and one company of the Seventh Iowa, were deployed as skirmishers, to ascertain and if possible to discover the position of the enemy. Soon the order of advance was again given, and from this point the Second Brigade encountered heavy timber, much of which had been felled by the enemy in order to impede the progress of any attacking force. Regardless of the obstacles thus encountered, the Second Brigade advanced as rapidly as possible for about half a mile, passing over much of the distance at double-quick march.
Hearing firing on the right while the skirmishers of the Second Brigade remained silent on the left, we advanced by a flank movement to the right through almost impenetrable woods, climbing over felled trees and filing around tree-tops in the direction of the firing. Halting a few moments to form a line, we again advanced, and encountered the enemy behind logs and among tree-tops, and at this point the firing commenced on the left, which now seemed to be general along the whole line, the whole force being apparently engaged in action. The enemy for some time obstinately resisted any advance at this point, and a storm of musketry raged along the whole line of the Second Brigade. Shell and shot from the artillery of the enemy along the Iron Banks and the field pieces at Belmont fell thick and fast, and a perfect storm of bullets from his small-arms was here encountered. Many of our brave men were wounded at this point, and some fell to rise no more, sealing their patriotism with their heart's blood; but their valor forced the enemy to yield at last, and again the Second Brigade advanced, pressing on over the enemy's dead and wounded, many of whom implored our men not to murder them, being evidently under the belief of the false and wicked impression so industriously sought to be made by many of the leaders of this cursed rebellion that we were barbarious and savages, but instead of murdering them some of our men ministered to their wants and conveyed them to places of safety.
Step by step we drove them until they reached a secondary bank, such as abound through the river bottoms of the West, under which they were protected from our fire, and where they made another desperate stand for about thirty minutes, when our fire became so hot that they retreated precipitately to some open ground near their encampment, covered by a rude abatis of felled timber, strewing the ground as they went with guns, coats, and canteens. Our brave troops followed them with shouts, pouring volley after volley into them. Here the enemy's movements at this point gave unmistakable evidence of being panic-stricken and defeated, retreating to the river and up the river bank behind the shelter of some brush and timber.
On gaining the open ground near their encampment, opposite to and in sight of the lower part of Columbus, the relative positions of the different commands for the first time since the commencement of the battle became visible. The Second Brigade, being on the left, had a shorter distance to march in order to reach the enemy than the First, and consequently reached the open ground in front of the enemy's camp in advance of the right wing. In a few minutes one section of Captain Taylor's battery, which opened a fire on the retreating rebels and their camp. The battery was well served, and evidently disconcerted the rebels, accelerating their retreat, and spreading consternation amongst them. From that point the second Brigade advanced with the battery, entered the encampment of the enemy, and captured three pieces of his artillery, one piece being taken possession of by Com-