War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0214 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter XVIII.

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Second Division, General Asboth; Second Missouri, six companies; Fifteenth Missouri; two pieces Second Ohio Battery, Lieutenant Chapman; battalion (four companies) Fourth Missouri Cavalry (Fremont Hussars); six companies Fifth Missouri Cavalry (Benton Hussars); two pieces of Captain Elbert's flying battery.

It was about 7 o'clock in the morning when the firing began on the Keetsville road this side of Elkhorn Tavern. I was waiting for Colonel Osterhaus and Lieutenant Asmussen, of my staff, who had gone out to reconnoiter the ground on which I intended to deploy and to find the nearest road to that ground. The Forty-fourth Illinois had already been sent in advance to form our right, when the above-named officers returned and the movement began. In less than half an hour the troops were in their respective positions, the First Division forming the first line, the Second Division, which all the cavalry, the reserve, 250 paces behind the first line. The protect and cover the deployment of the left wing I opened the fire on the right with a section of Captain Hoffmann's battery, under Lieutenant Frank, and the five pieces of Captain Welfley's battery. The enemy returned the fire promptly and with effect, but was soon outflanked by our position on the left and exposed to a concentric and most destructive fire of our brave and almost never failing cannoneers.

After the first discharges on a distance of 800 paces I ordered Captain Welfley and Lieutenant Frank to advance about 250 yards, to come into close range from the enemy's position, whilst I threw the Twenty-fifth Illinois forward on the right, to cover the space between the battery and the Keetsville road. Colonel Schaefer, with the Second Missouri, was ordered to proceed to the extreme left, and by forming against the cavalry, to protect our left flank. This movement proved of great effect, and I now ordered the center and the left to advance 200 paces and brought the reserve forward on the position which our first line had occupied. I then took a battery commanded by Captain Klauss, and belonging to Colonel Davis' division, nearer to my right, and reported to you that the road towards Elkhorn Tavern was open and we were advancing. About this time, when the battle had lasted about one hour and a half, the enemy tried to extend his line farther to the right, in occupying the first hill of the long ridge commanding the plain and the gradually rising ground where we stood. His infantry was already lodged upon the hill, seeking shelter behind the rocks and stones, whilst some pieces of artillery worked around to gain the plateau. I immediately ordered the two howitzers of the reserve (Second Ohio, under Lieutenant Gransevoort) and the two pieces of Captain Elbert's flying battery to report to Colonel Osterhaus on the left to shell and batter the enemy on the hill. This was done in concert with Hoffmann's battery and with terrible effect to the enemy, as the rocks and stones worked as hard as the shells and shot. The enemy's plan to enfilade our lines from the hill was frustrated, and he was forced to lead a precipitate retreat with men and cannon. Encouraged by the good and gallant behavior of our troops, I resolved to draw the circle a little closer around the corner into which we had already pressed the enemy's masses, and ordered a second advance of all the batteries and battalions, changing the position of the right wing more to the left, and bringing the troops of the reserve, the Fifteenth Missouri, and the whole cavalry behind our left.

Assisted by Klauss' battery on the right, and co-operating with the troops of the Third and Fourth Divisions, who advanced with new spirit on the Keetsville road, the enemy was overwhelmed by the deadly