War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0260 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter XVIII.

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Slack's, Parsons', Rains', and Little's; also the following batteries: Guibor's, Clark's, MacDonald's, and Wade's. Against this force my division, with the slight assistance mentioned further on, held its ground for upwards, of seven hours. After retiring from my first advanced position down the road there was a lull in the action, and I went over to see Colonel Dodge, who was about three-quarters of a mile distant, near the road running to the east, along the ridge and beyond Clemens' house. During this time the enemy advanced up the hollow in the brush along the main road, and Colonel Vandever ordered forward the infantry, when there ensued a desperate conflict with small-arms, our men driving them back to the foot of the hill, where the enemy opened his batteries. As our wounded men were being brought back by their comrades from this desperate encounter many of them would hurrah for the union and utter expressions of joy that they had an opportunity to suffer for the cause. Colonel Vandever, Ninth Iowa, commanding the brigade, exhibited the utmost coolness and bravery. He was everywhere where his presence was most needed, cheering and encouraging his men, who, however, needed but little encouragement, and directing their efforts to the best advantage. His horse was hit twice. Colonel Phelps, commanding Phelps' regiment of six-months' Missourians, had three horses shot under him and received a contusion from a shell. Both he and his regiment behaved nobly. Major Geiger, of the same regiment, had his horse shot under him. Major Weston, Twenty-fourth Missouri Volunteers, had three or four companies on provost-guard duty, a part of which were stationed on the hill, and did good service in protecting of his guns. He had two horses killed under him. Major William H. Coyl, Ninth Iowa, was here wounded in the shoulder. His gallantry had been very conspicuous.

I sent word to Colonel Dodge to draw his forces near. After our men retired from the range of the battery there was another short lull, when the enemy advanced, and there was another desperate encounter, in which the enemy failed to drive us out of the edge of the timber, but was driven back himself, we being materially assisted by two mountain howitzers, under Major Bowen, and his lieutenant, Madison, which had been sent up by the general. It was at this time that one of the guns of Hayden's battery was lost in the attempt to place it on the top of the hill, by going into a large body of the enemy who were concealed in the brush. There was now a lull for a considerable time, the enemy being engaged in arranging his forces for a final attack. From the tavern I could not see him on account of the thick brushes, but on the right, the timber being more open, Colonel Dodge saw him plainly advancing and placing his batteries and outflanking.

At this time I was satisfied that the enemy was too strong for me, although my troops had fought with the most heroic gallantry, and I would have retired but for the following reasons: The position which I now held would, if occupied by the enemy, have commanded our camp. We had some stores in a barn near the tavern, and I was constantly expecting re-enforcements, which I knew the general was using every effort to get up to me, and if they arrived in time we could hold the ridge, which would be as valuable to us to the enemy, and the general sent me word repeatedly to "persevere." I therefore determined to hang on to the last extremity. Knowing that every moment saved brought my re-enforcements nearer, I sent what was left of the