Sergeant Obenchain and his intrepid comrades, by a cool and skillful fire, greatly assisted in protecting the retreat. The Twentieth, Thirtieth, Thirty-first, and Forty-sixth Regiments fell back into the road in the rear. Sergeant Obenchain soon brought his pieces into the column, the Thirty-first Alabama Regiment formed in the rear to cover the retreat, and the retreat was then conducted in good order some 4 miles over Bayou Pierre and to the ridge on the north side, where the troops went into camp.
The Sixth Missouri Regiment did not report for orders, but it would be unjust to them not to state that they courageously met the vast odds of the foe, and rendered most essential service n checking any advance he may otherwise have been disposed to make.
Thus for about eleven hours had this most unequal contest continued. Column after column of the enemy had been seen to advance against our line. Several times charges were ordered and attempted, but as soon as the enemy emerged from their cover a deliberate and deadly fire invariably drove them back. From what was seen on that day by officers of the command who occupied good positions for the purpose, and from what Colonel Pettur (who after his capture was carried across the battle-field in the afternoon of the same day) saw and learned, there is no doubt that from 12,000 to 15,000 men were engaged during the day with the part of our brigade which took part in this action, while our own number did not exceed 1,400.
Our loss was 18 killed, 112 wounded, and 142 MISSING, while the loss of the enemy in killed alone was much greater. Colonel Pettus, who passed over the most hotly contested part of the field, is of opinion that the enemy's loss in killed was nearly equal to half of our own number engaged in the battle.
In any attempt which might be made to particularize individual merit injustice may be done. All - officers and men - did their whole duty. It seemed to be impossible for men to behave better; but certain positions gave some better opportunities for distinction than others. This was particularly the case with the Thirtieth Alabama Regiment and the companies of the Twentieth Alabama immediately on their right, who, under, the cool, courageous, and skillful leadership of their commanders, fought through the day in a hot sun with the most obstinate and unflinching bravery.
To Sergeant-Major [W. K.] McConnell, of the Thirtieth Regiment, my thanks are due for the prompt and intelligent manner in which he aided me, in carrying reports and messages to, and bringing orders and answers from, the general commanding. Sergeant Powers, of Company I, Twentieth Regiment, rendered most essential service in carrying orders to various parts of the field and bringing back information, though exposed to a hot fire from the enemy. To Adjutant SMITH I am also indebted for efficient service in carrying dispatches, and for the prompt manner in which he caused the artillery under Sergeant Obenchain to be placed in position, as before stated. For further information of instances of individual merit, I beg leave to refer to accompanying reports. *
All of which is respectfully submitted.
I. W. GARROTT,
Colonel Twentieth Regiment Ala. Vols., comdg. SECOND Brigadier on 1st instant.
Captain [R. R.] HUTCHINSON, Assistant Adjutant-General.
[P. S.] - There was no pursuit by the enemy.