288 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. [CRAP. XLVI.
with send you an official report of the part taken, by the Twenty-
eighth Iowa volunteer Infantry in the expedition from Natchitoches
to Sabine Cross-Roads.
The regiment left Natchitoches on the morning of the 6th of April
as a part of the, Second Brigade, Third Division, Thirteenth Army
Corps, and after a rapid march of 35 miles reached Pleasant Hill
on the following day at 2 p. en. After a few minutes' pause the
regiment was ordered out to support General Lee's cavalry, then
engaging the enemy. It went out promptly, near 500 strong, not
leaving camp guards.
After advancing 1 mile and waiting one hour we were ordered to
return to camp. At 5.30 a. m. the following morning we moved with
the division forward to support General Lee's cavalry and one bri-
gade of the Fourth Division, then driving the enemy. On reach-
ing Creek, a distance of 10 miles, we were ordered to halt in
line of battle, our regimen,t resting on the right of the division. At
2.30 p. m. we were ordered forward with the division to join Lee's
cavalry and the Fourth Division, then engaging the enemy. At
3.30 p. m. reached the field of action and formed on the extreme left
of the division, supported by the Twenty-fourth Iowa, and were the
first to open fire on the enemy and were soon exposed to the fire of
the enemy's battery, which poured shrapnel and shell upon us.
It soon became evident that the enemy were flanking us on the left,
and the Twenty-fourth Iowa was sent to protect it. This not being
sufficient, a small force of cavalry was sent also. Here the regiment
advanced 100 yards into the open field, and it soon became evident
that this position was untenable and the regiment fell back again.
We held our position for two hours, received the constant fire of the
enemy's infantry, and being exposed to his artillery, which played
with telling effect upon our ranks, our ammunition being exhausted
and the enemy already having gained our rear, and having no sup-
port whatever, we were compelled to retreat, which we did in the best
possible manner with the rest of the division.
We went into the engagement 500 strong and in the best of order.
I cannot personate in praises, for all most nobly did their duty. Not
one officer flinched, not a man gave back. Col. John Connell had
his horse shot under him early in the action, but remained on the
field cheering and urging his men to the last, and it was supposed
fell mortally wounded* while retreating from the field. A truer
patriot and braver man fell not on that bloody field. Loved most
by those who knew him best, his loss to the regiment is irreparable.
He possessed not only the respect but the affection of his men. Adjt.
J. G. Strong, while heroically and fearlessly doing his duty, was
knocked from his horse by a minie-ball, inflicting a severe wound
in the right shoulder, and was taken from the field. Having his
wound dressed, returned to the field, and continued rallying the men
in the thickest of the fire. First Lieut. H. H. Weaver was wounded
in the right cheek while leading his company and compelled to leave
the 'field. Second Lieut. 0. F. Dorrance, while cheering his men in
action, was severely wounded in the right hip and had to be borne
from the field.
I regret that space will not permit me to speak of all the officers
standing up like men and facing the rain of death, and of the pri-
* He resigned March 17, 1805,