in our front and to the right of the road, and take a position in the edge of the woods. After proceeding a short distance, orders were given to return to the first position, which was done. Upon my return I found Captain Miller had left with his guns, as I presume with orders given during my absence, his support having been removed. About this time Captain----, of the----regiment, A. D., reported to me with his company, and although wounded in the leg and the only officer with the company, expressed his readiness to be of service. I directed him to send a few skirmishers in front of the log-house into the ravine, and to form the remainder of his command behind the fences and log buildings near-by, which was done. Soon after the enemy's shells and canister were falling thick and fast around us. The remainder of our force had passed us, and we were Jeft alone. Turning, I observed my command moving by the flank to the rear, across the creek and bottom, having, as I understood, been ordered to fall back in order to form a new line. Having proceeded about half a mile, Brigadier-General Grierson rode up and directed Lieutenant-Colonel Eaton to form his regiment behind the fences on the right of the road, in rear of open fields, and resist the advance of the enemy as long as practicable. I then rode on to overtake the balance of the brigade. At the white house, about a mile in the rear, and in the road, I found the Ninety-fifth Ohio, Ninety-third Indiana, One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois, and Ninth Minnesota. I was then directed by the Colonel commanding division to form my brigade in line on the right of the road (as you go toward Ripley), and to contest the ground, if possible, until night set in. I was informed that the Second brigade (Colonel Hoge commanding), and the Third (colored) brigade, Colonel Bouton commanding, were on our right, and that Colonel McMillen had himself placed the Ninety-third Indiana and Ninety-fifth Ohio on the left of the Second brigade, I was instructed that when they should be obliged to retire through my lines, my command should remain, the brigades relieving each other as they retired. I formed the Ninth Minnesota and One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois respectively on the right of the road as you go toward Ripley, and sent out skirmishers, who soon found the enemy in front. Lieutenant-Colonel King having informed me that his ammunition was almost exhausted, I directed Lieutenant Cruse, Ninth Minnesota volunteers, A. A. A. G., to proceed to the rear to procure a supply, but finding no means of transportation, he brought back one box on his horse. The fighting at this time was severe, continuing for over half an hour, and until sundown, with considerable loss, when, being informed that we had no support on right or left, and that the enemy were about to move around our flank, I ordered the command to fall back, which they did in good order, frequently facing to the rear and firing upon the enemy. We shortly after received an enfilading fire, as we moved down the road, when I placed the command among the trees on one side. We soon arrived at the slope where part of the train had been abandoned and a portion burned. Shortly after passing the creek I discovered the skirmishers of the Third brigade in the open fields on our left. Perceiving an officer with them, I directed him to have the men form on the right of the Ninth Minnesota, in a thicket in front of which were large open fields over which the enemy must pass. He informed me that he was not in command, but pointed out to me Lieutenant-Colonel Crawdon, who was severely wounded. The Ninth Minnesota formed, the One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois being on the right, as I am informed by Lieutenant-Colonel King. The enemy soon appeared in large numbers, but not in line, when a heavy fire was opened upon them from the thicket, which was kept up for about twenty minutes, and large numbers fell. They retired in confusion. This was between sundown and dark, and the enemy did not again appear in force. About eight o'clock in the evening I halted the command in order to give them rest. At this point an officer in command of a squadron of cavalry reported to me that the camp fires in front were built by him, under orders from the General commanding, in order to deceive the enemy, and that he was directed to remain until we had passed, and then proceed to the front. I then moved forward the command until I joined the colored brigade. The progress was slow, and I was informed that we were delayed by the train which was slowly passing the bottom-land and creek some distance ahead. About midnight I was informed that the portion of the train in front had been abandoned, its further progress being impossible. Finding this to be the case, I directed the animals remaining with the rear of the train to be taken out and the wagons abandoned. The train was not burned, as I thought it probable that our line of battle had been reformed beyond, and that it might be yet saved. Moreover I. feared the conflagration might lead the enemy to believe that we were in full retreat, and lead to their immediate advance in force. About daylight the Fourth Iowa cavalry passed us going to the front. Shortly after, our rear was fired upon by small parties of guerrillas. At the Llewellen church we found Colonel Winslow's brigade of cavalry formed in echelon by squadron, who were skirmishing sharply with the enemy on the opposite side of the stream. Arriving at Ripley at half-past 7 A. M., I waited for orders, but receiving none, and perceiving other troops continue to pass on the road to the front, the cavalry remaining to protect our rear, I again took up the line of march. Hearing at the cross-roads, where I halted for an hour, that the enemy in force was falling upon a large detachment of our men on the Salem road, and that a large cavalry force was about three miles in our rear, and being
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Table of Contents:
Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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