S. Colored Infantry still to the right of the battery. After waiting in this position a few minutes, and the enemy not approaching, the Sixty-first U. s. Colored Infantry and one section of the battery were withdrawn, and I was ordered to support the remaining section of the artillery, under Captain Smith. To this end I placed two companies to the left, under Captain H. Fox, and three companies on the right, under Captain N. R. Smock., holding the remainder of the regiment in reserve. By the cloud of rising dust it was evident the enemy was advancing in force. Captain Smith opened on them with his battery, but with what effect I could not tell. The enemy was coming up on both flanks when I sent two companies, under Captain M. M. Covan, about 120 yards to our right and one company, under Lieutenant Jacob Schwartz, the same distance to the left of the road. The rear of our column being now some distance in advance Captain Smith withdrew his battery, and I was ordered to retire with my regiment, leaving a strong skirmish line to protect the rear. I then ordered Captain H. Fox to deploy Companies B and H as skirmishers, and sent orders to the other companies to fall back and join the regiment in a wood a short distance in the rear. But before the movement began the enemy fired on us, which we returned with considerable effect, checking the advancing column after a few minutes' sharp fighting. My entire command fell back in good order, without further interruption, except from a few shells which passed over or fell around us without effect. Several times during the day I was ordered into position for attack, but each time was ordered to retire before the enemy came in reach of our rifles. The march was continued until 9 p. m., when we reached Harrisburg and encamped for the night.
Early the next morning I was ordered to take a position in the edge of an open field south of town, on a slight elevation, with a thick growth of timber in front. This position I held without serious opposition until dark, when was ordered to retire with my regiment about 300 yards to the edge of the timber to camp, which I did, leaving my picket-line to occupy the old of battle. About 10 p. m. it became evident my picket-line was being driven in, and I was ordered to move forward and occupy my old line, which I did after little fight. This position I held until 8 a. m. next morning, when was ordered to retire to wagon train. After resting here a few minutes the wagon train commenced moving out on the Ellistown road, and I was ordered to distribute my command through the train, one company to twenty wagons. We marched in this order to Old Town Creek, where we camped for the night.
Early the next morning we resumed the march, taking the road to New Albany. The return march had now fairly begun, which was continued by way Of New Albany and Salem. reaching La Grange, Tenn., on the 20th instant, where we remained until the evening of the 22d, when we embarked on railroad train for this place, which we reached about 1 a. m. the 23rd of July.
The following is a correct list of casualties: *
All officers and soldiers of my command behaved with great gallantry on every occasion of meeting the enemy.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES C. FOSTER,
Major FIFTY-Ninth U. S. Colored Infantry, Commanding Regiment.
Lieutenant A. F. AVERY,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, First Brigade, U. S. Colored Troops.
* Nominal list (omitted) shows 1 enlisted man killed, 10 enlisted men wounded, and 3 enlisted men missing.