question in my mind was," Where is Sigel?" If I could still hope for a vigorous attack by him on the enemy's right flank or rear, then we could go forward with some hope of success. I he had retreated, there was nothing else left for us.
In this perplexing condition of affairs I summoned the principal officers for consultation. The question with most of them was, "Is retreat possible?" The consultation was brought to a close by the advance of a heavy column of infantry advancing from the hill where Sigel's guns had been heard before. Supposing they were Sigel's men, the line was formed for an advance, with the hope of forming a junction with him. These troops wore a dress much resembling that of Sigel's brigade, and carried the American flag. They were therefore permitted to move down the hill within easy range of Dy Bois' battery, until they had reached the covered position at the foot of the ridge on which we were posted, and from which we had been fiercely assailed before, when suddenly a battery was planted on the hill in our front, and began to our us shaped and canister - a species of shot not before fired by the enemy.
At this moment the enemy showed his true colors, and at once commenced along our entire lines the fiercest and most bloody engagement of the day. Lieutenant Du Bois' battery on our left, gallantly supported by Major Osterhaus' battalion and the rallied fragments of the Missouri First, soon silenced the enemy's battery on the hill and repulsed the right wing of the infantry. Captain Totten's battery in the center, supported by the Iowas and regulars, was the main point of attack. The enemy could frequently be seen within 20 feet of Totten's guns, and the smoke of the opposing lines was often so confounded as to seem but one.
Now for the first time during the day our entire line maintained its position with perfect firmness. Not the slightest disposition to give way was manifested at any point, and while Captain Steele's battalion, which was some yards in front of the line, together with the troops on the right and left, were in imment danger of being overwhelmed by superior numbers, the contending lines being almost muzzle to muzzle, Captain Granger rushed to the rear and brought up to supports of Du Bois' battery, consisting of two or three companies of the First Missouri, three companies of the First Kansas, and two companies of the First Iowa, in quick time, and fell upon the enemy's right flank, and poured into it a murderous volley, killing or wounding nearly every man within 60 or 70 yards. From this moment a perfect rout took place throughout the rebel front, while ours, on the right flank, continued to pour a galling fire into their disorganized masses. It was then evident Totten's battery and Steele's little battalion were safe. Among the officers conspicuous in leading this assault were Adjutant Hescock, Captains Burke, Miller, Manter, and Richardson, and Lieutenant Howard, all of the First Missouri. There were others of the First Kansas and First Iowa who participated, but whose names I do not remember. The enemy then fled from the field. A few moments before the close of the engagement the Second Kansa, which had firmly maintained its position on the extreme right from the time it was first sent there, found its ammunition exhausted, and I directed it to withdraw slowly and in good order from the field, which it did, bringing off its wounded. This left our right flank exposed, and the enemy renewed the attack at that point, after it had ceased along the whole line; but it was gallantly met by Captain Steele's battalion of regulars, which had just driven the enemy from the right of the center, and after a sharp engagement drove him precipitately from the field.