was on the right of the Second Brigade, and occupied the extreme right in the front line of Major-General Breckinridge's division, which was ordered forward to engage the enemy at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. We soon met the Federal forces in largely superior numbers on the right bank of Stone's River. Their line of battle being prolonged farther north than ours, I encountered one of their regiments immediately in my front, while another [both large] made a desperate effort to turn my right. They opened a most deadly and terrific fire upon us for several minutes, and then attempted a charge, but were repulsed and driven back a distance of more than 50 yards, where, with the advantage of the crest of a hill, they made another severe struggle. I then ordered a charge, which was most successfully executed. The Federals fled in utter confusion and disorder, leaving an immense number of their dead and wounded in their rear. Their flight was down the river, whither we pursued them for nearly half a mile, dealing fire and death in their backs at a most destructive and effective rate. In the death in their backs at a most destructive and effective rate. In the rout hundreds of them fell [reversing the position of the poet] with their faces [not their backs] upon the field.
It is proper to remark that the entire Federal force on the right bank of the river were completely routed and driven by our division either across or down the stream; but they had massed a force of many thousands on the opposite [left] bank, where they had a large quantity of artillery, so located and arranged as that both their small-arms and batteries could be brought to bear upon and most dreadfully rake all the western portion of the field over which their troops had been driven. It therefore became proper for our forces to withdraw to a safer position, although they were not repulsed. This necessity, however, was not so great on my part, because, being less exposed to fire from the left bank of the river, I could have continued to hold my position beyond doubt; but on seeing the principal body of the division on my left falling back, I ordered my regiment to withdraw, to avoid a flank movement in that direction. At the time there was comparatively little resistance being made in my front. The regiments that had been driven before me had not recovered from disorder. They had not, in fact, reformed in line of battle, but were in a confused and frightened manner, taking cover behind the houses and fences around the late William Mitchell's residence.
I herewith submit a list* of killed and wounded, from which it will be seen that there were 19 killed; supposed to be mortally wounded, 8; not mortally, 108, making, in all, 135.
I report, with the utmost pride and satisfaction, that the men and officers of the regiment in this memorable action displayed a heroic courage and dauntless valor equaled only by the sacredness of their own homes and the inspirations of their noble country's cause, for whose defense they so gallantly and bravely struggled.
Among other instanced deserving individual notice, I mention the following: Captain John Dick, of Company K [G]; First Lieut. Samuel M. Smith, commanding Company C, and Color-Sergt. George K. Lowe, fell dead upon the field, nobly discharging their whole duties. Lieut. Col. W. R. Butler, MajorW. H. Joyner, Adjt. John M. Douglass, Sergt. MajorFletcher R. Burrus [the two latter being wounded], and the company commanders displayed high courage and efficiency in their respective positions. Capts. James S. Barton and Natt. Gooch, formerly of my staff, fought with distinguished gallantry as privates in the ranks. After as
*Nominal list omitted.