About two o'clock, hearing heavy firing on the right of the line, and learning that the high ground in that direction was being held by General Brannan with a part of our division, I moved cautiously through the woods, and at half-past 2 P. M. reported my brigade to him for duty. We were immediately placed in the front, relieving his troops, when almost exhausted. The position was well selected, and one capable of being defended against a heavy force, the line being the crest of a hill, for the possession of which the enemy made desperate and renewed efforts. From this time until dark we were hotly engaged. The ammunition failing, and no supply at hand, except a small quantity furnished by Major-General Gordon Granger, our men gathered their cartridges from the boxes of the dead, wounded, and prisoners, and finally fixed bayonets, determined to hold the position. Here, again, the Ninth Ohio made a gallant charge down the hill into the midst of the enemy, scattering them like chaff, and then returned to their position on the hill. For an hour and a half before dusk the attack was one of unexampled fury — line after line of fresh troops being hurled against our position with a heroism and persistency which almost dignified their cause. At length night ended the struggle, and the enemy, having suffered a terrible loss, retired from our immediate front. During the latter part of the day the position directly on our right had been held by the division of Brigadier-General Steedman, but which, early in the evening, had been withdrawn without our knowledge, thus leaving our flank exposed. From the silence at that point, Brigadier-General Brannan suspected all might not be right, and ordered me to place the Thirty-fifth Ohio across that flank, to prevent a surprise. This had scarcely been done before a rebel force appeared in the gloom, directly in their front. A mounted officer rode to within a few paces of the Thirty-fifth and asked: “What regiment is that?” To this some one replied: “The Thirty-fifth Ohio.” The officer turned suddenly and attempted to run away, but our regiment delivered a volley that brought horse and rider to the ground, and put the force to flight. Prisoners said this officer was the rebel General Gregg. At seven o'clock P. M. an order came from Major-General Thomas that the forces under General Brannan should move quietly to Rossville. This was carried into execution under the direction of Captain Cilley, of my staff, in excellent order. During the whole of the two days fighting, my brigade kept well together, at all times obeying orders promptly, and moving with almost as much regularity and precision as if on drill. They were subject to a very severe test on the nineteenth, when, being actively engaged with the enemy, another brigade (not of our division) ran, panic-stricken, through and over us, some of the officers of which shouted to our men to retreat, or they certainly would be overwhelmed; but not a man left the ranks, and the approaching enemy found before him a wall of steel. Private Savage, of Smith's battery, struck one of the retreating officers with his sponge, and damned him for running against his gun. Our loss in the engagement of both days amounts to thirteen officers and one hundred and thirty-two men killed, and twenty-five officers and five hundred and eighty-one men wounded, and fifty-one missing--the total loss being eight hundred and two men and officers. Doubtless many of those enumerated among the missing will be found either wounded or killed. There was no straggling, and I have little doubt those not wounded or killed will be found prisoners in the hands of the enemy. It is a noticeable fact that the Second-Minnesota had not a single man among the missing, or a straggler, during the two days engagement. I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of my officers and men. Without exception they performed all that was required — much more than should have been expected. When all did so well, it seems almost unjust to make distinctions; more gallantry and indomitable courage were never displayed upon the field of battle. The attention of the General commanding the division is particularly called to the conduct of Colonel James George, commanding Second Minnesota; Colonel Gustavus Kemmerling, Ninth Ohio; Colonel N. Gleason, Eighty-seventh Indiana; Lieutenant-Colonel H. V. N. Boynton, commanding Thirty-fifth Ohio, and Lieutenant F. G. Smith, commanding battery I, Fourth artillery. These officers performed every duty required of them, with coolness and promptness, and by their energy and gallantry, contributed much to the favorable result which attended every collision with the enemy. Such officers are a credit to the service and our country. Smith's battery rendered great help in the action of the nineteenth, and was ably and gallantly served, Lieutenant Rodney being conspicuous in the management of his section. Captain Church, of the First brigade, with one section of his battery, fought well, and is entitled to credit for the assistance he rendered me on the nineteenth. I cannot refrain from alluding to the reckless courage and dash of Adjutant Harris, Ninth Ohio. My staff upon the field consisted of Captain J. R. Beatty, Second Minnesota, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General; Captains Oliver H. Paschall, of the Thirty-fifth Ohio, and B. E. Throsseau, Ninth Ohio, Acting Aids; Captain C. A. Cilley, Second Minnesota, Brigade Topographical Engineer, and First Lieutenant A. E. Alden, Second Minnesota, Brigade Inspector. For efficiency, personal courage, and energy, their conduct deserves more than praise. They exposed themselves, upon all occasions, watching the movements of the enemy, carrying orders, rallying the men, and by every means in their power contributing to the success of the brigade. Captain
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