War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0180 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter XVIII.

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Almost simultaneously with the receipt of the above General Trudeau, chief in command of artillery at this place, rode hurriedly up to my quarters and gave me to understand that he had every reason to apprehend an attack on our battery by an infantry force from the rear, and directed me to proceed with all possible haste to prevent the consummation of such a plan. A few moments only elapsed before my regiment was in rapid march for Battery Numbers 1, a mile and a half or two miles distant, the greater portion of the way, owing to the flushed condition of the river, being from 2 to 3 feet deep in water. My men plunged this with an alacrity which bespoke hearts filled, with the high resolve to meet the enemy in whatever manner or on whatever element he dare present himself.

By the time we reached the battery, between 8 and 9 a. m., the enemy had already opened a brisk fire from their gun and mortar boats on our battery, and the shot and shell were now falling thickly around us. Despite this we pressed on unwaveringly forward, and amid the wild whistle of rifle shot and terrific explosion of enormous shells, the fragments of which fell like hail around, I formed my regiment along the cremaillere line on the right of Battery Numbers 1, there to await the anticipated attempt of the enemy on our battery by assault.

From this time the enemy's fire grew fiercer and fiercer, the entire fleet having taken position about 2,000 yards distant, with the view of concentrating their fire upon this, our weakest battery, intending no doubt to silence it before making a demonstration upon any of the other lower batteries.

Our battery did not at first respond, hoping by silence to entire the enemy's fleet within a more destructive range; but failing in this, and finding our battery was beginning to sustain considerable damage from the enemy's rifle shot, Captain Rucker, in command of the battery, at length opened a slow fire on them. This seemed to provoke the enemy to a more determined effort to silence the battery, and by this time-12 o'clock-the conflict had assumed a most terrific aspect. The enemy's heavy shot and shell, aimed with almost unerring accuracy mainly against the battery on our left, poured an almost incessant volume upon our meager earthwork, riddling the parapet in front of our guns, plowing up the earth in every direction, and tearing down immense trees in a manner baffling description. The scene was the most terrific conceivable.

The conflict continued to rage with, if possible, augmented fury until 3 p.m., when the darkest hour of the day was upon us. It was at this time when the enemy poured their most destructive fire upon our poorly-protected battery; when their 128-pound shot and 13-inch shells had completely riddled our earthwork; when Lieutenant Clark was killed by a shot penetrating the parapet and his entire detachment disabled; when the cannoneers were completely exhausted by long-continued exertion, and when everything seemed to yield before the pressure of the storm which poured forth its iron shafts around us, save an unwavering determination never to surrender the battery-I learned through Colonel Steedman, of the First Alabama Regiment (who had been gallantly aiding in defense of the battery), of the distressing condition of the artillerists, who had up to that time been serving their guns without intermission, and saw at once that unless immediate relief was rendered them the battery would necessarily be silenced, if not abandoned. I immediately laid the facts before my men and called upon them, by all that was dear and sacred to them never to let that battery be silenced. But little time had elapsed