Thirtieth Iowa Infantry, Lieutenant Colonel A. Roberts commanding about 300 strong; Twenty-seventh Missouri Infantry, Colonel T. Curly commanding, about 500 strong.
On the morning of the 27th of May 1864, pursuant to orders of Brigadier-General Osterhaus, I conducted two of my regiments, the Thirtieth Iowa Volunteers and the Twenty-seventh Missouri Volunteers (the brigade being then in reserve), through the woods to the left of the Villa Rica road, about half a mile to the south of Dallas, for the purpose of relieving some regiments of the Second Brigade, who had earlier in the morning been engaged with the enemy. I posted these regiments (the Thirtieth Iowa on the right) well to the front on the westerly slope of a hill and across a ravine, connecting on my right with a regiment of General Giles A. Smith's brigade, of the Second Division, and on the left with a regiment (Twelfth Missouri) of the Third Brigade of this division. As soon as this disposition was made, and the line was covered with skirmishers, I brought up my two other regiments and placed them in a second line, about seventy-five yards in rear of the first. During the forenoon, by my direction, the two front regiments commenced to intrench, and by night and constructed rifle-pits, which formed a good defense. During all the day and most of the night the skirmishers in my front kept up a lively fire with those of the enemy.
Early in the morning of the 28th of May I sent the Seventy-sixth Ohio Volunteers to relieve the Twenty-seventh Missouri and Thirtieth Iowa Volunteers in front, these two regiments retiring and making part or the second line. The skirmishing was heavy in my front during the forenoon, and until about 4 p.m. During the day the intrenchments were much strengthened and the timber immediately in front cut down. At about 3.30 p.m. the extreme right of our whole line, under General Harrow, having been fiercely attacked, necessitating its re-enforcement by the Second Brigade of this division, which moved rapidly to the right, under the direction of Brigadier-General Osterhaus in person; at his request I took command of the two remaining brigades. Very soon afterward, at about 4 p.m. the enemy advanced in force to attack in front of these two brigades and to the right and left. The skirmishers were hurriedly driven in their view of the approaching enemy being much shut out by the broken nature of the ground in front. As soon as the skirmishers, or such as were able, had rejoined their regiments, and the enemy had appeared in view, a general discharge of fire-arms from the rifle-pits commenced. The enemy's line soon wavered, rallied, wavered and then disappeared, leaving their dead
and severely wounded behind. So hasty was their retreat that some of the skirmishers of the Third Brigade, who were taken prisoners on their advance, were overlooked, and thus escaped. The nearest approach to any part of the line occupied by the First and Third Brigades was in that part of the Third Brigade held by the Third Missouri Volunteers, a few of the enemy advanced to within about twenty yards of the rifle-pits. The ground in front of that regiment was more favorable for their advance. A rebel color bearer was there shot down. During this charge four Napoleon guns of the Fourth Ohio Battery, Captain George Froehlich commanding, which were in position about the center of the lines of the two brigades, were notably and gallantly served, pouring an almost continuous fire into the
10 R R-VOL XXXVIII, PT III