This demonstration of the enemy for the occupation of this important position was made before the arrival of the support heretofore stated, and though superior in numbers he was unable to endure the repeated volleys of our superior arms (Colt's revolving rifles).
Heavy skirmishing continued until 2 o'clock, when the enemy again made an attempt to carry this position, in which he failed. Our position was maintained, however, with severe loss in killed and wounded.
At 2.30 o'clock Lieutenant-Colonel Stoughton, who was commanding the regiment until this time, was severely wounded, and the command devolved upon myself. By 3 o'clock every effort had failed to procure a further supply of ammunition. Orderlies sent to report our condition and position to Colonel Sirwell, commanding our brigade, and to General Negley, commanding our division, and to obtain ammunition, returned without being able to accomplish the object for which they were sent. Our brigade had retired in the direction of Chattanooga.
I was unable to communicate with General Negley, and no general officer was designated to whom I might report. But we continued to hold our position. The cartridge-boxes of our killed and wounded were carefully searched, also the hospitals for any ammunition that might be carried there in the cartridge-boxes of our wounded, and by this means obtained sufficient ammunition to meet the enemy in a third assault upon our position about 5 o'clock.
In this assault the enemy crossed the ravine in our front and carried his banners up the hill to within 20 yards of our line. He was repulsed, and did not retire in good order. During the afternoon a battery had range upon our position, inflicting some damage upon us, also setting fire to the leaves and brush in our front, and the enemy advanced under cover of the smoke. The wounded, under cover of our fire, were removed.
A heavy line of skirmishers continued to annoy us, and a sharp fire upon this line exhausted our ammunition a short time before sundown, at which time the Second Regiment Minnesota Volunteers relieved us. A further search for ammunition resulted in finding one round each for the men composing my command, which had now become very much reduced in numbers.
At this time Colonel Van Derveer (who assumed command) ordered me to occupy a position on the extreme right, from which a part of our line had just been driven by the enemy. In obedience to the order we occupied the position and captured 9 prisoners. A sharp fire from the enemy forced us back, but we regained our position and held it until dark, at which time a brigade of four regiments, under Colonel Trigg, moved upon us and overwhelmed us.
Simultaneous with this movement of the enemy, which was upon our right flank and rear, we received a fire from the enemy, who had also opened upon our left, which took effect both upon the enemy on our right and ourselves. During the misunderstanding thus occasioned, a part of my men escaped under cover of the night. Colonel Van Derveer having withdrawn the troops under his command, my command was unsupported, and both flanks were exposed. Thus we lost our stand of colors, which were made sacred to us by the blood of many comrades who fell in their defense and for their honor on other fields as well as on the unfortunate field of Chickamauga.
Great credit is due the gallant officers and brave men of my com-