I then returned with the battery to my command in the woods and moved by the right flank until I got in sight of Brigadier-General Johnson's command, which by this time had come up from the Wilkinson road. Pending this movement, General McCown passed by me, saying he would move his command to the right, which I suppose he did, as I saw no more of him, thus leaving me on the extreme left, which, in effect, had been the case ever since passing the hospital near the Wilkinson turnpike, as I saw no force on my left after that time. I may here state that my position inclined me, in wheeling with the line of battle, to pass off at a tangent from it toward the left, and I was, consequently, often compelled to move back by the right flank to regain my place in the line.
After rejoining General Johnson's left, I moved forward, and almost immediately engaged the enemy, whose right laid across a neck of woods, the left being behind a fence in front of my right. After a very severe engagement of some twenty minutes, we repulsed him on our right, throwing him into confusion, he still, however, maintaining his ground upon our left, on which we concentrated the fire of the Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Arkansas Regiments, soon breaking, after a sharp contest, his line at that point also. It was here that Lieutenant-Colonel Murray, of the Fifth Arkansas Regiment, took the colors of his regiment and gallantly bore them to the front, encouraging his men to the contest. A beautiful stand of United States colors was captured by Private J. K. Leslie, of his regiment. The brigade still continued to move steadily on, constantly firing upon the broken ranks of the enemy, and, upon reaching a point about opposite a white building on a hill on our left, I ordered my battery forward, and rode to his building with a view of placing it in position to open on the enemy's right.
While waiting for the battery to come up, I captured an ambulance and two horses belonging to Colonel [William L.] Stoughton, Eleventh Missouri [Michigan] Volunteers, and Major [B. F.] Doughty, [Eleventh] Michigan Volunteers, which officers, I suppose, had been wounded and brought to the hospital. Here, again, the officers of the hospital asked my protection, and i gave them my name and took the building under my charge. While this was occurring, which was in an incredibly short space of time, I discovered our lines breaking rapidly to the rear, although there was but little firing going on at the time. I immediately galloped to the rear, to head off the stragglers and check the retreat, not knowing what was the cause of this sudden movement. On halting and rallying the stragglers, I found that they were General Johnson's men, who were passing in rear of my line, and were retreating toward my position, on the left. I directed them toward the right to their proper place, and, riding rapidly in that direction myself, I met with General Johnson in search of his men, who told me that my brigade was not far distant in the neck of woods; and upon going in the direction indicated, I found it in line, the colors in place, with the men rallied on the line. In the confusion of the retreat, while I was at the Yankee hospital, on the left, General Johnson's men had gotten between me and my brigade, they having fallen back on my position, causing me to mistake them for my own. My brigade fell back to the original position from which I had advanced in this last attack, after joining General Johnson in moving to the right from the direction of Overall's Creek, as before mentioned.
On inquiry as to the cause of this retrograde movement, Colonel Govan, of the Second Arkansas, stated that the line on his right gave way, and being left alone, without support on his right, he ordered, during my temporary absence at the hospital, a retreat, although there was but