this line, were in position about 300 yards from the -house. About 11 a.m. the command "forward, guide right," was given, when the regiment moved steadily forward, conforming to the right until within 200 yards of the -house, when we received the order to halt. Here we received the first fire from the enemy in silence. In a short time the command "forward" was given again, when the regiments advanced steadily and rapidly forward, driving the enemy before them and gaining the summit of a hill about half a mile beyond the-house, from the possession of which the enemy were handsomely beaten. Here the line halted, when the command "move by the right flank," passed along the line, the men obeying before the officers had time to attend to its proper execution. During the execution of this movement and while gallantly supervising it the gallant Colonel R. P. McKelvaine received a severe, and perhaps a mortal, wound in the left shoulder, and the enemy charging at the same time created a temporary confusion in the line, causing it to retire some fifty or sixty yards, when it was speedily re-established and repulsed and checked the advance of the enemy. While thus engaged in a sharp contest the order passed down the line from the right to fall back, which we did to the -house, when the lie was reformed.
Up to this point I have been compelled to report from the statements of company officers, as I, in command of a picket detail, which had only been relieved from the line on the right of the army at 10 a.m., had not reached the field until this moment, when I assumed command of the regiments. The command "forward" was again given, and the regiments obeyed with alacrity, moving forward in good order until within about sixty yards of the summit of the hill we had previously taken from the enemy, when we again engaged them. In about half an hour the order was given to fall back to the Lick Skillet road, which was done in comparative good order and the line there re-established, where we remained about half an hour, when we were moved to the right and occupied the remainder of the evening in intrenching.
From the time I took command of the regiments officers and men did their duty well; especially the officers, who displayed great coolness and energy in conduction their men. Where all did so well distinction would be invidious, but among the private soldiers I take pleasure in bringing to your notice the case of Eddie Evans, of Company L, Twenty-fourth Mississippi Regiment, a mere boy, who, when the color-bearer was wounded, asked to be permitted to carry the colors, and afterward bore them with such conspicuous coolness and gallantry as to elicit the admiration of all. At one time he took his stand in advance of the line without any protection in an open field, distant from the enemy's line not more than fifty yards, waving his colors defiantly, and called upon his comrades to rally to the flag.
The loss of the two regiments was 11 killed, 67 wounded and missing, out of an aggregate of about 430 with which we went into battle.
I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. LYLES,
Liuet. Colonel, Commanding 24th and 27th Mississippi Regiments.
Captain J. C. HARRISON,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.