move my command left in front, following the One hundred and first Ohio. Marched about half mile and stacked arms at General Rosecrans' headquarters, remaining until about sunrise. At that hour we moved to the rear about 600 yards and formed a line on an elevated ridge, running west of and parallel to the Chattanooga and La Fayette road. At about 10 a.m. I received orders from Brigadier-General Carlin to form my command into double column at half distance and follow the One hundred and first Ohio, moving by the left flank. We moved steadily along the apex of the ridge in a northeasterly direction about 1 mile, when we came into an extended glade and halted. The Twenty-first Illinois Volunteers was ordered to deploy and moved forward in line, the Eighty-first Indiana moving in column abreast with the Twenty-first Illinois, and to deploy on reaching the apex of the hill in our front, and take position in line on the left of the Twenty-first Illinois Volunteers.
Having deployed my command and the enemy not being immediately in range, though heavy firing was progressing on our left, I was front, and follow the Twenty-first Illinois Volunteers. Following on this line we marched about 800 yards, ascending to a somewhat elevated position, and was ordered to deploy my command and take position on the left of the Twenty-first Illinois Volunteers, behind some rude and illy constructed fieldwork erected upon our line of battle. I then threw forward Company A, Eighty-first Indiana Volunteers, Lieutenant S. H. McCoy commanding, and relieved the skirmishers of another command, then retiring.
While posting the skirmishers, I observed the Third Brigade on our left was heavily attacked and driven back before getting into position. In a few moments thereafter the enemy appeared emerging from a body of thick timber about 150 yards in our front and moving to our attack without skirmishers and in most overwhelming numbers, massed by battalions, and, as near as I could judge from the battle-flags exhibited, four lines in depth. Our skirmishers came flying in, and, according to previous instructions, rallied on the right of the regiment.
As soon as my battalion front was unmasked by the skirmishers we opened a terrible and deadly fire upon the advancing foe. The steadily advancing and our men determinedly resisting until but 3 men of the enemy's first line and about half of his second line were farther progress seemed checked, perhaps impossible. Being near the right of the Eighty-first Indiana Volunteers and the left of the and horror the right of the Twenty-first Illinois Volunteers was breaking and rapidly melting away. After a second and more careful observation I noticed the enemy was actually crossing the breastworks on the right and extending his left flank far to our rear, completely flanking our position, at the same time pouring a deadly fire from the rear on the Twenty-first Illinois volunteers. Seeding the desperate and critical state of affairs, having no opportunity of obtaining orders, and knowing further delay would surrender my entire command, I gave orders for a hasty retreat. The fire being most terribly destructive our lines were entirely broken and the command was temporarily disorganized. In company with Brigadier-General Carlin, commanding brigade; Captain Smith, One hundred and first