War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0268 Chapter XXXIX. N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC.

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stream, which was done. The brigade changed front forward on first battalion, and marched into the woods known as McPherson's woods, and formed in line of battle, the Nineteenth Indiana being on the left of the Twenty-fourth Michigan and the Seventh Wisconsin on its right. In executing this movement, my lieutenant-colonel and adjutant were severely wounded, and did not afterward rejoin the regiment, the former having lost a leg, and the latter being severely wounded in the groin. The line of the Twenty-fourth Michigan curved a little backward on the right, that wing being thrown back so as to connect with the Seventh Wisconsin. Skirmishers were immediately deployed in front, and became at once engaged with the enemy. The woods were shelled, but I have no casualties to report as occurring at this time. I sent officers several times to the general commanding to report the condition of the line, and suggesting a change of position, as it was, in my judgment, untenable. To these reports of the condition of our line, I received answer that the position was ordered to be held, and must be held at all hazards. The enemy advanced in two lines of battle, their right extending beyond and overlapping our left. i gave direction to the men to withhold their fire until the enemy should come within short range of our guns. This was done, but the nature of the ground was such that I am inclined to think we inflicted but little injury on the enemy at this time. Their advance was not checked, and they came on with rapid strides, yelling like demons. The Nineteenth Indiana, on our left, fought most gallantly, but was overpowered by superior numbers, the enemy having also the advantage of position, and, after a severe loss, was forced back. The left of my regiment was now exposed to an enfilading fire, and orders were given for this portion of the line to swing back, so as to face the enemy, now on this flank. Pending the execution of this movement, the enemy advanced in such force as to compel me to fall back and take a new position a short distance in the rear. In the meantime I had lost in killed and wounded several of my best officers and many of my men. Among the former were Captain William J. Speed, acting major, and Lieutenant Dickey, a young officer of great promise. Charles Ballare, my second color-bearer, was killed here. The second line was promptly formed, and we made a desperate resistance, but the enemy accumulating in our front, and our losses being very great, we were forced to fall back and take up a third position beyond a slight ravine. My third color-bearer, Augustus Ernest, of Company K, was killed on this line. Major E. B. Wight, acting lieutenant-colonel, was wounded at this time and compelled to leave the field. By this time the ranks were so diminished that scarcely a fourth of the forces taken into action could be rallied. Corpl. Andrew Wagner, Company F, one of the color guard, took the colors, and was ordered by me to plant them in a position to which I designed to rally the men. He was wounded in the breast and left on the field. I now took the flag from the ground, where it had fallen, and was rallying the remnant of my regiment, when Private William Kelly, of Company E, took the colors from my hands, remarking, as he did so, "The colonel of the Twenty-fourth shall never carry the flag while I am alive. " He was killed instantly. Private Lilburn A. Spaulding, of Company K, seized the colors and bore them for a time.