having shifted their position and placed their battery directly in front of this regiment, it was apparent that the fence which had obstructed the sight of the enemy would serve as an auxiliary in the enemy's hands if our position was discovered. Knowing this, although the weather was very inclement and disagreeable, I did not allow any fire, and the blankets having been left at camp, the men suffered very much; and but for the fact that they had been lying on their arms without sleep for two nights previous, sleep would have been impossible.
Having been kept in a silent still position for two days and nights during disagreeable weather, on the morning of December 31, 1862, when orders came that the command would move forward, it was difficult to restrain the expression of joy and outburst of feeling manifested by the men at an opportunity being presented upon an open field (such as lay before us) of relieving ourselves from this unhappy condition, and of deciding the fate of the Confederacy to the extent that a little regiment was able to go. It will remembered that, in the first charge made on the morning of the 31st, my orders require that I should keep close on General McNair's brigade, who had just moved into the gap alluded to on the right of my regiment, and that in doing so it threw the center of the Tenth Regiment directly in front of the enemy's battery, consisting of six pieces of superior quality, which opened upon our lines immediately after leaving the cedar-fence barricade; and as there was no obstruction between this command and the enemy's lines in that direction, it must be that the houses, shade trees, and fencing on the left and the cedar timber and fencing on the right sheltered to some extent the brave troops on each side of us, causing the disparity in the number killed and wounded in the different regiments of the division and brigade. For some 400 yards before we drove the enemy from their position immediately in rear of the first battery and captured the same, my regiment marched in full view of the infantry and artillery, and before the sun rose we numbered of killed and wounded some 80 men.
At this point I will mention an incident in this bloody conflict: The enemy's lines heaving been formed immediately in our front, their standard-bearer, directly in front of mine, was waving his flag, casting it forward, and, by various motions, urging the Abolition column forward, when Sergt. A. Sims, flag-bearer of this regiment, discovered him and pressed forward with incredible speed directly toward the enemy's banner, and, on reaching within a pace or less of his adversary, he planted the Confederate flag firmly upon the ground with one hand and with a manly grasp reached the other after the flag-staff held by his enemy; but the other gave back, and in that movement they both fell in the agonies of death, waving their banners above their heads until their last expiring moments. My flag-bearer having fallen, and there being but one of my old color-guard left, Sergt. James T. McGee was only spared to advance a few paces toward his banner, when another of our noblest and bravest men fell to rise no more until aroused by the Trump of God to come to judgment. At this moment Private Manning, of Company H, gathered the flag-staff and rushed to the front with a spirit and nerve sufficient for any calling, and bore the same aloft throughout the day.
Two stand of colors are known to have been taken by this regiment, and, it is believed, three; but as all were sent to the rear by the wounded and the infirmary corps; I have not had opportunity to look them up.
Of Major (Acting Lieutenant-Colonel) Craig and senior Captain (Acting Major) Redwine and Adjutant [J. J.] Jarvis, I will say that they all of them proved themselves fully equal to the emergency on that occasion; and, in my opinion, the display of valor and unflinching bravery