the Tennessee River. Their forces were massed and hurled upon us for the purpose of terminating at once this great and bloody battle. But the stout hearts of the handful of men who stood before them as a wall of fire quailed not. They understood our perilous position and held their ground, determined to perish rather than yield it. Never had a commander such just cause for congratulation over the action of his troops.
The ammunition which was brought in our train to this part of the field was divided with Generals Brannan's and Wood's divisions early in the afternoon, and we soon exhausted the remainder. All that we could then procure was taken from the cartridge boxes of our own and the enemy's dead and wounded. Even this supply was exhausted before the battle was over, and while the enemy was still in our front, hurling fresh troops against us. It was almost dark; the enemy had been driven back, but we had not a round of ammunition left. All now seemed to be lost if he should return to the contest. Anticipating another attack, I ordered the command to be given to the men to stand firm, and to use the cold steel. After an ominous silence of a few minutes, the enemy came rushing upon us again. With fixed bayonets our troops gallantly charged them and drove them back in confusion. Twice more were these charges repeated and the enemy driven back before darkness brought an end to the battle. Night came, and the enemy fell back whipped and discomfited.
At 3 p.m. Brigadier-General Garfield, chief of staff, appeared upon that part of the field where my troops were then hotly engaged with the enemy. He remained with us until dark, animating and cheering both officers and men.
Although they were not under my command, I cannot refrain from herein noticing the troops that held the Horseshoe Ridge, and from testifying to their heroic bravery and unflinching steadiness under the heaviest fire. Their commanders, Generals Brannan and Wood and Colonel Harker, behaved with unqualified bravery and gallantry.
At 7 p.m. I received instructions from Major-General Thomas to withdraw my troops from the position they held at dark, to march back to Rossville and to cover the rear of the forces falling back upon that place with McCook's brigade. These instructions were promptly carried out, and I went into camp that night in accordance therewith. My two brigades numbered 216 commissioned officers and 3,697 men when they went into this action. Between the hours of 1 p.m. and dark there were killed, wounded, and missing 109 commissioned officers and 1,623 men, a total of 1,732.
These losses are subdivided as follows:
Killed, 235; wounded, 936; missing [all of whom, with the exception of a very small fraction, were taken prisoners], 561.
Herewith is filed a tabular statement showing the strength of each regiment as they went into battle on the 20th instant, and the casualties in the same.
Among the gallant dead who fell upon the field of battle was Captain William C. Russell, my asssistant adjutant-general. He fell with his face to the enemy, in the thickest of the battle, while discharging an important duty. His loss is severely felt. Through his sterling qualities of heart and head he became the idol of his corps. All who knew him now lament the loss of an accomplished soldier and sincere gentleman.