Higgins, and Twenty-third Kentucky, Lieutenant-Colonel Foy, in the front line; the Thirty-sixth Indiana, Lieutenant-Colonel Cary, and the Eighty-fourth Illinois, Colonel Waters, in the rear line; the Sixth Ohio, Colonel Anderson, in reserve. On meeting the enemy with the front line, the troops on the right of my brigade gave way, and the Thirty-sixth Indiana was immediately changed to the right to defend the flank, and in a very few minutes the enemy passed so far by my right and rear, that the Sixth Ohio, as well as the Thirty-sixth Indiana, Twenty-fourth Ohio, and Twenty-third Kentucky, were all desperately engaged, and so continued for two long hours. Here was the best fighting and least falling out of ranks (except the killed and wounded) I ever witnessed. Finally, the ammunition of these four regiments gave out, and there being none at hand (bad luck), they had to be retired. Now came the time for the Eighty-fourth Illinois to come into the breach. The Colonel changed front to the right, and with his brave and hitherto well-tried regiment, contested every inch of ground until compelled to give way before overwhelming numbers. The enemy having reached his then right flank (our former rear), all was retired in tolerably good order, which ended my fighting for the day. General Cruft's brigade, that had not yet exhausted its ammunition, nor been seriously engaged, now changed front to the enemy, engaged him, and came off master of that part of the field. The ensuing night we laid upon our arms, without water or rest, and though the fatigues had been great, yet there were more to endure upon the coming day. Ammunition replenished, we were again in position for the fearful labors that awaited us on the holy Sabbath. Early, I was ordered to take position on the right of General Hazen's brigade, on the right of our division, which was done, and each regiment quickly threw before it barricades of logs and such materials as could readily be obtained; but before the action on our part of the line commenced, one of my regiments, the Twenty-third Kentucky, had been loaned to General Hazen, to fill out his lines, and with the other four, about nine o'clock, I was ordered to the left of General Baird's division (General Rousseau's old division) to strengthen his left. Before we arrived at the intended position in the line, the enemy came upon Baird's division, and consequently upon my command, in fearful numbers. I formed the four regiments, under a destructive fire from the enemy, in a woodland covered with a heavy underbrush, fronting nearly north, and at right angles with the main line of battle; the Thirty-sixth Indiana and Eighty-fourth Illinois in the front line, the Sixth and Twenty-fourth Ohio in the second line. Thug formed, we met the enemy and had a desperate, struggle, with fearful loss on both sides. The brigade advanced and was repulsed, advanced a second time and was repulsed, and with some forces that now came to our assistance, advanced the third time and held the woodland. In this contest for mastery over the wood-land, fell many of my best and bravest officers and men. The dead and dying of both armies mingled together over this bloody field. Here I parted with my comrades in arms for ever, particularly old messmates of the Thirty-sixth Indiana, and whose remains I was unable to remove from the field. In this conflict, and amid the shifting scenes of battle, Colonel Waters, of the Eighty-fourth Illinois, with a part of his regiment, became detached from the brigade to the west of the road, and became mingled with the division of General Negley, who, it seems, shortly after ordered that portion of Colonel Waters' regiment, with at least a portion of his own command, towards Chattanooga, on the pretext of sending that of Colonel Waters as train guard; for particulars of which reference is made to the report of Colonel Waters. The residue of the Eighty-fourth Illinois regiment, under the command of Captain William Erwin, of Company C, with Lieutenants McLain, Scroggan and Logue, with parts of four companies, remained with the brigade,and on the left of, and with, the Thirty-sixth Indiana, did efficient and good service. Captain Erwin deserves notice for coolness and bravery during this fight, as well as the lieutenants above named. After the fighting had ceased, and with seeming success to our arms on this portion of the line-now about one or two o'clock P. M.--I withdrew the Thirty-sixth Indiana, Twenty-fourth and Sixth Ohio, with that portion of the Eighty-fourth Illinois under command of Captain Erwin, to near the position we had taken in the forenoon, near the right of General Hazen's brigade, and put my men in position to rest, and to await further developments; the Twenty-third Kentucky having remained with General Hazen at that point where I had left it in the morning. The enemy's sharpshooters and occasional cannonading kept up amusement for us in the meantime. It was here, near by me, that Colonel King, of the Sixty-eighth Indiana, fell a victim to the aim of a sharpshooter. In these two days my command took a considerable number of prisoners and sent them to the rear. Amongst them was Captain E. B. Sayers, Chief Engineer of General Polk's corps. He surrendered to me in person, was put in charge of Lieutenant Scott, my Engineer, and sent back to General Thomas' corps hospital. Sayers was one of the Camp Jackson prisoners, and formerly a citizen of St. Louis, Missouri. I presume many of the prisoners taken on Sunday escaped. About four o'clock a deserter came in and informed us that Breckenridge's division of the rebel army was advancing towards the same point where we had been in such deadly strife during the fore part of the day, which statement was soon verified by the roar of artillery and small arms in that direction, again moving
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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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