War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0286 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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and Thirty-second Iowa. I immediately ordered the regiment on the left to change front to the rear, cautioning the others to be prepared for the same movement, and threw out a heavy line of skirmishers, extending from the flank entirely to the rear of my line and the train. About 7 a. m. I was ordered by Colonel Moore, commanding THIRD DIVISION, to send forward two regiments of my command to support the right of his DIVISION, then heavily pressed by the enemy. I immediately sent forward the Twenty-fourth Missouri and Twenty-seventh Iowa, under command of Major Fyan of the Twenty- fourth Missouri. About 8 a. m. I was ordered by General Smith to move the residue of my command across the Tupelo road and form line upon the right flank of the Eleventh Missouri, which was promptly executed under quite a severe artillery fire from the enemy. This position was held until 12 m., when I was ordered to move across the field and hold my command in support of the left of the front line. At 5. 30 p. m. a column of the enemy was reported advancing upon our left, and I was ordered to deploy my brigade upon the extreme left of the front line. I immediately executed this order, occupying an excellent position just behind the crest of a high hill, which commanded the whole field; I threw out a line of skirmishers upon the next hill in advance. Just after sunset, no enemy appearing, I was ordered to leave a heavy picket and withdraw the main line into camp half a mile to the rear. About 9 o'clock in the evening my pickets commenced skirmishing with the enemy. Without awaiting orders, I immediately ordered the command under arms, and rode out to ascertain the strength of the attack. Finding the pickets were driven in and that a heavy column of the enemy were advancing to force our position on the line, I ordered up my command in quick time, deployed under a severe musketry fire from the enemy, marched rapidly forward, driving the enemy, and occupied our original position upon the left of the advanced line. This position was held during the night without further attack.

On the morning of the 15th my command was withdrawn and ordered to take up the line of march on the Ripley road.

The officers and men throughout the entire command conducted themselves in a highly creditable manner. I desire especially to mention the excellent service of the THIRD Indiana Battery. Lieutenant Burns with his command, consisting of four guns (two 12- pounder Napoleons and two 6-pounder James rifled), was posted in front of the First Brigade, THIRD DIVISION. About 6 o'clock in the morning, when the enemy first appeared in heavy force, the battery shelled them with much effect. Soon afterward one gun, a 6-pounder James rifled, under charge of Lieutenant Philip McPherson, was ordered into position upon the right of the First Brigade. The enemy now advanced in strong force and charged our lines in that part of the field, when all four pieces from the battery opened upon them with great rapidity, and, as the field proves, with telling effect. Lieutenant McPherson was seriously wounded whilst performing his duty at his post. Lieutenant Burns, commanding the battery, cannot receive too much praise for his good conduct on the field.

Appended is the list of casualties. *

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

JAMES I. GILBERT,

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Lieutenant JAMES B. COMSTOCK,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, THIRD DIVISION, SIXTEENTH Army Corps.

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* Nominal list (omitted) shows 1 killed and 29 wounded.

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