substance, that my position was in the center, and must be held at every hazard, and that you would support me with the balance of your division as it arrived on the field.
This fight lasted about forty minutes, when the enemy gave way and were at once pursued by the whole line up to the open ground in front, my brigade capturing several cannon, retaking a battery of ours captured by the enemy the previous day, and retaking the headquarters of General McClernand. We also took three flags from the enemy. At this time the 40 rounds of cartridges in the boxes of the men were exhausted and the line was halted.
Before I resolved to advance my whole brigade to the front I looked for the promised support, and found Colonel Kirk, with his brigade, in my rear, within short supporting distance. He told me he was there by your order to support me, and was ready for anything. He and his men were eager to move up with me. I requested that he would follow at the proper distance, which he did. After we had exhausted our ammunition I called on Colonel Kirk, who was immediately in rear of my lines, and informed him of that fact. He at once gallantly and eagerly offered to take my position in front, and did so, a portion of my command on the right passing quietly through his lines and halting in his rear. All was done without the least confusion or even excitement. I told him that if needed before we received ammunition we would support him with the bayonet. The part taken in the fight by Colonel Kirk and Colonel Gibson and their respective brigades after this, and also the part taken by Colonel Willich, I leave them to narrate, with the single remark that they and their officers and men behaved most gallantly.
About this time a battery of two or three guns-I do not know whose it was-took position about the center of my lines and opened on the enemy in front, then forming for attack. This battery I directed Majors King and Carpenter and the Sixth Indiana to support, Colonel Crittenden having been just before ordered up from his former position on the left. I may here remark that the Sixth Indiana in its old position had been exposed to heavy cannonading on our left and front and had lost several men in killed and wounded, and I had ordered it back into the woods. The enemy soon after advanced in strong force and menaced the battery, and its commander withdrew it; but the support just named stood firm against several times their number and gallantly beat off the enemy. In the mean while a supply of ammunition for the whole command was received.
When thus repulsed the enemy fell back and his retreat began, soon after which I saw two regiments of Government troops advancing in double-quick time across the open fields in our front, and saw that one of them was the First Ohio, which had been moved to our left to wait for ammunition. I galloped to the regiment and ordered it to halt, as I had not ordered the movement, but was informed that it was advancing by order of General Grant, whom I then saw in rear of the line, with his staff. I ordered the regiment to advance with the other, which it did some 200 or 300 yards farther, when it was halted, and a fire was opened upon it from one of our camps, then occupied by the enemy. The fire was instantly returned, and the enemy soon fled, after wounding 8 men of the First Ohio. This closed the fighting of the day, and a small body of cavalry was sent in pursuit of the enemy.
I need not say to you, sir, that my brigade, officers and men, behaved well; for you were an eye-witness to the gallant conduct of them all, and you will join me in expressing the opinion that men have seldom