at the edge of an oblong field that extended in a direction parallel with the river. On its right was a narrow strip of woods, and beyond that lay another cleared field, square and very large. Back of both fields, to the north, was a range of bluffs overlooking the swampy low grounds of Snake Creek, heavily timbered, broken by ravines, and extending in a course diagonal with that of my movement. An examination satisfied me that the low grounds afforded absolute protection to my right flank, being impassable for a column of attack. The enemy's left had rested upon the bluff, and as it had been driven back, that flank was now exposed. I resolved to attempt to re-turn it. For that purpose it became necessary for to change front by a left half-wheel of the whole division.
While this movement was in progress, across a road through the woods at the southern and of the field we were resting by, I discovered a heavy column of rebels going rapidly to re-enforce their left, which was still retiring, covered by skirmishers, with whom mine were engaged. Thompson's battery was ordered up, and shelled the passing column with excellent effect; but while ha was so engaged he was opened on by a full battery, planted in the field just beyond the strip of wood on the right. He promptly turned his guns at the new enemy. A fine artillery duel ensued, very honorable to Thompson and his company. His ammunition giving out in the midst of it, I ordered him to retire and Lieutenant Thurber to take his place. Thurber obeyed with such alacrity that there was scarcely an intermission in the fire, which continued so long and with such warmth as to provoke an attempt on the pert of the rebels to charge the position. Discovering the intention, the First Brigade was brought across the field to occupy the strip of woods in front of Thurber. The cavalry made the first dash at the battery, but the skirmishers of the Eighth Missouri poured an unexpected fire into them, and they retired pell-mell. Next the infantry attempted a charge. The First Brigade easily repelled them. All this time my whole division was under a furious cannonade, but being well masked behind the bluff, or resting in the hollows of the wood, the regiments suffered but little.
A handsome line of battle now moved forward on my left to engage the enemy. I supposed it to be Sherman's troops, but was afterwards otherwise informed. Simultaneously mine were ordered to advance, the First Brigade leading. Emerging from the woods, it entered the second field I have mentioned, speedily followed by the Second Brigade, when both marched in face the enemy, aligned as regularly as if on parade. Having changed front, as stated, my movement was now diagonal to the direction originally started on, through the order was still in echelon, with the center regiment of each brigade dropped behind its place in line as a reserve. While thus advancing Colonel Whittlesey, as appears from his report, in some way lost his position, but soon recovered it. The position of the enemy was now directly in front at the edge of the woods fronting, and on the right of the open field my command was so gallantly crossing. The ground to be passed getting at them dipped gradually to the center of the field, which is there intersected by a small run, well fringed with willows.
Clearing an abrupt bank beyond the branch, the surface ascends to the edge of the wood held by the enemy, and is without obstruction, but marked by frequent swells, that afforded protection to the advancing lines, and was the secret of my small loss. Over the branch, up the bank its right with equal alacrity, marched the Second-the whole in