Basil H. Messler Diary, page 31

July 4, 1864

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We had a capital Dinner for 6 of us composed the following persons Dr. Eldridge Lieut Barton Sergt Groome J.R.Messler and your Humble servant we had Ham and 4 dozen Eggs Coffee Corn Bread Molasses Sardines and you Bet we all felt well after we got through Then fed our Horses and began to fix for the Better part of the 4 that was to come yet and it soon came as the Rebels had commenced firing on our Pickets and The Long Role was soon Sounded and The Darkeys ware soon to arm and The Battle was then surely opened we soon Saddled up and was on Horse again But no sooner than we found we ware Surounded and The Rebels packing in on us on every Side we rode out on the North rode Co C dismounted went in to a corn field and ware soon in position and made a few shots and ware Surprised By the sudden appearance of The Rebels running The Negroe's and cussing then to halt we war then all together White Men Rebels & Negros and there's whare we seen the Elephant and he was tramping on our Toes we limbered up 7 of Them There and then and Then They came so thick and fast we a got on the elephant's and rode across the cornfield some 50 rods at the rate of 2.40 But the Elephant had a Back lode and he took the Rebs back over the same ground in like Manner. as the Negros had come up in to line and just more than pored[sic] in the vollies on then and I laid against the fence and the shot passed over Me Both way's and I then gain My Co. again and we mounted and the attack was general on all sides we ambushed the rebels 8 times before we got them decently whiped The firing sceased[sic] at 8 P.M. I had been joking all day about having fire works at night But they was pleanty of Fire works and the most maginfficen[sic] I had ever beheld they was 500 of us participating in it and 1500 of the Reb's and it was a constant glare of fire and roar of Muskets & Carbines and we ware retreating and ambushing for them we left them come up with a fiew[sic] pases[sic] before we fired we then frough[sic] them to there sences[sic] we then went on to the rive[sic in Pease[sic] arrived at 1 oclock A.M. and retired