breastworks, although much annoyed by the enemy's sharpshooters from the cliffs above. Our situation was rendered the more unpleasant by a cold, drizzling rain, and by a dense fog which settled down, shrouding surrounding objects from view.
At about 3 p.m. I received orders from Colonel Grose to relieve the Fifty-first Ohio, of General Whitaker's brigade, then engaged with the enemy about 300 yards in front. Supported by the Ninth Indiana on the right, my regiment moved splendidly and rapidly forward in line of battle over ground that was so steep, rocky, and covered with undergrowth and fallen trees that the men had great difficulty in preserving their footholds, but, regardless of these obstructions, they pushed boldly forward, clambering over rocks and fallen trees, amidst a perfect tempest of musket balls, and took position in a ravine held by the Fifty-first Ohio, which retired as soon as my regiment got into position and had opened fire on the enemy, who were posted behind rocks about 30 yards in advance of my line. For over three hours my men held their position in this ravine, firing steadily except at intervals, when I caused firing to cease for fear of exhausting my ammunition. During these intervals the enemy would increase their fire and advance their line toward us, when our fire would recommence along the whole line, forcing the enemy to hastily fly to the shelter of the rocks. It becoming nearly dark, and my ammunition being nearly exhausted, I sent a messenger to Colonel Grose informing him of that fact. He returned answer that I would be relieved very soon. At this juncture word was brought me that the Ninth Indiana, who had been fighting on my right, had fallen back, thus exposing my right flank to an enfilading fire. I immediately sent word to Lieutenant Gooding, commanding my right company, to have his men protect themselves as well as possible behind the rocks and trees, but on no account to fall back until ordered. At about 6.30 p.m., and just as the ammunition of my men was exhausted, the Twenty-fourth Ohio marched in to relieve me and took the places of my men, whom I caused to march out by the left flank into the road and back to brigade headquarters, where I reported to Colonel Grose, by whose direction I moved a short distance in rear of my former position and bivouacked for the night.
Nothing could exceed the coolness and steadiness of the officers and men on this occasion. Each man went in with 80 rounds of ammunition, all of which was expended against the enemy, and whenever a man was wounded and disabled I caused their remaining cartridges to be distributed among the men.
At about 7 p.m. I sent a detail of 28 men and 3 non-commissioned officers, in charge of Lieutenant Sanderson, down the mountain with instructions to go to the ordnance train and have a wagon-load of ammunition brought up the mountain, if possible. About 10 p.m. a portion of the detail returned, bringing loads of cartridges slung in blankets on the shoulders of the men, with a message from Lieutenant Sanderson that it was impossible to get the wagon up the mountain owing to the bad condition and steepness of the road, and requested that I would send more men with blankets to carry the ammunition up. I accordingly sent Company C, commanded by Lieutenant Henderson, with blankets and shelter tents, and by 3 o'clock on the following morning 15,000 rounds were carried in this manner up the mountain a distance of 2 miles and issued to the regiment.