division; then an open field in front of Crittendens' right and McCook's left, and in front of McCook's right woods again, with a dense undergrowth. The ground, nearly level in front of Nelson, formed a hollow in front of Crittenden, and fell into a small creek or ravine, which empties into Owl Creek, in front of McCook.
What I afterward learned was the Hamburg road (which crosses Lick Creek a mile from its mouth) passed perpendicularly through the line of battle near Nelson's left. On a line slightly oblique to ours, and beyond the open fields, the enemy was formed, with a battery in front of Nelson's left, a battery commanding the woods in front of Crittenden's left and flanking the fields in front of Nelson,, a battery commanding the same woods and the field in front of Crittendens' right and McCook's left, and a battery in front of McCook's right. A short distance in rear of the enemy's left, on high, open ground, were the encampments of McClernand's and Sherman's divisions, which the enemy held.
While my troops were getting into position on the right the artillery fire was kept up between Mendenhall's battery and the enemy's second battery with some effect. Bartlett's battery was hardly in position before the enemy's third battery opened fire on that part of the line, and when, very soon after our line advanced, with strong bodies of skirmishers in front, the action became general and continued with severity during the greater part of the day and until the enemy was driven from the field.
The obliquity of our line, the left being thrown forward, brought Nelson's division first into action, and it became very hotly engaged at an early hour. A charge of the Nineteenth Brigade from Nelson's right, led by its commander, Colonel Hazen, reached the enemy's second battery, but the brigade sustained a heavy loss from the fire of the enemy's batteries,and was unable to maintain its advantage against the heavy infantry force that came forward to oppose it. The enemy recovered the battery and followed up his momentary advantage by throwing a heavy force of infantry into the woods in front of Crittenden's left.
The left brigade (Colonel W. S. Smith) of that division advanced into the woods, repulsed the enemy, and took several prisoners. In the mean time Captain Terrill's battery, Fifth Artillery, which had just landed, reached the field, and was ordered into action near the left, with Nelson's division, which was very heavily pressed by the greater numbers of the enemy. It belonged, properly, to McCook's division. It took position near the Hamburg road, in the open ground in front of the enemy's right, and at once began to act with decided effect upon the tied of battle in that quarter. The enemy's right battery was silenced. Ammen's brigade, which was on the left, advanced in good order upon the enemy's right, but was checked for some time by his endeavor to turn our left flank and by his strong counter-attack in front. Captain Terrill, who in the mean time had taken an advanced position, was compelled to retire, leaving one caisson, in which every horse was killed or disabled. It was very soon recovered. Having been re-enforced by an regiment from General Boyle's brigade, Nelson's division again moved forward and forced the enemy to abandon entirely his position. This success flanked the enemy's position at his second and third batteries, from which he was soon driven, with the loss of several pieces of artillery, by the concentrated fire of Terrill's and Mendenhall's batteries and an attack from Crittenden's division in front.
The enemy made a second stand some 800 yards in rear of this position and opened fire with his artillery. Mendenhall's battery was thrown