regiments of the First Brigade and the Seventeenth and Twenty-fifth Kentucky, which were thrown forward slightly, so as to flank the column. Under this withering fire they vainly attempted to deploy, but soon broke and fell back under cover, leaving not less than 150 dead and wounded as evidence how our troops maintained their position. The attack on the left was also repulsed, but as the ground was covered with brush the loss could not be judged.
General Prentiss having succeeded in rallying a considerable portion of his command, I permitted him to pass to the front of the right of my Third Brigade, where they redeemed their honor by maintaining that line for some time while ammunition was supplied to my regiments. A series of attacks upon the right and left of my line were readily repelled, until I was compelled to order Ross' battery to the rear, on account of its loss in men and horses. During all this time Mann's battery maintained its fire steadily, effectively, and with great rapidity,under the excellent handling of Lieutenant E. Brotzmann.
For five hours these brigades maintained their position under repeated and heavy attacks, and endeavored, with their thin ranks, to hold the space between Stuart and McClernand,and did check every attempt to penetrate the line, when, about 3 o'clock, Colonel Stuart, on my left sent me word that he was driven in, and that I would be flanked on the left in a few moments. It was necessary for me to decide at once to abandon either the right or left. I considered that Prentiss could, with the left of General McClernand's troops, probably hold the right, and sent him notice to reach out toward the right and drop back steadily parallel with my First Brigade, while I rapidly moved General Lauman's from the right to the left, and called up two 20-pounder pieces of Major Cavender's battalion, to check the advance of the enemy upon the First Brigade. These pieces were taken into action by Dr. Corny, the surgeon of the battalion, and Lieutenant Edwards, and effectually checked the enemy for half an hour, giving me time to draw off my crippled artillery and to form a new front with the Third Brigade. In a few minutes two Texas regiments crossed the ridge separating my line from Stuart's former one, while other troops also advanced. Willard's battery was thrown into position, under command of Lieutenant Wood, and opened with great effect upon the "Lone Star" flags, until their line of fire was obstructed by the charge of the Third Brigade, which, after delivering its fire with great steadiness, charged full up the hill and drove the enemy 300 or 400 yards. Perceiving that a heavy force was closing on the left, between my line and the river, while heavy fire continued on the right and front, I ordered the line to fall back. The retreat was made quietly and steadily and in good order. I had hoped to make a stand on the line of my camp, but masses of the enemy were pressing rapidly on each flank, while their light artillery was closing rapidly in the rear. On reaching the 24-pounder siege guns in battery near the river I again succeeded in forming line of battle in rear of the guns, and, by direction of Major-General Grant, I assumed command of all troops that came up. Broken regiments and disordered battalions came into line gradually upon my division. Major Cavender posted six of his 20-pounder pieces on my right, and I sent my aide to establish the light artillery, all that could be found, on my left. Many officers and men unknown to me, and whom I never desire to know, fled in confusion thorough the line. Many gallant soldiers and brave officers rallied steadily on the new line.
I passed to the right and found myself in communication with Gen