and in advance of that regiment I had posted the Forty-fourth Illinois Volunteers, with Captain Welfley's battery on the left. To the left of the battery the Twelfth Missouri Volunteers was brought into position, while the thirty-sixth Illinois Volunteers formed the extreme left in column by division at half distance, Hoffmann's battery occupying the interval between the Twelfth Missouri and the Thirty-sixth Illinois. The Third and Seventeenth Missouri Volunteers were formed as reserve in rear of my center.
The enemy fired from several batteries with the utmost vehemence, their shot and shell falling thickly around our lines and on our batteries, so much so, that the troops to our right were forced to fall back for a while. At this critical moment the batteries of the First Division opened on the enemy, bearing mainly on the extreme right of the rebels. The effect was proportionate to the skill, courage, and coolness of the officers and men. The enemy, seeing that his right was endangered, concentrated all his energies on that wing, the fire of their other batteries slackening off considerably. General Sigel ordered the batteries to advance, and at the same time dispatched me to General Curtis to report progress. By this maneuver, in which the right wing of our army co-operate, the enemy's entire line of retreat was brought under the concentrated fire from our lines.
To execute this movement, on my return all our batteries wheeled to the left, and I ordered the skirmishers of the Twelfth Missouri Volunteers forward towards a grove of timber, from which the heaviest battery of the enemy was firing against us. The men, under command of the gallant Captain Lightfoot, of Company F, advanced like veterans.
In connection and to the left the skirmishers of the Thirty-sixth and Forty-fourth Illinois Volunteers were also thrown out, and all the regiments of the First Division began their march forward in support of the skirmishers. They were received with an intense fire by the enemy.
The Twelfth Missouri, supported by the Twenty-fifth Illinois, Colonel Colerr, entered the grove on our right, when the enemy's infantry fired heavy volleys, disputing every inch of ground. Major Wangelin, commanding the Twelfth Missouri Volunteers, here had his horse shot under him, and the two regiments, going on in gallant style, soon obtained possession of the main road. Two brass pieces and the flag of the Dallas Artillery were taken by the Twelfth Missouri in this charge.
During these struggles the movements on our extreme left were just as fast, powerful and successful. The Seventeenth and Third Missouri and the Thirty-sixth Illinois, supported by the gallant soldiers of the Second and Fifteenth Missouri and the artillery of Lieutenant Chapman (Second Division), advanced steadily, the cavalry on the left, towards the rocks over which the enemy was retreating. Soon we saw the noble regiments Seventeenth and Third Missouri and Thirty-sixth Illinois on the crest of the steep rocks, and with this position the field of the defeated rebel army was in our possession.
We had conquered. The rebels were retreating in all directions-one force by the Cassville road, which we followed in close pursuit and prevented every attempt of theirs to form again. A great many prisoners and munitions of war, muskets, caissons, baggage wagons, and one more cannon were taken by us in this pursuit. General Sigel ordered me to drive the rebel column as far as Keetsville, which I did, arriving in the neighborhood of that place at 5 o'clock p.m. Next morning (March 9) we entered the town of Keetsville, and dispatched a cavalry force a few miles beyond, but it being evident that the enemy's forces in that direction had dispersed, General Sigel ordered us to return