to go with my leading brigade he remarked to me that I would clean out that hollow in a very short time.
On arriving at the tavern I found that the enemy were trying to flank around to the east beyond Clemens' house. I sent out the cavalry, under Major McConnell, to skirmish them, followed by Colonel Dodge, with his regiment and two pieces; ordered Captain Jones to remain with two pieces as a reserve at the tavern, and took two other pieces myself down the road, which led down the hollow 300 or 400 yards to where the bushes were open enough to see a little to the front and to the right, bringing Colonel Smith, with the Thirty-fifth Illinois, to support the battery, and opened fire on a battery on a bluff on our right front. They immediately replied, and as long as my guns staid there was a perfect storm of shot, shell, and grape.
In the mean time Dodge had driven back the enemy on the right flank and frustrated his first attempt to outflank us. I then sent back to the general a request to send forward Vandever's brigade; brought Jones' two pieces down the road, which took some time, owing to the fact that they had gone with Dodge instead of remaining as reserve. About that time one of the pieces which I had became disabled by a cartridge sticking half way down and was sent off.
The enemy seemed to have the range exactly. Colonel Smith, Thirty-fifth Illinois, was wounded in the head by a shell, which took off a part of his scalp. He received a bullet in his shoulder and his horse was killed all about the same time. Colonel Smith and his regiment showed the utmost gallantry, and deserve great credit for their steadiness in supporting the battery as well as for their conduct. Subsequently, when fighting the enemy's infantry near the same point, just before Colonel Smith was wounded, five or six ammunition chests burst, one after the other. Captain Jones and Lieutenant Gambell were wounded by my side, and all but one of the pieces were disabled. This one piece was commanded by Corporal Leebert, First Iowa Battery, and was the only gun which was in the action from beginning to end, and both Corporal Leebert and his cannoneers deserve great credit for coolness, gallantry, and activity through the entire action.
About this time General Curtis came up to see how we were getting along. At this juncture two pieces of the Dubuque battery arrived, under Lieutenant Wright, and were served with admirable zeal and activity. Lieutenant Wright showed great coolness and skill during the entire action and was slightly wounded. The remainder of the Dubuque battery then came, and continued firing until I became satisfied that it was disadvantageous to remain there any longer, and retired to the top of the hill. I had then been struck three times. I then send word to the general that I had need of re-enforcements, having become satisfied that it was no small party merely to annoy the road with whom I was contending, but a very considerable force-perhaps his main body. From subsequent information I learn that it consisted of between 10,000 and 15,000 men, comprising all the Missourians, some of whom were called Confederate troops, and were under Colonel Little; all the Missouri State Guards, under General Price. There were other rebel forces, including Indians, the whole commanded by General Van Dorn in person, with about twenty guns, some of which were rifled, while I had not quite 2,500 men now on the field, with twelve guns, which came up successively, were disabled, and ran out of ammunition in such a manner that I could never have more than five playing at the same time.
I know of the following divisions being engaged there, viz: Frost's,