War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0169 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION INTO MISSISSIPPI.

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Question. Did you halt after that before going into battle?

Answer. We halted once about 100 yards this side of the cross-roads for the men to examine their piece and load. We halted about five minutes at that time. The men were very much exhausted. One officer of my regiment was sunstruck while standing there, and from the remarks of my officers at least forty men must have fallen out from exhaustion before reaching there. At the time we were ordered forward Captain Buckland, of Colonel McMillen's staff, ordered me to move forward at a double-quick, as our advance had been attacked by the enemy and their left had been turned. I ordered our men to take a long, quick step in order to keep up with the regiment next in advance. To do this the left of my regiment was obliged to move at a double-quick.

Question. State the orders you received and what occurred after that?

Answer. I followed the One hundred and fourteenth Illinois up the cross-roads, but did not receive any orders till reaching there, when Colonel McMillen met me and assigned my regiment to a position directly on the right of the Guntown road, my left resting on the road about 300 yards in advance of the cross-roads. I occupied the extreme right of the infantry line. I relieved the THIRD Iowa Cavalry. Colonel Noble, of the THIRD Iowa, remarked as he passed out that he had received no fire there at all, but that I would have a hot time of it pretty soon. We threw out three companies of skirmishers, two forward and one to the right. In a few minutes my company of skirmishers on the left was pressed so hard that they fell back to the line. I then discovered that the enemy were working around to my left. I sent my adjutant to observe the distance between me and the One hundred and fourteenth Illinois. He reported it to be 150 yards. About fifteen minutes after getting into position I discovered the enemy advancing in solid line directly upon me, overlapping my line considerably at each end, and driving back my skirmishers and partly turning my right. First I was in doubt as to whether they were the enemy or not, from hearing my lieutenant-colonel order the men not to fire as they were our own men, and because the majority of them wore blue coats and pants. My first impression was that they were some of our own cavalry, and in consequence they had opened fire and given us a volley before I knew who they were. My lieutenant-colonel was mortally wounded and my adjutant killed at this time, and my other losses were heavy. I immediately opened fire and drove the enemy back a little, but they were turning my right and left flanks so that I was obliged to retire, each wing forming a convex line. I then fell back in line fighting for FIFTY yards, and reformed my line. I charged on the enemy, and they drove me back. I fell back gradually to the cross-roads, fighting all the while, and having to reform my line eleven times, as the enemy, having a longer line, was continually turning both my flanks. At the cross-roads the Ninth Minnesota came to my assistance on my right, and together we drove the enemy back till I had regained my original position. The enemy then fell back and I saw nothing of them in my front for a few minutes. I staid there a quarter of an hour, resting my men. I was then ordered back, I should say, at about 4 o'clock, to take a position on the left and rear of the Second Brigade, on the left of the main road about a quarter of a mile back from the cross-roads. I was then attacked in force, and was ordered to fall back to the rear of the fence at the road. At this time the Ninety-fifth Ohio was there; also a detachment of the Tenth Missouri Cavalry, dismounted. While we were in that position we were attacked and drove them back. At this time Adjutant Abel, of Colonel McMillen's staff, ordered me to fall back in as good order as possible, the enemy then coming in on our rear from the right. The road approaching Brice's Cross-Roads bears nearly to the east until it crosses the creek, and just beyond it turns toward the south, so that the enemy threatened to cut off our retreat by coming in on our right. I retired across the field and over the bottom, across the inside of the angle made by the road (it was about three- quarters of a mile), till I struck the road again on a little ridge this side of the creek, where I found a colored regiment in position.

The Board adjourned at 6 p. m. to meet at 2 p. m. to-morrow.

MEMPHIS, TENN., July 8, 1864--2 p. m.

The Board met pursuant to adjournment.

Present, the members of the Board and the recorder.

Examination of Colonel D. C. Thomas continued.