War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0126 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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verely wounded in the left army early in the engagement, Captain Reeve assumed the command of this regiment, and handled these troops with great coolness and bravery, holding his position against fearful odds, until he was ordered to fall back to a new position, which he did in good order. I then formed as much of a general line as was possible with the balance of the brigade, placing the two guns of Lamberg's battery in position on the rise of ground by the old house, instructing him to throw 2 1\2 and 3 second fuse-shells over our retreating men into the woods, through which the enemy were advancing in great numbers, until our forces had passed him, then to depress his pieces and cover the open ground in front with canister; which order he obeyed as well as possible until he was forced to retire, leaving one caisson on the ground, which he was compelled to do on account of its horses being many of them killed. The remaining company of the FIFTY-fifth I formed on the right of the battery on a ridge, the FIFTY- ninth, still on their right, forming on the same ridge; my line thus formed being somewhat in the form of a scroll, conforming to the ridge on which it was formed, the left on the road and thrown back oblique with it, the center on right angles with the road, and the right thrown forward. I then ordered the balance of the FIFTY- fifth to be brought back and formed on the left. At this time the enemy came forward in great numbers, engaging my entire line, and moving forward on the road in solid column under the fire of the battery. One or two companies near the road reserved their fire until this column was within less than 100 yards, when they delivered their fire obliquely, enfilading the head of the column, doing terrible execution, and for a time checking the entire column. My line had then become closely engaged; my right was forced back and flanked, which soon caused us to fall back gradually and in good order some 200 yards, the men facing about and firing as they retired. We fought and retired in this manner for about 800 yards, forming and holding our position at every ditch, ridge, or skirt of timber of which we could take advantage, until just at sundown we were formed on high ground, with timber in our rear and an open field in front, through which the enemy were advancing. The right and center of our line, embracing most of the FIFTY- ninth Regiment, here rallied and charged, driving the enemy back with bayonets and clubbed muskets nearly 400 yards, leaving great numbers of his dead on the ground. Up to the time of making this charge Colonel Wilkin, of the Ninth Minnesota, had conformed somewhat to our movements on our left, but, as well as I could judge, his men retreated about the time my right charged. It now being quite dark, my left cut off, flanked and broken, my right flanked by great numbers and in danger of being entirely surrounded, my remaining forces retreated in good order, nine companies of the FIFTY- ninth Regiment preserving their company organization. At the time of retreating, being on the extreme right with a few skirmishers endeavoring to keep the enemy on our flank from closing in our rear as my column moved out, I was left entirely cut off and surrounded by several hundred of the enemy. My men, gathering around me, fought with terrible desperation. Some of them, having broken up their guns in hand- to- hand conflict, unyielding, died at my feet, without a thing in their hands for defense. I escaped from this unpleasant position about 9 p. m., and by making a large circuit through the woods joined the retreating column on the Ripley road about 11 p. m.

My men being in rear of the column were attacked at early dawn on the morning of June 11, some five miles from Ripley, where they formed