Col. Daniel W. Lindsey
On the morning of the 16th instant, in accordance with orders, marched in the rear of First Brigade, in the following order: One hundred and fourteenth Ohio, Twenty-second Kentucky, First Wisconsin Battery, Sixteenth and Forty-second Ohio. After moving some 3 or 4 miles on the road leading from Mrs. Jones' to Edwards Station, I was notified that the enemy was in our front. I was then ordered by the general commanding division to send four companies--two deployed as skirmishers, and the other two as their support--into the woods on the right, to press the enemy, and, if possible, ascertain their position and strength. The execution of this order was assigned to Major Lynch, of the One hundred and fourteenth Ohio, with four companies from his regiment. I was then ordered to place the remainder of the brigade, with the First Wisconsin and two sections of the Seventh Michigan Battery, in position to repel an attack, my front and flanks to be well protected by skirmishers. Having executed this order, we soon heard the skirmishers of the One hundred and fourteenth Ohio, and the First Brigade opened upon the enemy, who apparently gave way. In this position we remained something like one and a half hours, when I was ordered to advance two regiments, leave one in column on the road at a point where a plantation road turns off to the left, and with the other to turn off upon the last-mentioned road, and advance until the regiment in column should reach the opposite edge of the woods, immediately in front of my first position, and from there throw skirmishers to the front. The One hundred and fourteenth Ohio was left at the point above mentioned in the road, the four companies under Major Lynch having been previously ordered in, and the Twenty-second Kentucky was advanced in the woods. Judging from the little I could observe of our line on my right that I would soon receive the order to advance the Twenty-second Kentucky, I asked to be allowed to strengthen it by either the Forty-second or One hundred and fourteenth Ohio. Lieutenant [Jacob] Swigert, one of my aides-de-camp, returned with the information that both of the regiments sent for had been ordered by General Osterhaus into action on the right, but that the Sixteenth Ohio would report to me in front immediately, and that a brigade from General Carr's division would advance with me.
As soon as the Sixteenth could move to the front, the two small regiments there under my command, numbering --- men, companies from each having been left with the artillery, were formed in line, awaiting the advance of the brigade on our right, which had formed some distance to our right and rear, and also the order for me to move forward. The latter soon came, to the effect that I should move forward and take the woods to our right and front, which had the appearance of being a point at which the enemy were rallying and reforming such of his broken columns as had been driven back on the right.
At command the line moved forward in very good order, until it came to a very large drain, running through the open field over which we were moving. Here they became somewhat broken; but the fire of the enemy was so severe that I did not deem it prudent to halt sufficiently long to reform entirely, but, as soon as the bulk of the men were over, ordered them to advance. From this point to the woods we moved very rapidly, the Sixteenth Ohio moving, however, too far to the left to reach the woods in time for the Twenty-second. The latter regiment went into the skirt of the woods, but was very soon driven back a little over the brow of the hill. Here they were halted by Lieutenant-Colonel Monroe, commanding, and the Sixteenth coming up, both regiments again charged into the woods.
This position, which we held for about half an hour, we were compelled to retire from, the enemy having brought up a battery to rake the woods, with a much stronger infantry force than my own to support it. I regarded my advance as an important one, and regret exceedingly my inability to maintain it. Immediately on returning to the position from which we had made the charge, the regiments were reformed, and the line, both upon the right and left, advancing, we moved forward also. The enemy rapidly retired, our skirmishers only getting an occasional shot. After advancing some 2 miles, the greater portion of the distance through a dense woods, and capturing more prisoners than we had men, our skirmishers were fired upon by a battery upon our left. Knowing that we had forces upon our left, I sent a staff officer to communicate with them, and at the same time changed my front a little to the left and advanced my skirmishers. On the approach of the latter the enemy retired his battery, leaving a wagon-load of ammunition on the ground.
At this point Lieutenant-Colonel Pardee brought me an order from General McClernand to move with my command to Edwards Station. Waiting a short time for the return of my aide.de-camp (Lieutenant Risdon), who had gone to communicate with Generals Blair and Smith, on the left, I ordered the ammunition destroyed (in the execution of which order Captain Thomas, of the Twenty- second Kentucky, a most gallant and efficient officer, was severely burned by the explosion), marched to Edwards Station, and bivouacked at 12 o'clock at night.
The action of the Forty-second and One hundred and fourteenth Ohio, from the time they were taken from my immediate command, I suppose will appear from the reports of other officers.
The casualties were as follows:
[portions after May 12, 1863 are not included by the editors]
I cannot close this report without stating my obligations to my staff, Capt. G. W. Stein, acting assistant adjutant-general, and Lieuts. O. C. Risdon and Jacob Swigert, aides-de-camp, for their untiring zeal at all times in carrying out my instructions.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. W. LINDSEY,
Capt. J. W. THOMPSON,
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