from picket duty at a late hour in the evening, and came to our support after a rapid march of four miles, arriving just before night.
The conduct of my brigade from the beginning to the end of the engagement was highly commendable and praiseworthy. Both officers coolness and courage. Both the advance and the charge were made over very rough ground with great alacrity upon what appeared to be an intrenched position of the enemy in heavy force, under a well-directed fire from his batteries as well as small-arms.
I append hereto a list of casualties, showing a total loss of 616 killed, wounded, and missing, out of an effective total of 1,430 carried into the fight. Two hundred of the 1,430 were on picket duty on another part of the line, and did not reach the battle-field until a late hour in the evening. A loss of 616, therefore, really occurred in an effective total of 1,230, the number first carried into the fight.
I regret to state that many of my most excelled field and company officers are embraced in the list of killed and wounded. Colonel J. L. Drake, the only field officer with the Thirty-third Mississippi Regiment, a gallant and excellent officer, fell beyond the enemy's first line of works, leading his regiment in the charge and displaying the highest qualities of the true soldier. Colonel T. A. Mellon, Third Mississippi, and Major M. A. Oatis, Twenty-second Mississippi Regiments, were both severely wounded after gallantly leading their respective commands to the enemy's first line of works. They will be unfit for duty for some months. Lieutenant Colonel J. W. Drane, commanding Thirty-first Mississippi Regiment (Colonel M. D. L. Stephens being absent sick), was severely wounded while leading the charge, and will be disabled for some time. Major F. M. Gillepsie, Thirty-first Mississippi Regiment, fell leading his regiment in the charge near the enemy's works. In his fall his regiment is deprived of a gallant officer and his country has lost a true patriot. Lieutenant Colonel George P. Wallace, commanding Fortieth Mississippi Regiment (Colonel W. B. Colbert being absent sick), was also severely wounded, losing an arm, and Major W. McD. Gibbens, of the same regiment, a most efficient and excellent officer, was killed in the full discharge of his duty. These officers have all set an example of which their commands may well be proud.
I regret to state that so many valuable and excellent company officers have fallen that their names cannot be mentioned in this connection without rendering this report too voluminous. Their names and deeds of noble daring will not be overlooked, however, by the truthful historian, nor will they be forgotten by their comrades ins arms and a grateful country.
Owing to the absence of every regimental commander (either killed or wounded), with one solitary exception, it is impossible to do justice to the command in this report, and to mention the many instances of individual daring which should receive special notice. Some few, however, have been brought to my knowledge without the official reports of the regimental commanders. Adjt. W. J. Van. de Graff, of the Thirty-first Mississippi Regiment, a gallant and accomplished officer, a young man of promise and great moral worth, seized the colors of his regiment and bore them to the front after two or three color bearers had been shot down, and following their example shared their fate. He fell with the colors in his hand. Adjt. C. V. H. Davis, Twenty-second Mississippi Regiment, a gallant and excellent officer, and a young man of ability and promise,