strong foe in front, which, though repulsed, could not be followed up for want of support; my right threatened,and my left already turned. It therefore became necessary to change the disposition of my command and fall back. The commander of the Sixty-fifth Ohio anticipated my order, when he found his left turned, and fell back in good order. I directed this regiment to make a stand behind a rail fence running obliquely to the first line of battle.
During this movement this regiment was subjected to a most galling fire from the enemy, but they stood up under it nobly and fought desperately. While this movement was being executed, the Seventy-third Indiana was left in position on the second line, and the battery retired to a position about 400 yards to the rear, when it again opened. The Sixty-fourth Ohio was now ordered to change its front to the left and charge the enemy. The direction was indicated to the commanding officer, but, unfortunately, he moved too far to the right. Though this regiment handsomely repulsed the enemy in its front, it did the work of the other regiments already in position, leaving the left of the Seventy-third Indiana exposed, and permitting the enemy to advance much farther than could have been done had my design been carried out.
I do not, however, desire to censure the commanding officer of this regiment, who acted most gallantly through the engagement, but attribute it to a misunderstanding of the order. Bradley's battery, having taken its second position, opened again, with great effect, upon the advancing enemy, but, being in an exposed position, it was again ordered to withdraw, being badly crippled by loss of horses; two pieces were abandoned, one of which was spiked.
The command was now ordered to fall back and form on a rocky eminence covered with cedars, being a very strong position. The Thirteenth Michigan, from their position, opened upon the enemy with telling effect, and, having caused his ranks to waver, followed up the advantage with a charge, supported by the Fifty-first Illinois Volunteers, who had now come to our relief. They completely routed the enemy. The Thirteenth Michigan retook tow pieces of artillery, abandoned by our battery, and captured 58 prisoners. For this act of gallantry Colonel Shoemaker and his gallant regiment are deserving of much praise.
The enemy thus driven from our right did not again attempt to annoy us in that quarter. How far the brave troops of this brigade contributed toward repulsing the strong columns of the enemy designed to turn the right flank of our army, and thus preventing most disastrous consequences to our army, must be inferred by the position occupied by this command and the part it took in the engagement.
Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon Colonel Shoemaker, commanding the Thirteenth Michigan Volunteers; Colonel Hathaway, commanding the Seventy-third Indiana Volunteers; Lieutenant-Colonel McIlvain, commanding the Sixty-fourth Ohio Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Cassil, who commanded the Sixty-fifth Ohio Volunteers until injured by the falling of his horse, and Major Whitbeck, though wounded in action, remained in command of the Sixty-fifth Ohio Volunteers after Lieutenant-Colonel Cassil was injured, and Captain Bradley, commanding Sixth Ohio Battery, for their bravery and good conduct during this engagement.
My thanks are also due to Colonel A. D. Streight, commanding Fifty-first Indiana Volunteers, for valuable information of the movements of the enemy during this engagement. From the less exposed position of his regiment it suffered less than any other regiment of my command.