upon Johnson and Baird's shattered divisions ; about the same time a heavy force of the enemy commenced an attack to our right and rear, from towards Lee and Gordon's Mills, and from the direction we had come in the morning, and opened the most terrific cannonading I had heard during these battles, and in a few moments completely enfilading our entire rear. At fifteen minutes before five o'clock, Lieutenant Thomas, Major-General Palmer's Aid, brought me an order to “retire my command.” Which way or where to retire to was not an easy question to solve; the enemy fast approaching from the right and left towards our rear, their artillery fire meeting. I, however, immediately sent orders to the regiments there with me, to retire across the farm to our rear, passing to the right of the farm-house, in the following order: Sixth Ohio, Thirty-sixth Indiana, and that portion of the Eighty-fourth Illinois with me, the Twenty-third Kentucky to bring up the rear; portions of the Twenty-fourth Ohio were with each of those regiments. My artillery had been retired to the west of the farm. The forces that were to my left, when faced about. had to retire further to my right and cross the farm further north. When I commenced the move it seemed evident that my now small command would be swept away by the artillery fire of the enemy. To prevent breaking of ranks or any further panic, and to indicate to the men that this was a time for coolness and “steady habits,” with Lieutenant Boice, one of my Aidesde-Camp, he carrying the brigade flag at my side, we rode on the left of the front regiment, and in the direction from which the most terrible fire of the enemy emanated, until we passed the ordeal of danger. As soon as we passed the point of greatest danger, I halted the two front regiments, Sixth Ohio and Thirty-sixth Indiana, and into line faced them to the rear to defend and cover the retreat; this was done coolly and deliberately. General Palmer was here to consult with me and give directions. Here was the last I saw of Captain J. R. Muhleman. A. A. G. of the division, and I presume he fell near this place, for we were yet under a sharp fire. As soon as all was closed up and had passed this line, I again retired the force across another farm about one-half mile and ascended a high wooded hill, and re-formed, faced as before, now out of the range of the enemy's fire. It was now dusk, and as soon as all was closed up, and meeting General Cruft, with his brigade, here, we consulted together with our division commander, and retired to Rossville, about four or five miles distant, on the Chattanooga road, and rested for the night. It is due that I mention, in this place, an act of bravery and danger of my Aid, Lieutenant Boice. After we had passed over the first farm, fearing that my orders to Captain Erwin, of the Eighty-fourth Illinois, had not been definitely understood, and that he, with his command, might be left behind and lost, I directed Lieutenant Boice to return again over the field of death, and see that the captain was coming with his command. The direction was promptly obeyed, and the lieutenant made the trip and returned unharmed. My fears for his safety were inexpressibly relieved when I saw him safely return. For this and similar efficient service during all these battles, Lieutenant Boice deserves the most favorable notice. In the position assigned me, with my command, at and near Rossville, on the twenty-first, although I did no fighting, and a better situation could not have been given me, yet I lost one man killed and one wounded from the enemy's artillery. From thence we withdrew to our present position without further harm. Lieutenant Russell, in command of M Company, Fourth United States artillery, on Saturday, the nineteenth, was placed in position in the centre of my front line, and did effective service. On Sunday he, as well as Lieutenant Cushing, commanding H Company, Fourth United States artillery, played a heavy part upon the enemy's columns. Those lieutenants, although they look like mere boys, yet for bravery and effective service they are not excelled, if equalled, in efficiency by any artillerist in the army. They have the credit of being in the last of the fighting, and then retiring, all but the loss of one piece, of Lieutenant Cushing's, that had been disabled during the engagement. Colonel Waters, with his brave regiment, deserves great credit for the manner in which the one commanded, and the other performed the perilous duties devolving upon them during the battles. The brave Colonel Nick Anderson, with his regiment, Sixth Ohio, performed a whole duty up to the evening of the nineteenth; he having been wounded during that day, was compelled to be relieved. The command there-after devolved on Major Erwin, who performed it highly satisfactory. Lieutenant-Colonel Carey, Thirty-sixth Indiana, brave to the last, received a severe wound during the battle on the nineteenth, and was succeeded by Major Trusler in command, who deserves a high meed of praise for continuing the good management of the regiment. Brave old regiment, your country will remember you when these trying times are over. Lieutenant-Colonel Foy and Twenty-third Kentucky, side by side with your comrades and brothers in arms from Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, you did your duty well. Colonel Higgins and Twenty-fourth Ohio can boast of as bravo and dutiful officers and men as can be found in any army. Captain George M. Graves, my Assistant Adjutant-General, a brave and good officer, fell by my side mortally wounded on the nineteenth, while Tendering efficient service. He has since died. Rest in peace, brave soldier. Isaac Bigelow and George Shirk, two of my orderlies, were wounded on the twentieth, the latter seriously, and who was carrying the brigade flag when he fell. Corporal Dossey Lennin, of Company I, Twenty-fourth Ohio, seeing the flag fall, rushed to it, rescued it, and bore it off the field, as he did his own regimental colors on
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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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