engaged. Bolton's battery on our rear and left fired vigorously, passing their shells over us, while the enemy answered shot for shot. For about three hours the regiment remained under this galling fire, showing no disposition on the part of officers or men to swerve a hair, while numbers of the men on the skirmish line and in the line of battle where killed and wounded. At about this time we were ordered by Colonel Dornblaser to fall back toward the main column, as we (greatly outnumbered by the enemy) were only fighting to preserve the train. The train now having passed the most critical point, we must cover the rear. The regiment fell back, under a withering fire, steadily and without panic (while our ranks were torn with shells) till the belt of timber was passed, spoken of in the advance of the 5th. Upon the opposite, or Clinton side, of this the regiment was again formed and marched steadily back, moving by the right flank till the open field was passed and the timber beyond gained. Here we were again subjected to severe shelling, some shots telling fearfully in our ranks. The enemy now pushed us closely, seemingly determined upon the possession of our train. The regiment was again formed in line of battle, marching in retreat. After so moving for about one mile the enemy made a charge on the rear. The Eleventh Illinois Infantry and one section of Bolton's battery were at this time in the rear, this regiment some 300 yards in advance. The charge was a desperate one, and made with a boldness and determination worthy of men engaged in the prosecution of a better cause. The regiment immediately about-faces and marched to the support of the Eleventh Illinois, arriving in time to assist in inflicting upon the enemy the severest punishment of the day. By the help of Bolton's battery and the Eleventh Illinois we were enabled to hurl from their saddles scores of rebels, and scatter in dismay the whole force who had attacked us with such intrepidity and assurance. Satisfied with this signal defeat, no other attack of consequence was made upon us. The regiment now, having relieved the Eleventh Illinois as rear guard, moved steadily back in line of battle, Company F deployed as skirmishers, till Clinton was reached, when a rest was called of something like and hour, when it again moved forward as rear guard, Company E bringing up the rear as skirmishers.
Never did men undergo greater fatigue or remain firmer under the most withering fire than the men of my command, and I wish here to state that though the regiment contains a great many recruits, I was unable to perceive the slightest difference in point of bravery and endurance between the veterans and recruits. I know of no instance among officers or men of anything like the shirking of duty.
Where all did so well it would perhaps be unjust in me to name any person in particular as especially deserving of praise, yet I cannot close this report without special mention of Asst. Surgs. Benjamin H. Bradshaw and J. N. De Witt, who, ever up with the line of battle, discharged their every duty. I would also state that every line officer fearlessly discharged his full duty.
Herewith is a report of the killed, wounded, and missing of my command. *
JOHN J. JONES,
Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Forty-sixth Illinois Volunteers.
Lieutenant H. H. WOODBURY,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, 2nd Brigadier, 4th Div., 17th Army Corps.
*Embodied in DIVISION table, p. 243.