the remainder of General Hurlbut's division would be up quickly, I established my line of battle accordingly, with the right of the Seventy-first Ohio resting opposite the eastern extremity of the camp of the Fifty-fifth Illinois, the Fifty-fifth Regiment next, on the left, and the Fifty-fourth beyond, facing the south. I had two companies of the Fifty-fifth Illinois and two companies of the Fifty-fourth Ohio detached as skirmishers on the hills opposite and across the creek or ravine where the enemy was endeavoring to plant a battery, covered by a much larger force of skirmishers. From a convenient position on the brow of the bank north of the creek with my glass I could observe all their movements. Having succeeded in planting their battery in a commanding position they opened a fire of shell upon us, under cover of which the infantry advanced upon us diagonally from the left of Prentiss' division, and also from the right of their battery. I hastened in person to the battery I had left half an hour before in front of Colonel Mason's tent to order them farther to the east, in front of my headquarters, where they would have had a splendid fire as well upon the enemy's battery as upon the advancing infantry. The battery had left without firing a gun and the battalion on its right had disappeared.
For above a quarter of a mile to my right no soldier could be seen, unless fugitives, making their way to the rear. A large body of the enemy's troops were advancing due north toward Mason's camp, and I saw that the position of my brigade was inevitably flanked by an overwhelming and unopposed force. Hastening back to my brigade, I found the enemy rapidly advancing on its front. The Seventy-first Ohio had fallen back, under the shelling of the enemy's guns, to some position (as I am informed by Colonel Mason) about 150 yards in the rear, and reformed on a ridge of ground very defensible for infantry, but I could not find them, and had no intimation as to where they had gone. Before I could change position the Fifty-fifth Illinois and Fifty-fourth Ohio were engaged,but as soon as possible I withdrew them to a position on the brown of a hill, ad formed a line which, extended, would intersect my first line diagonally from northwest to southeast. At this point I had not to exceed 800 men of the Fifty-fifth Illinois and Fifty-fourth Ohio. I saw nothing more of the Seventy-first Regiment through the fight. The enemy's force of five regiments of infantry and a battery of four guns, which had been moving on our right flank, were here brought to a stand, and formed a line of battle; a body of cavalry were sent off on our then right toward our rear,to harass or cut off our retreat; a part of the force which had attacked our first front was disposed with a vies of flanking us on our present left. Against this latter force (moving through a ravine, which had its mouth just below and in the rear of our extreme left) I sent a detachment of four companies of Zouaves, Fifty-fourth Ohio, under Major Fisher, by whom they were held in check during the fight. This engagement opened, the enemy's line and ours being established at a distance of about 150 yards apart. At this point we fought and held them for upwards of two hours. The enemy's lines were within the edge of a grove, pretty well defended by trees; the space between us was an open, level, and smooth field. The disposition of their forces was made deliberately,and occupied fully fifteen minutes after we came upon the ground.
Inadequate as I knew my force to be, I was encouraged to fight it and hold my position, first with the object of detaining the enemy's forces from advancing toward the river, and secondly because I received a message from General McArthur,who appeared in person somewhere in my vicinity, to hold my position, and that he would support me on