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[519] of the Seventeenth brigade; and besides, Lieut. F. J. Jones, my Assistant Adjutant-General, was often sent to learn its condition, and reported to me that, though severely assailed, it had triumphantly repulsed the enemy in several attacks, and that Col. Lytle felt that he could easily maintain position; but late in the afternoon an immense force of fresh thoops of the enemy moving around to his right, concealed by the undulation of the ground, turned his right flank and fell upon the right and rear of his brigade, and drove it and forced it to retire, which it did under the orders of Col. Lytle, who was at the same moment wounded, as he thought fatally, and, refusing to be taken from the field, was taken prisoner by the enemy. Hearing of this condition of things, I galloped over toward the right and found the brigade re-formed in line of battle, the right (the Fifteenth Kentucky volunteers, Col. Pope) resting on the hill at Clark's house, with Loomis's battery immediately in the rear on an eminence. The Tenth Ohio, Lieut.-Col. Burke, and the Third Ohio, Col. Beatty, on the left of the road.

These regiments had, without support, struggled hard to hold their line of battle for several hours, and were only forced to retire after immense loss, and the movement above referred to. Whilst near the fifteenth Kentucky, I saw a heavy force of the enemy advancing upon our right, the same that had turned Lytle's right flank. It was moving steadily up in full view of where Gen. Gilbert's army corps had been during the day, the left flank of which was not more than four hundred yards from it. On approaching, the Fifteenth Kentucky, though broken and shattered, rose to its feet and cheered, and as one man moved to the top of the hill where it could see the enemy, and I ordered it to lie down. I then rode up to Loomis's battery, and directed him to open upon the enemy. He replied he was ordered by Gen. McCook to reserve what ammunition he had for close work. Pointing to the enemy advancing, I said it was close enough and would be closer in a moment. He at once opened fire with alacrity, and made fearful havoc upon the ranks of the enemy. It was admirably done, but the enemy moved straight ahead; his ranks were raked by the battery, and terribly thinned by the musketry of the Seventeenth brigade, but he scarcely faltered, and finally hearing that reenforcements were approaching, the brigade was ordered to retire and give place to them, which it did in good order. The reenforcements were from Mitchell's division, as I understood, and were “Pea Ridge men.” I wish I knew who commanded the brigade, that I might do him justice; I can only say that the brigade moved directly into the fight like true soldiers, and opened a terrific fire and drove back the enemy. It was a gallant body of men. After repulsing the enemy they retired a few hundred yards to a piece of woods to encamp in, and during the night the enemy advanced his pickets in the woods on our left front, and during the night captured a good many of our men, who went there believing we still held the woods. It was in this way that my Assistant Adjustant-General, Lieutenant F. J. Jones, and Lieut. J. A. Grover, Assistant Adjutant-General Seventeenth brigade, were captured by the enemy. I regretted the capture of these young gentlemen deeply. They had behaved most gallantly during the day, and I can truly say deserve well of their country. Major Hopkins, with three companies of the First Michigan engineers and mechanics, remained on the field during the day, and late in the evening formed a line of battle on line with the portion of the Seventeenth brigade on the left of the road. Their force was too small to oppose the advancing column of the enemy. They took shelter behind Clarke's house, but were forced to retire with the Seventeenth brigade, which was done in good order. They lost quite a number in wounded and missing.

The conduct of the officers and men under the fire of the rebels was admirable. The Eighty-eighth Indiana, Col. Humphrey, was in the Seventeenth brigade, on the right. It was not under my eye, but I was informed, though a new regiment, behaved well.

I have thus given a general statement of this battle and such incidents as occur to me. It was a hard and gallantly fought field, and the country is called upon to mourn the loss of many brave men who fell in it.

My division fought it under many disadvantages. It was attacked on ground well known to the enemy, and fixed upon by him as the battle-field, and while it was on the march; and it was impossible for us to know much of the nature of the ground on which we fought. My men, too, were suffering intensely for want of water, having been scantily supplied for a day or two, but they fought it bravely and against three or four times their number of the best soldiers of the rebel army, and under the direction and eye of Bragg, Buckner, Polk, Cheatham, and other prominent Generals of the rebel army. If of the old troops any man flinched, I do not know it, and have not heard of it, and very few men of the undisciplined new regiments behaved badly. I had an opportunity of seeing and knowing the conduct of Colonel Starkweather, of the Twenty-eighth brigade, Col. Harris, of the Ninth brigade, and of the officers and men under their command, and I cannot speak too highly of their bravery and gallantry on that occasion. They did cheerfully and with alacrity all that men could do. Col. Lytle, of the Seventeenth brigade, fell severely wounded, while gallantly maintaining his position on the right, and doubtless he is as much indebted to him and the brave men of his brigade, as to those whose conduct I witnessed.

To the whole division I tender my sincere thanks for their gallantry on that bloody field.

I also acknowledge my indebtedness to Lieut. F. J. Jones, my Assistant Adjutant-General, and to Lieut. W. P. McDowell, S. L. Hartman, D. Q. rousseau, and Harrison Millard, my regular Aids, and to W. F. G. Shanks, my volunteer Aid, for gallant bearing and efficient services rendered on


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