promptly followed us with picks and spades, strengthening the line of rifle-pits facing the east just abandoned by the enemy. In a few moments, under the direction of General Giles A. Smith, I half wheeled the right wing of the regiment and advanced it to the line of works being constructed by the pioneers, Lieutenant-Colonel Mott brought up the left wing and formed a continuation of the line to the left. Scarcely had the regiment got into position, when our skirmishers were driven back by overwhelming numbers. Immediately the right wing occupied the slight works constructed, the pioneers retiring, and now commences to us the most critical and eventful portion of the fight. The sun was just setting; onward, and with a determination unequaled, came the enemy, caring us in three lines of battle, of Loring's division, with shouts and yells. Six or seven stand of colors were seen, and as many regiments were confronting us. We had just experienced the wild feeling of the assailing party; now breathless we stood awaiting the coming storm. Captain John W. Underwood skillfully conducted his skirmishers to the rear and placed them in their proper position, until which time the fire of the regiment was held, when, by command, the rear rank raised and delivered a most effective volley; this was followed by a volley from the front rank, and so on alternately, until the attacking force was hurled back. The enemy approached to within thirty or forty yards of our position. It was now growing dark, but nothing daunted by his failure, the enemy formed and charged again, and also a third time, only, however, to meet the fate of his first approach. A portion of the One hundred and sixteenth Illinois, fifty or sixty in number, was formed to the rear of our rear rank and did good execution. The One hundred and twenty-seventh Illinois on the hill to our right, delivered a left oblique with telling effect. My entire command was cool and collected and seemed determined to repel the foe of die at their posts. During the action General Smith sent five companies [of the] Thirty-fifth New Jersey Volunteers to our support, but there being no break in the line their services were not needed and were not used. The fighting closed about 8.30 p. m., when a beautiful moon shone brightly on the terrible scene of death, and the deep groans of the wounded and dying made us realize the horrors of war.
Immediately after the battle the pioneer corps, whose services I now wish to mention, and whose work on doubt saved many casualties in the regiment, with the assistance of heavy details from my regiment, under command of First Lieutenant R. W. Smith, went to intrenching, and before morning strong works were constructed, behind which we could have defied the enemy. The loss of the enemy must have been heavy. During the night most of his dead and wounded were taken away. In the morning blood, clothing, &c., told how terrible had been the slaughter. Companies E and K were advanced cautiously a short distance, under the command of Captain A. J. Sennett and Lieutenant S. H. Carey.
On Sunday, May 15, 1864, we were in line of battle at 3 a. m. At daylight, by order of Brigadier General G. A. Smith, [the skirmishers] were advanced, but the whiz of bullets showed that the enemy was near. We remained in position behind our works, and all day long we lay in the trenches, with a heavy picket firing in front, with nothing to break the monotony save the rumor that a charge was expected from the rebels. After dark Companies B and G, under command of Lieutenant Doncyson, relieved Companies E and K on the picket-line. At 11 p. m. a heavy attack was made on the left, which brought us in line of battle, but which proved only a cover for the retreat of the enemy.
at 3 a. m. of the 16th of May, 1864, a bright light toward the town attracted our attention, and soon a crash told us that the railroad bridge was burned. At daylight our skirmishers advanced to the Oostenaula River, but found on force this side. Our brigade and regiment now advanced, under direction of Brigadier General G. A. Smith, to the rebel works at the town of Resaca, and the colors of the Fifty-seventh Ohio were the first to be placed upon the strong works, just abandoned by the enemy. A few prisoners fell into our hands, who were sent to the rear.
And thus ends our part of the telling and important battle of Resaca, planned and fought with that skill and ability so eminently characteristic of our commanding general and his subordinate generals over us, but we have to grieve the loss of many of our best officers and men, which always seems to be the case.
The action of officers and men was all that could be desired, and I hereby openly and gratefully give them the praise their noble bearing and conduct deserves. For the individual services of Lieutenant-Colonel Mott, for his sound judgment under fire, and for his brave and intrepid action, I must acknowledge myself largely indebted. Also to my adjutant, William M. Newell, who is ever prompt and efficient, and to Lieutenants E. A. Gordon and John D. Marshall, for carrying orders and for valuable assistance on the afternoon and night of the 14th, am largely indebted. The line officers did their whole duty, and the non-combatants in ministering to the wounded discharged their duties well.