War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0246 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter XVIII.

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son's Illinois battery, commanded by Colonel Julius White, I ordered to take position on the left of this road. This battery commanded the valley of Sugar Creek east and west and strongly supporting Klauss' battery on the right. This battery was well posted,and protected by a small earthwork, which I had ordered to be thrown up during the night. The Eighth and Eighteenth Indiana, under Colonels Benton and Washburn, strengthened their position by felling timber and throwing up some small intrenchments. During the night the general himself arrived, followed by a part of Colonel Carr's division from Cross Hollow, which took position on the left. On the afternoon of the 6th General Sigel's column arrived from Bentonville and took position on the right. During the night my troops bivouacked on the ground, anxiously awaiting the enemy's approach.

On the morning of the 7th it was ascertained that the enemy was making an effort to turn our right flank and to attack us in rear. In order to prevent this, Colonel Osterhaus was ordered with some cavalry and artillery to make a demonstration in the direction of Leetown. The First Missouri Cavalry, under Colonel Ellis, and the Twenty-second Indiana, under Colonel Hendricks, were ordered to support this movement. Colonel Osterhaus advanced about a mile beyond Leetown and found the enemy in force, moving rapidly along the road leading from Bentonville to Elkhorn Tavern, where Colonel Carr's division had already sharply engaged him. At this time the unexpected appearance of the Third Iowa Cavalry from the field gave proof of the necessity of re-enforcements being sent at once in the direction of Leetown, and an order to that effect was timely received. Passing through Leetown a few hundred yards, I found Colonel Osterhaus, with the Forty-fourth Illinois, Twenty-second Indiana, and some artillery, had taken position on the left of the road and was contesting the approach of the enemy over a large open field in his front.

In the mean time the enemy was rapidly approaching and advancing his forces on the right of the road, and had already lodged himself in large numbers in a thick oak scrub extending to our camp. I immediately ordered the Second Brigade to deploy to the right and engage him. This was done in a vigorous manner by the Thirty-seventh and Fifty-ninth Illinois, assisted by Davidson's battery, which I had put into position for that purpose. I soon became satisfied, from the increasing and excessive fire of the enemy, that he was being rapidly re-enforced, and ordered the Eighteenth and Twenty-second Indiana to make a flank movement to the right and perpendicular to the enemy's lines, and then move forward and attack him. This was accomplished with alacrity, but not, however, until the Second Brigade had begun to recede before the excessive fire of the enemy, who had not concentrated his forces to the number of several thousand, under McCulloch and McIntosh, with a large body of Indians, under Pike and Ross. The Second Brigade being thus overwhelmed, I ordered it to fall back in changed front to rear on its right, and the First Brigade to change front forward on its left, so as to attack the enemy in his rear, who was now exultingly following up his temporary success. The Eighteenth Indiana soon executed the movement as directed, and opened a well-directed fire upon the enemy's rear, which had the effect of drawing his fire and disconcerting his pursuit, so as to enable the Second Brigade to reform their lines as directed, but not until the enemy had succeeded in capturing two guns of Davidson's battery, which, owing to the precipitate advance of the enemy and disabled horses, could not be withdrawn.