transpiring until the morning of the 18th instant, when the enemy was seen approaching us in heavy force on the La Fayette road, and when within 1 mile filing off as if to pass round our left.
Although various demonstrations were made by the enemy in my front, lines of battle formed, &c., there was nothing more than slight skirmishing and some little cannonading during the afternoon of the 18th instant.
The 19th day of September opened with a severe battle on our left, which continued throughout the day. About 2.30 p.m. of this day (19th instant) I received orders to move my command at the doublequick up the La Fayette road toward the scene of action. After marching about 2 miles I was directed by General Wood to form my command fronting to the east and parallel tot he road. My brigade was formed in two lines, the front line east of and the rear line on the west side of the road, with a distance of about 75 yards between the two; the Eighth Indiana Battery in the front line, with the Twenty-sixth Ohio, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Young, on the left, and the One hundredth Illinois Regiment, Colonel F. A. Bartleson, on the right. The rear line was composed of the Fifty-eighth Indiana, Lieutenant-Colonel Embree, on the right, and the Thirteenth Michigan, Colonel Culver, on the left.
With my command formed thus, the Twenty-sixth Ohio and a part of the battery were in heavy timber, while the other regiments and remainder of the battery were in open ground. Just in front of the One hundredth Illinois was another battery, already engaged with the enemy.
While my troops were being formed the enemy's balls were whistling about our ears, and the battle, raging most fiercely, seemed approaching nearer, although I had been informed several times by staff officers that we were driving the enemy, and that our force was only needed to finish the rout. I was not yet informed as to the positions of troops around me, whether we had troops in front and on my left flank. The formation of my command was not yet complete, when everything on my immediate front and left gave way, and hundreds of our own men ran through my ranks crying, " Fall back! Fall back!" as they themselves were in shameful rout toward the rear. My command was cautioned particularly to lie down, hold fire, and countercharge the enemy. Immediately following the mass of panic-stricken men of our own army and parts of two batteries (all of which passed through and over my men) came the enemy in heavy force on my front and left flank. Knowing my front regiments could not long withstand such a shock, I ordered a charge bayonet with my rear regiments.
The attempt was manfully made. They met hundreds of our own men on the fence in front of them; they met artillery and caissons, besides the enemy's fire, so that it was impossible to keep any kind of a line, but notwithstanding such obstructions, they gained some distance to the front. At this period my brave men, both front and rear lines, strove desperately to hold their ground. The Twenty-sixth Ohio and One hundredth Illinois, being in front, had already lost nearly one-half. Just here the slaughter was completed; the Fifty-eighth Indiana and Thirteenth Michigan men fell by scores. Colonel Culver, Thirteenth Michigan, stunned by a shell; Lieutenant-Colonel Waterman, of the One hundredth Illinois, fell wounded; Captain Ewing, acting major of the Twenty-sixth Ohio, fell wounded; Captains Davis and Bruce, Fifty-eighth Indiana, Captains