hill where the rebel lines were first formed, which was done in good order, at which time a re enforcement of one brigade came to our support, and after a few well-directed volleys, with the aid of the batteries General Hovey had massed on the extreme right, the enemy was routed, and fled in great confusion and disorder from the field.
During this engagement, Captain George Wilhelm, of Company F FIFTY-sixth Ohio, was badly wounded by shot through the left breast, and was taken prisoner. After being removed about 6 miles from the field, he was left I charge of a rebel soldier as a guard. The rebel laid down his gun, for the purpose of taking some observations, when Captain Wilhelm grabbed hold of it and took his guard prisoner, marched him into camp, and delivered him one to the provost-marshal.
The battery under command of Captain Schofield could not be brought into action until about 3 p. m., because of the enemy occupying a succession of positions where no command could be obtained of his lines, at which time our advance was made and the enemy driven from cover and in range of the battery, which dealt him so many terrible and damaging blows simultaneously with our fire and the fire of the re-enforcements that utter annihilation could only be prevented by a precipitate flight.
Thus ended this unequal, terrible, and most sanguinary conflict, which, in point of terrific fierceness and stubborn persistency, finds but few parallels in the history of civilized warfare. For two long hours my brigade held in check fully three times their number, and I hesitate not in saying, had they not so gallantly and determinedly resisted, the fortunes of the day might have been greatly damaged, if not our glorious triumph turned into a defeat. During the progress of the battle my command took a large number of prisoners, which were handed over to the provost-marshal without any account being taken of them.
Of the field and line officers I cannot speak in terms of too high commendation, each and every one discharging his duty with that degree of cool, determined valor which inspired the men to deeds of daring and wild enthusiasm which scarcely knew what resistance meant. To each and every one are the thanks of a grateful country due. Major L. H. Goodwin, of the Forty-seventh Indiana, and Major Edward Wright, of the Twenty-fourth Iowa, while gallantly leading their men, were wounded quite seriously, but I am more than grateful to know they are both rapidly recovering, and will soon be able to resume their respective positions.
To those brave officers and men who fell in that sanguinary conflict, and who resolved to do or die defense of and for the perpetuation of the best Government ever known to civilization, we cannot do more than assure their friends at home that they fell with their faces to the foe, in defense of the Constitution of a common country.
To my acting assistant adjutant -general, lieutenant H. G. P. Jennings, of the Forty-seventh Indiana, and to my aides, captain H. E. Jones and Lieutenant Gates, of the FIFTY-sixth Ohio, and Lieutenant [Theodore] Shaeffer, of the Twenty-eighth Iowa, are my thanks especially due for their bravery and efficiency.
Again would I attention to the daring and chivalric conduct of my orderly, private George Phillips, of Company K, FIFTY-sixth Ohio. His bravery and efficiency were the admiration of all who observed his conduct. Promotion is justly his due.
I herewith inclose the reports of the several commanders, giving in detail the part taken by the respective commands.