Colonel Raum to move by the left flank and follow the Eightieth Ohio up the road that runs along a rocky ledge perpendicular with the hill occupied by the Third Brigade. Here we met a heavy fire from a battery that the enemy had planted on a hill to our right, but reached the base of the hill without casualty. I was here ordered by Colonel Raum to form on the right of the Eightieth Ohio along a rail fence in rear of the Ninety-third Illinois, about three-fifths of the distance from the base to the top of the ridge, and await further orders.
I found General Matthies here (wounded), and conferred with him in regard to the position of his brigade. I learned the enemy was heavily posted upon our front and right, but that a portion of the Fifth Iowa was deployed to the right as skirmishers. General Matthies stated that his men were nearly out of ammunition. I saw his acting assistant adjutant-general, who told me they had ammunition sufficient to last fifteen minutes, and I immediately sent my adjutant (Lieutenant Woolsey) to Colonel Raum, who was with the reserve (Tenth Missouri and Fifty-sixth Illinois), about 200 yards in our rear, with a statement of the situation of the Third Brigade, and asking for orders.
Colonel Raum came up and ordered me to advance. By this time a large number of men had fallen back from the regiment immediately in front of the Seventeenth Iowa, breaking through its lines. When I had advanced half way up the hill, the whole right of the Third Brigade gave way and fell back through the Seventeenth Iowa and Eightieth Ohio. We had now reached the crest of the hill, and I discovered a heavy force of the enemy on my right, quite close, the left of their line coming up in our rear on a double-quick. Seeing that we were outflanked and outnumbered, I ordered my regiment to fall back, which they did, retreating down the line toward the left. Here the whole line (including a portion of the Third Brigade, which had remained on the hill) gave way and retreated in confusion across the corn-field to the next ridge. I rallied my men here, and sent to Colonel Raum to inform him of the whereabouts of my regiment. I was soon after notified by Lieutenant Nichelson (acting assistant adjutant-general, Second Brigade, Third Division, Fifteenth Army Corps) that Colonel Raum was wounded, and, being the ranking officer of the brigade, I directed Major Skeels (who had rallied the Eightieth Ohio) to form his battalion on the left of the Seventeenth Iowa.
I reported to General John E. Smith (commanding Third Division, Fifteenth Army Corps), who ordered me to form the brigade upon the ground it occupied before moving to the support of the Third Brigade. Here we bivouacked for the night.
I wish to make special mention of the gallant conduct of Adjutant Woolsey (whose coolness and efficiency upon the field are unsurpassed) and First Lieutenant George W. Deal, of Company G, to both of whom I owe many thanks for valuable assistance rendered.
Accompanying this I send list* of casualties.
CLARK R. WEVER,
Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Lieutenant M. NICHELSON,
A. A. A. G., 2nd Brig., 3rd Div., 15th Army Corps.
*Embodied in revised statement, p. 88.