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[151] no reenforcements were within reach, and Gen. McClernand having left me to my discretion if I found my position untenable, and seeing that the enemy steadily advanced on my right flank, and was speedily gaining my rear, many of the corps having exhausted their ammunition, I gave orders to move the whole brigade to the rear up the road, with a view of forming a new line of battle. Before this order was given, all our troops on the right of my brigade had fallen back, except the Thirty-first Illinois, Col. John A. Logan, who occupied the left of Col. Oglesby's brigade. Immediately adjoining the Thirty-first, and on the right of my line, was the Eleventh Illinois, Lieut.-Col. T. E. G. Ransom commanding. When the order to retire was given, it failed to reach Lieut.-Col. Ransom, who, with the Eleventh regiment, was gallantly supporting the Thirty-first against a fierce onslaught on their right. Rapidly as the gaps were opened in the ranks of the enemy, they were as promptly closed to the right, and the shortway point alone showed the destructiveness of that fire. Soon the Thirty-first, their ammunition having failed, retired, and the Eleventh took their place, changing front to the rear under a most galling fire with all the coolness and precision of veterans.

In the mean time the order to retire was being executed in good order by the other regiments of the brigade. The character of the ground rendered it impossible for me to see the whole line at once. When the Eleventh changed their front, they were exposed to a fire in front and on both flanks, and the enemy's cavalry charging upon their flank, they were thrown into some confusion and retired, but steadily and in comparatively good order. After falling back some half a mile, I halted the brigade, and as rapidly as possible procured a supply of ammunition, and formed a second line of battle. At this point Col. Ross, of the Nineteenth Illinois, arrived on the field and took command of the Seventeenth and Forty-ninth regiments, and we were reenforced by some troops of Gen. Lew. Wallace's division, and with their aid, and with the assistance of Taylor's battery and some pieces of Dresser's and Willard's batteries, the advance of the enemy was checked, and he was driven within his intrenchments, leaving a large number of his dead and wounded on the field.

At night my brigade was withdrawn to a hill between the valleys, so as to be within easy supporting distance of either wing, where I rested until morning. With the morning of the sixteenth came the news that the enemy had surrendered. The whole brigade was instantly formed, and marched down the valley into the centre of the enemy's works, where we hoisted the Union flag upon the inner intrenchment of the field, and fired a Federal salute from Taylor's battery. Dickey's cavalry were so disposed as to cover all the approaches, and prevent the escape of prisoners, and rendered very effective service in securing and bringing in prisoners during the day.

Would that my task could end here with the record of the endurance, bravery and heroism of our troops, crowned as it was with such signal success. The loss of my brigade has been heavy, as the annexed list of killed, wounded, and missing, will show. The right of my line was more heavily engaged on the fifteenth than any other portion, though all were under heavy fire for hours. The Eleventh regiment was posted on the right of my line, and suffered more than any other regiment, having sixty killed on the field. The Twentieth regiment, which stood next to the Eleventh, was the next heaviest sufferer, having eighteen killed on the field. The Forty-eighth, Forty-fifth, Forty-ninth, and Seventeenth, each suffered a considerable loss on the fifteenth, in addition to the loss in the operation of the thirteenth. Lieut.-Col. Wm. Erwin, of the Twentieth regiment, while nobly animating his men, and adding new laurels to those he so nobly won at Buena Vista, was struck down by cannon-shot from the enemy's battery. Lieut.-Col. Thos. H. Smith, Forty-eighth Illinois, had distinguished himself in the gallant attack of the thirteenth, he being in command of his regiment on that occasion, Col. Hayne, as senior Colonel, being in command of the whole force detached on that service. Early in the engagement of the fifteenth, Lieut.-Col. Smith, while leading his men up the hill to meet the enemy, received a mortal wound, of which he died in about one hour. Lieut.-Col. Ransom, commanding the Eleventh Illinois, was struck in the shoulder by a Minie ball. Merely calling Major Nevins to the command, until his wound could be temporarily dressed, he resumed the command, and remained with his regiment throughout the day. Lieut.-Col. J. A. Maltby, of the Forty-fifth regiment, while encouraging and animating his men, was shot through the thigh, and severely though I trust not fatally wounded.

I cannot find words in which fittingly to express the depth of obligation and gratitude I bear to the officers commanding corps, for the prompt, fearless and cool manner in which my commands were carried out in every instance, (except one, and that resulted from the stupidity of one orderly.) My orders were perfectly understood, and carried into effect with promptness and perfect order. I have already spoken of the part borne by the Eleventh Illinois, under Lieut.-Col. Ransom. Both he and Major Nevins are deserving of the attention of the department. Col. C. C. Marsh, of the Twentieth Illinois, exhibited the utmost courage, coolness and self-possession on the field, encouraging his men with all the order of parade. Major Richards, of the Twentieth, also acted with great bravery. Col. Hayne and Major Sanford, of the Forty-eighth, Col. John. E. Smith and Major M. Smith, of the Forty-fifth, Lieut.-Col. Pease, of the Forty-ninth, and Capt. Bush, commanding the Seventeenth Illinois, all distinguished themselves by their bravery, and contributed by their example to the attainment of the brilliant result. The conduct of Capt. Ezra Taylor, commanding Eighth battery B, during the whole series of engagements, was such as to distinguish him as a daring yet cool and sagacious officer, pushing his guns into positions that were swept by the enemy's shot. He

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