4 miles from Shelbyville). Here they opened on us with their artillery. The First Brigade having the advance, Colonel Minty ordered me to take my regiment to the right and see if I could find a road that would take me inside of the enemy's works, then to move toward the pike and cut off their artillery, if possible. After following a blind part for nearly 2 miles, I struck a road leading across a creek to their works. After crossing the creek we came upon their pickets, 2 of which we captured.
I now pushed rapidly up the hill, and soon obtained a footing inside the works. I sent the First Battalion, under Captain Grant, and Company L, under Captain Pritchard, forward as skirmishers, the enemy not having as yet shown themselves in very large numbers. Captains Pritchard and Hathaway had the extreme right, and did good service with their companies, as they were obliged to move through an open field, exposed to the enemy's fire from the woods on both sides. I soon found it necessary to bring my whole regiment into line, and I formed the Second and Third Battalions on the left of the First . As soon we commenced firing, the enemy withdrew with their artillery to the town, and most of their force was sent against us, and at one time they had three distinct lines of 100 or 150 men each formed in front of the First Battalion, while other parties were trying to flank them on the right, and also crowding us hard on the left. Captain Pritchard now sent to me for assistance, but I could not send it, as every man was engaged in the fight. I immediately sent two of my orderlies (Sergeant [Robert] Brice and Private Joseph Seaver, both of Company B) back to Colonel Minty for assistance. As I have since learned, they reached the colonel and were sent back, but were captured before they reached me. I now moved my whole line to the left, in order to avoid their fire from the woods on my right. The enemy at this time was on three sides of me-on my front, right, and rear-leaving me no outlet but toward the earthworks on my left. I now pushed forward my left, endeavoring to face my command to the right and have my rear open. In doing this, I brought my left flank in full view of the pike, where we saw the Seventh Pennsylvania, followed by the Fourth Regulars, charging up the pike. No sooner were they in sight than with a yell (which Wheeler's cavalry seemed to understand) the First and Second Battalions charged into the enemy, and before I could check them they were mixed up with the Seventh Pennsylvania charging down the pike at a furious gallop. Captain Hathaway, with his company, charged down the old Middleton road, running parallel with the pike, and came on the pike at the junction of the Fairfield and Shelbyville pikes, in time to cut the rebel column in two, and turning the rear of the column to the left, the enemy making for an opening into a large garden, closely followed by the Fourth Michigan and Seventh Pennsylvania, but the garden having a strong fence on three sides of it, the enemy found no outlet, so that 250 of them were easily captured.
I received orders about this time from Colonel Minty to get my regiment together, to remain where I was, and take charge of the prisoners, but I could only find about 150, the balance having gone on into town with the brigade. Upon counting my prisoners, I found 275 enlisted men and 15 officers.
In my skirmish on the right, we captured 1 major, 1 lieutenant, and 26 enlisted men. (I afterward found 2 killed, and 3 badly wounded.)
Out of that number, I had prisoners from five different regiments. To say the least, he must have had a force three or four times larger than my own, which we succeeded in driving nearly 2 miles. I am unable to say how many prisoners the Fourth Michigan took, for the 250 captured
36 R R-VOL XXIII, PT I