The enemy were then moving without opposition around the left flank of the regiment, and pouring a destructive, enfilading fire into the ranks. Seeing that the position was untenable, and that there was a certainty of being overpowered if the attempt was made to remain longer, the order was given to retreat and support Bradley's (Sixth Ohio) battery, which was done, and the regiment formed about this battery in rear of a small defense made of rails. Here, again, fire was opened upon the enemy, who were advancing over the field from which the regiment had retreated.
In this position the regiment, together with a part of the One hundredth Illinois Regiment, which had joined them, were hotly engaged with the enemy for about one hour, and succeeded in driving the enemy from the field and back to the woods.
During this time Colonel Buell, commanding the brigade, was busily engaged in bringing together the other regiments of the brigade, which seemed to have formed in some other part of the field not far distant.
At the close of about one hour's fighting at this point, Colonel Buell gave orders to this force to charge the enemy with no other result than driving the enemy back from view in the woods, save, perhaps, a few killed or wounded by the firing which was done while advancing.
Having advanced into the field about 50 paces beyond and a short distance to the right of the point from which the regiments had retreated, a halt was called and the men ordered to lie down. About this time a small force was collected and formed on the left of the regiment,but I cannot say of what it consisted. Soon after reaching this point the enemy again opened a heavy fire upon the regiment, and the forces on the left, above spoken of, gave way in disorder. Soon the panic reached this regiment, and they too broke from their lines and retreated in disorder to about 75 paces to the rear.
At this time Joseph Moore, major of the regiment, gallantly seized the colors, planted them in the ground, and called upon the men to rally about them, and thus succeeded in forming the nucleus about which the whole regiment was in a short time rallied, and from thence advanced to the point just abandoned. Here, also, at the same time, Brigadier-General Wood, commanding the division, came upon this part of the field, urged the troops forward to the work, and gave renewed confidence to all.
From this time until about 7 p.m. the regiment was engaged during the greater part of the time.
A short time before sunset the whole brigade was concentrated at this place by George P. Buell, colonel commanding and formed into line of battle in a strong position, and the Forty-second Illinois Regiment,of General Sheridan's division, had joined our line on the left and the Eighty-first Indiana on the right.
While in this position two of the guns of the Eighth Indiana Battery were recovered by the men of this regiment, they having been abandoned from loss of horses a few hours before, and also the colors of the Twenty-first Illinois Regiment were recovered by Lieutenant Behm, of this regiment, and returned to their regiment, these colors having been found in front of the line then occupied by this regiment.