War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0222 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter XVIII.

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the left wing of our line of battle. On our arrival at the scene of action it was ascertained that the enemy had retired, leaving that part of the field to our troops.

At this time heavy firing was heard far to our right, where a doubtful contest seemed to be raging between the troops under command of Colonel Carr and those comprising the left wing of the enemy's line. General Sigel being called upon for help, I, by his order, dispatched the five companies comprising the left wing of the regiment to re-enforce Colonel Carr, while the right wing moved forward in the line of battle, supporting two pieces of----battery. After moving forward from 1,000 to 1,500 yards without meeting the enemy, it became apparent that for the time he declined further battle. As darkness gathered over the field of blood our moving columns were brought to a halt to lay down and rest upon their arms, and the firing ceased throughout the entire length of the line, not to be renewed until the coming day.

Early on the morning of the 8th the two wings of the regiment were again united, and I was ordered to take a position in an open field, under cover of a fence and log barn, about 100 yards in front of Welfley's battery, and not over 900 yards from the batteries of the enemy. This point was gained in excellent order, although to reach it we were compelled to pass through a shower of shot and shell over an open field, in full view of the enemy's batteries. Arrived in position, I ordered the men to drop flat upon the ground, in which manner they remained for one hour and thirty minutes, exposed to a terrible fire from the enemy's guns, aimed principally at our batteries on the rising ground in our rear, which were returning the fire with deadly precision.

As the fire from the enemy's batteries began to slacken, the able and ever-ready tactician General's Sigel ordered the batteries to advance, and at the same time ordered me to proceed under cover of a thick underwood to a point within 400 yards of the enemy's line. My left flank opposite the left of the enemy's batteries, and resting upon the Cassville and Fayetteville road, I approached this new position unobserved, moving at a double-quick over the open ground, but at a slow and cautious step through the underwood, keeping well covered, so as not to attract the attention of the enemy's batteries. In our front was an open field, about 400 yards across, immediately beyond which was woodland covered with trees, logs, and an uncommonly thick growth of oak underbrush, from which the leaves had not yet fallen. Here the enemy was posted in strong force a few rods from the fence, so as not to attract the fire of our batteries.

By this time several regiments on my left closely engaging the enemy. The thunders of the artillery and the incessant volleys of musketry from both our own and the enemy's lines argued to me that victory was trembling in the balance.

At this seemingly critical moment General Curtis rode up and ordered me to gain the fence on the opposite side of the field, and at the same time ordered forward the several regiments on my right. We dashed across the field, and reached the place in good order before the enemy could bring his pieces to bear on our line. When I reached the fence I found that the ever-gallant Twelfth Missouri Volunteers were close upon my left, but that I was without immediate support upon my right. I halted for a moment, and sent forward a few resolute skirmishers to find the precise position of the foe. They soon returned, and reported them in large force about 75 yards distant. During this short interval of time the men disencumbered themselves of blankets and knapsacks,