W. S. Minear, adjutant, took position with the reserve on the left of the center wing.
At 1 p.m., under your orders, I took position in the woods to the west of the Wilson pike, joining with the left of the right wing. At the instance of the commander of the left flank regiment of the right wing, I relieved three of his companies, then deployed as skirmishers and engaging the enemy. My skirmishers soon started the enemy, and would have cleared the woods but for an order received from the right not to advance our part of the line; whereupon I fell back to the first position, preserving an alignment with my right. At 5 p.m. I was relieved by the Eleventh Michigan, and I moved to the rear, where I remained all night.
On the morning of the 31st I again took position with the reserve, but was soon ordered forward to support the battery. At -- a.m. I was ordered to take position in rear of the position and fronting to the rear, it having been discovered that the enemy had turned our right. No enemy appearing at that point, I was ordered to take position again on the hill to support the battery. I found the battery men much endangered by the enemy's skirmishers to the right. I deployed a company and soon removed them.
I was then ordered to take position in the woods on the left, the enemy having made his appearance in that direction. When moving to that position, a very considerable consternation was observed among our forces, many of the regiments moving to the rear. Observing that a regiment still held the position, I moved rapidly to its rear; that regiment was lying down, so that my men were enabled to remain in their rear and engage in the firing. This position was rendered necessary, other regiments having moved into the only available position on the right and left. By the combined efforts of the forces there, the enemy was driven from the woods, but very soon a piece of artillery was brought into position against us. I hastened to where our battery was, to ask that it might be brought to bear against the enemy's piece that was then doing fearful havoc among our ranks. I learned that for want of ammunition none of our pieces were available. In the midst of this terrible fire I received your order to fall back, which I did, my men preserving perfect order.
During this engagement Captain A. Fenton, who was acting major, and whose services proved of inestimable value, fell, wounded, and was placed on a horse and started to the rear; since that nothing has been heard of him, and I have reason to fear that he has fallen into the enemy's hands. After falling back, as ordered, to the point near the Nashville pike, I received your order to take a position in line with the Nineteenth Illinois, and in rear of a line formed, as I understood, by a part of General Rousseau's command. We had scarcely taken our position when the enemy engaged the first from the enemy. Anticipating the movement, I caused my men to lie down, and cautioned them to hold their fire until the enemy closed on the. The first line passed over my men, closely followed by the enemy. My men, observing well the caution I had given, poured a well-directed fire into the enemy, which checked them; but soon their second line pressed upon me, when I, with the rest of the line, fell back.
Immediately on the appearance of the enemy, the Nineteenth Illinois was moved to another position on his flank, so that no other regiment remained on the line with me. I moved to the rear gradually, returning the enemy's fire, until I found myself on open ground, when I ordered