and directly in rear of the position before described, the left of this line being about one-half mile from and opposite Reynolds' right.
At about 3 p.m. a fearful onslaught was made upon this line. The battle raged for one hour with apparently varying fortunes, when several general officers at our position expressed a sense of the necessity for a brigade to move over and strike the deciding blow. No one appeared to have any ammunition. I found, upon examination, that I still had 40 rounds per man, and immediately moved my men over at double-quick with a front of two regiments. Arriving near the scene of action, I caused a partial change of direction to the left, and was quickly pouring in volleys, my second line alternating with my first, the action lasting but a few minutes, the enemy retiring.
There was no more fighting. At dusk I received orders from General Thomas to retire on Rossville, which I did quietly and in perfect order, the pickets of the enemy following mine closely as they were withdrawn, and confronting an officer sent to see that it was thoroughly done.
There are several lessons to be learned from this fight, and to me none more plainly than that the iron hand that strikes justly, yet firmly, can alone make the soldiers that can be relied upon in the hour of trial. The effect of firing by volleys upon the enemy has invariably been to check and break him. It further gives a careful colonel complete control of his fire. The effect of sending in fractions to battle with an entire army is to waste our own strength without perceptibly weakening the enemy.
My entire brigade has my warmest thanks for its services. Colonel Payne, One hundred and twenty-fourth Ohio Volunteers, and Colonel Shackelford, Sixth Kentucky Volunteers, both of whom fell early in the fight of Saturday, carried in their commands bravely and at the opportune moment. The One hundred and twenty-fourth Ohio Volunteers, though in its maiden engagement, bore itself gallantly and efficiently. Major Hampson, who commanded this regiment after the fall of its colonel, bore his part with ability and success. Colonels Wiley, Forty-first Ohio Volunteers, and Suman, Ninth Indiana Volunteers, with their regiments, are veterans of so frequent trial that it would be mockery to praise them with words. The country cannot too highly cherish these men. Colonel Wiley had his horse shot from under him. The services of Lieutenant-Colonels Kimberly, Forty-first Ohio Volunteers and Lasselle, Ninth Indiana Volunteers, were conspicuous and valuable. Lieutenant-Colonel Kimberly had two horses killed under him.
Of the noble dead, there are Lieutenant-Colonel Rockingham, Captains McGraw, Johnston, and Marker, Lieutenants Lockman and Eubanks, all of the Sixth Kentucky; Lieutenant Criswell, Nickerson, and Parksl, of the Ninth Indiana with a long list of others as brave and true, but bearing no title. Many tears are shed for them.
My staff were efficient, performing every duty assigned them with promptness and accuracy.
Captain H. W. Johnson, Forty-first Ohio, acting assistant quartermaster, was with me the entire day on Saturday, and at night brought upon the battle-field such portions of his train as were needed for the comfort of the command, taking them away before daylight the next morning.
Captain John Crowell, jr., assistant adjutant-general; my aides, Lieutenants William M. Beebe and E. B. Atwood, Forty-first Ohio; my inspector-general Captain James McCleery, Forty-first Ohio;