War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0296 KY.,SW.VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA. Chapter XLII.

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p.m., while the battle was raging on the right, the assault was renewed with the utmost vehemence and ferocity and with apparently and overwhelming force, but, availing themselves of the temporary works thrown up in our front, the men with great coolness and bravery held the enemy at bay and repulsed with great gallantry every assault until near sundown, when the order was given to fall back. Owing, however, to the roar of artillery and musketry, the order to retire was not understood by me or those commanding battalions on our left. Perceiving, however, that the artillery on the right of our line had been withdrawn and that the infantry also was retiring somewhat in haste and disorder, a partial stampede was caused on our left, the effect of which was to expose our center to an attack on either flank. In order, therefore, to save my command I directed it to fall back. This order, however, in the din of battle was not heard by a portion of the regiment, nor was any such communicated to a portion of the Second Ohio and Tenth Wisconsin. The result was that these obstinately held their ground and continued to fight until completely surrounded and either killed, wounded, or captured. The fate of these, embracing from my command 3 officers and about 75 enlisted men, is shrouded in uncertainty. With the exception of some six or eight loss of the regiment on that day thus occurred from an unwillingness to fall back without receiving an order to do so.

Having gathered together nearly all of my command that had escaped, we fell in with the retreating column and joined the brigade that night near Rossville. Our loss has been heavy, a detailed statement of which accompanies this; but nearly one-half of it occurred on account of not understanding the order to retire and in the obstinacy with which accompanies this; but nearly one-half of it occurred on account of not understanding the order to retire and in the obstinacy with which a portion maintained their ground and continued to fight, even after nearly everybody else had retired from the field. The regiment was thrown somewhat in confusion in retiring under orders when so fiercely attacked on the flank in the first day's fight, but aside from that it maintained its position and fought in perfect order throughout the entire engagement. If at any time the regiment failed to do its duty, ceased to hold its position, or fight when it ought to have fought, the fault is with its commander, and not with its valiant officers and men. All my officers, all my men, with the exception of a very few cowards, who ingloriously fled early in the fight, and upon whom the severest penalty should be inflicted, acted with marked bravery and coolness, and obeyed promptly every order communicated during have fallen, and a monument should be erected to their memory. Of those who have survived, when all have behaved so well, it may be invidious to discriminate, but, without disparagement or offense to others, I may be permitted to note with hearty commendation and praise the gallant bearing and heroism of Corpl. Sylvester Keller, of Company A.



Colonel Thirty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Lieutenant GEORGE H. DEVOL,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First Brigade.