Company D, Captain Daily, and Company I, Lieutenant Marshall, on my right and front. Just at this time I was ordered to take command of the entire line of skirmishers from the brigade, and with the assistance of Major Watson, of the Seventy-fifth Illinois, we hastily advanced, the enemy retreating in haste. But dark now set in, and we bivouacked on the field for the night.
On the morning of the 26th, I was ordered to the left and front. On arriving at the foot of a densely wooded hill, which the enemy had occupied the previous day, I halted the column, and deployed Company A, Lieutenant Gooding, on my right flank, and Company C, Captain Taggart, and Company E, Captain Snodgrass, in front. Soon the enemy's skirmishers made their appearance on the opposite [side] of the valley in considerable numbers. My men at once opened fire on them, and drove them for a short distance; but they soon posted themselves on the thickly wooded hill directly in our front, from which place a lively firing was kept up all day, with considerable loss to the enemy, as reported by a prisoner taken in the skirmish, and with the loss of 3 wounded on my part. Night again set in, and we camped on the field.
On the morning of the 27th, I was ordered to march to the rear. Late in the evening of the same day we reached Beech Grove, near Hoover's Gap, where my regiment performed picket duty during the night.
June 28, I received orders to march, and arrived at Manchester at 2 a.m. on the 29th instant, where we remained until the 1st of July, when, at 12 m., we were again ordered forward. Reached Tullahoma at 8 p.m., where we remained in bivouac till morning, when we again pushed forward and reached Elk River near night. My regiment here again performed picket duty for the night.
Marched on the 3rd, at 7 a.m., wading Elk River. Reached Winchester at 12 m. The march was extremely fatiguing, on account of the heavy rains and the muddy roads. My command suffered severely for rations, as the rain had so thoroughly drenched the men's haversacks that their rations were thus unfitted for use, the bread becoming almost like dough or paste, sugar and salt melting, and coffee rendered worthless.
I am happy to state that not a murmur escaped the lips of either officers or men, but during the entire march they expressed a willingness to suffer almost anything to insure our success. I am also proud to inform you that there was not a single instance of straggling in my command during the entire march and skirmish. All officers and men were at all times at their post.
In the skirmish of the 26th, I noted the conduct of First Sergeant [James E.] Benham, of Company E, and will recommend him for promotion, for his daring. Also First Sergeant [William H.] Fesler, of Company C, who, with three men of his company, pressed forward in front of the line of skirmishers, and took shelter behind a wheat-stack in the open field, where they emptied more than one rebel saddle as they approached near the edge of the woods on the side-hill for the purpose of ascertaining our position.
The following is the list of wounded.*
Colonel, Commanding Twenty-second Regiment Indiana Volunteers.
Captain SAMUEL WEST,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First Brigade.
*Embodied in revised statement, p. 421.