second line by the pressure from the flanks, but my command did not exhibit the least disorder, and every officer and man seemed to vie with his comrade in coolness and valor. After driving the first line of the enemy to his support, and hotly engaging him for a time, our first line withdrew, and after they had passed through our line to the rear we opened fire, and such was the obstinacy with which our men contended for the supremacy that the best body of the opposing army was held in check for a considerable time; but at length the line began to yield on our left and then on our right, and I mean to detract nothing from other gallant regiments by saying that I soon found the Fourth Florida almost entirely abandoned by the rest of the line. The men still continued to fire with that deliberate accuracy that characterizes the Florida woodsman, and, I am satisfied, with much effect, for we sent a large number of prisoners to the rear, which I estimated at not less than 200. The accidents of the ground which my command occupied afforded a partial protection, and I determined to hold it as long as practicable, that, if possible, we might form a nucleus upon which to rally the broken line, but obstinate valor had to yield to superior force. It was not, however, until the men began to announce their 40 rounds expended that I gave the command to cease firing and fall back. Upon gaining a little eminence, I discovered that the enemy had smartly turned our left flank and were advancing upon our right, subjecting us to a most concentrated and destructive fire. Midway the field through which we had advanced we found our brigade battery. Its gallant commander had just fallen, and Major Graves, chief of artillery, was nobly endeavoring to save the battery from falling into the hands of the enemy. We rallied to his assistance amid a perfect shower of leaden hail, but, owing to the loss of horses and men, only two pieces were saved. It was here my command sustained its heavies loss, and many valuable officers and brave men fell, either killed or wounded. Among the former was First Lieutenant S. D. Harris, commanding Company I, distinguished in both actions for his dauntless bravery. He was wounded and left on the field. Among the latter was Sergt. L. N. Miller, of Company H, whom I ordered, for his cool courage, to take the colors. He and two other color-bearers were shot down. My adjutant [C. C. Burke] rendered much efficient aid until he received a painful wound and was carried off the field.
Much is due to Lieutenant-Colonel [E.] Badger and Major Lesley for their active efficiency in both actions.
Company C, First Lieutenant [J. B.] Parramore commanding, and Company K, First Lieutenant [H. L.] Mitchell commanding, were conspicuous for gallantry and ready compliance with every command. Many remarkable instances of individual valor arrested my attention, but I refrain from particularizing further.
I entered with 423 men and 35 officers. For my loss I refer you to the list* of casualties. We have to regret many valuable lives, but the survivors live to avenge their loss. A little farther to the rear, yet in easy range of the enemy's fire, General Preston, with his accustomed self-possession and valor, soon restored order in his brigade, and night soon closed the bloody scene.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. L. BOWEN,
Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Capt. R. W. WOOLEY,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Preston's Brigade.
*Embodied in No. 191, p.679.
52 R R-VOL XX, PT I