A short time after this repulse, the enemy were seen moving to our left, toward the pike, as if to charge the battery from the east. You immediately ordered me to change front from south to east, and move forward to prevent and advance of the enemy from the pike, which I did immediately. Arriving at the point designated, I found the battery had left its position and was out of sight, and the Nineteenth Michigan forming on the ground I was ordered to occupy, with its right resting near where the battery had soon. I then noticed that the three pieces posted on the left of the pike had gone. I then formed my line, with my right resting on the Nineteenth Michigan, at the school-house, and extending northward on the ridge, facing the pike and railroad, the Nineteenth and my regiment being at right angles with the Thirty-third Indiana. As soon as my regiment was formed, I rode to the extreme left, where I had a good view of the pike leading to Franklin and of the plain extending east, in rear of the range of hills on the left, where a section of the battery and two regiments had been posted originally by you, and could see nothing of the wagon train, our artillery, or cavalry. My attention was called, by Lieutenant-Colonel Crane, to a column of cavalry on the plain to the east and the skirt of woods terminating the plain, nearly a mile distant, which we found were the enemy moving, apparently, to get a position on our flank or rear. I sent you word of the movement. Shortly afterward Armstrong's (rebel) brigade charged us from the pike, and my regiment and the Nineteenth Michigan became hotly engaged at short range.
The enemy having gained the hill to the left of the pike, from which our artillery had withdrawn, planted part of a battery there, and opened on us with grape and canister. A cross-fire from a battery to our right was also very annoying. The fighting at this point was very severe, the opposing forces at times not more than 10 to 20 yards apart. We repulsed the enemy every time he charged, and held this hill for more than two hours from the time I moved from the school-house.
Having entirely silenced the enemy in my then front, I was ordered to change front, the whole brigade facing north, and moved out by the left flank, about 300 yards from the pike, my regiment being again thrown on the extreme right. Here we engaged Forrest's forces, which were directly between us and Franklin, and held them nearly an hour, and until the ammunition of the brigade was exhausted, at which time (about 4 o'clock) I received your order to surrender, which I did.
My loss was 1 officer killed and 2 wounded; 12 men killed and 19 wounded; died from exposure and cruel treatment at the hands of the enemy, in captivity, 30; and disabled from duty from same cause, 1 officer and 5 men. Total killed and wounded, officers and men, 34; died and disabled, 36; total loss, 70.
I took into the action 303 non-commissioned officers and men.
My line officers all did their duty, and it would not be proper to make invidious distinctions; but I would suggest that no further action should be taken on the charges against Captain [F.] Brooks, Company B, and Captain [T.] Grimes, Company C, on account of their gallantry.
I am greatly indebted to Lieutenant Colonel A. B. Crane, Major R. E. Craig, and Adjt. F. C. Crawford, for the gallant manner in which they sustained me on the battle-field.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. P. BAIRD,
Colonel Eighty-fifth Indiana Volunteer Infantry.
Colonel JOHN COBURN.