War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0528 KY., MID., AND E. TENN., N.ALA.,AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXII.

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and canister from the flanks as my men ran forward to the charge, and thinning the enemy's ranks. He was too strong for us, however, and soon my gallant advance was beaten back to the point of woods. This point was still held. The brigade on the left was never pressed up to my front, and left me exposed from this quarter. General Negley's brigade, on the right, first advanced with me, but, yielding to the impulsive charge of the enemy, broke up, and a portion of it drifted in disorder immediately to my rear, and left me exposed to the cross-fire of the enemy from the woods on the right. We were now completely flanked. Our own troops impeded my retreat. Cannon, caissons,artillery wagons, and bodies of men in wild retreat filled the road and woods to my rear, precluding everything like proper and orderly retreat. Captain Standart's artillery ammunition was failing rapidly. He was shifting front constantly to keep off the enemy. The cartridges of my men were becoming short. Messages were sent to the rear for re-enforcements and for the reserve brigade of the division. The enemy's fire was upon three sides of my position, and apparently exactly to the rear, in the woods. It was impossible to get ammunition up, to communicate with the general commanding the division, or to obtain re-enforcements.

In this condition the ground was still held for some forty minutes longer than seemed right or proper. My command had some cover in the edge of the woods from the enemy's bullets, and still kept up a fire sufficiently strong to keep them from rushing into the woods. Seeing my little brigade failing rapidly, and many of its best men carried wounded to the rear, without hope of support, or further ability to hold on, I withdrew it in as good order as practicable. The enemy pressed closely, firing constantly into the retreating mass. We faced to rear, and covered the retreat of General Negley's men as well as could be done. The Second Kentucky Regiment brought off three pieces and the Ninetieth Ohio Volunteers one piece of abandoned artillery by hand which the enemy were rushing upon and about to capture.

Standart's battery was saved, with a loss of 3 men and 7 horses. It had but 16 rounds of ammunition when the order to retire was given. Upon falling back to the edge of the wood, on the west side, I met Major-General Thomas and reported to him, and, with his consent, continued to fall back across the open ground to the turnpike with my shattered forces, now numbering about 500. After forming in line along the turnpike (about 12 m.), the brigade was ordered, by a member of General Rosecrans' staff, to the left, to support a battery on the railroad. It took this position and held it during the remainder of the day and the night following.

On the 1st instant, the brigade was placed in line on the right of the division, in rear of the interval between the First and Third Divisions. After remaining thus until noon, it was advanced to the front to support Swallow's (Indiana) battery, posted on a commanding elevation to the left of the railway, and near the ford across Stone's River. During the day it was exposed to occasional shelling from the enemy's batteries.

On the 2nd instant, rude breastworks were constructed back of the batteries, and the brigade held the same position behind them. It lay here during the severe fight across the creek on our left, supporting the batteries, and exposed to a heavy cross-fire from the enemy's guns. A higher scene of cool moral courage, perhaps, has not been evinced during the war than that exhibited by my brigade on this memorable day. The line lay still and quiet behind the frail works we had been able to construct, with the shot and shell of the enemy coming from three directions and bursting above, in front of it,, and all around it,