morning this flank movement of the enemy, which I perceived was designed to attack my right flank and rear. I therefore immediately called my commanders of divisions together at General Asboth's tent, and directed a change of front to the rear, so as to face the road upon which the enemy was still moving. At the same time I directed the organization of a detachment of cavalry and light artillery, supported by infantry, to open the battle by an attack from my new center on the probable center of thee enemy before he could fully form. I selected Colonel Osterhaus to lead this central column, an officer who displayed great skill, energy, and gallantry each day of the battle.
The change of front thus directed reversed the order of the troops, placing the First and Second Divisions on the left, their left still resting on Sugar Creek, Osterhaus and the Third Division in the center, and the Fourth Division became the extreme right. While I was explaining the proposed movement to commanders and Colonel Osterhaus was beginning to rally and move forward this attacking column, a messenger brought me intelligence that my picket, commanded by Major Weston, of the Twenty-fourth Missouri, had been attacked by infantry. This was at Elkhorn Tavern, where the new right was to rest. Colonel Carr being present, he was ordered to move into position and support the major as soon as possible.
This was the commencement of the second day's fight. It was about 10.30 o'clock, and the officers separated to direct their several commands. The fire increased rapidly on the right and very soon opened in the center. After visiting the right, where I perceived the enemy was making a vigorous attack, and finding Colonel Carr, under a brisk fire of shot and shell, coolly locating and directing the deployment, I returned to my central position near Pratt's house, and sent orders to Colonel Davis to move near to Colonel Carr, to support him. In the mean time Colonel Osterhaus had attacked the enemy and divided his forces; but he was soon pressed with greatly superior numbers, that drove back our cavalry and took our flying battery, which had advanced with it. The colonel, however, was well supported by his infantry, and soon checked a movement that threatened to intercept the deployment order to Colonel Davis, and directed him to move to the support of the center, which was his proper place according to my order for the change of front. My new line was thus formed under the enemy's fire, the troops generally moving in good order and gallant bearing. Thus formed, the lines was not continuous, but extended entirely across Pea Ridge, the divisions in numerical order from left to right, Colonel Osterhaus remaining in command of a detachment and operating with Colonel Davis in resisting McCulloch and McIntosh, who commanded the enemy's forces in the center. I did not err in sending Colonel Davis to this point, although Colonel Carr, on the right, also needed re-enforcements.
The battle raged in the center with terrible fury. Colonel Davis held the position against fearful numbers, and our brave troops nobly stood or charged in steady lines. The fate of the battle depended on success against this flank movement of the enemy, and here near Leaden was the place to break it down. The fall of Generals McCulloch, McIntosh, and other officers of the enemy, who fell early in the day, aided us in our final success at this most critical point; and the steady courage of officers and men in our lines chilled and broke down the hordes of Indians, cavalry, and infantry that were arrayed against us. While the battle thus raged in the center the right wing was sorely pressed, and