Early in the morning of the 9th instant skirmish firing commenced in front of Farmington and continued at intervals until about 9 o'clock, when Major Jefferson, commanding advance guard, reported that without re-enforcements he could not hold the ground. I informed General Stanley of this and received his orders. In the mean time General Palmer had arrived and gone to the front. Major Jefferson again sent for relief. I informed him that General Palmer had gone forward with relief. General Palmer's brigade had now begun to arrive. I had made preparations to withdraw the brigade, considering myself relieved, when General Stanley, having arrived, ordered one regiment across the swamp on our left to occupy the high, clear ground, to hold it, and prevent the planting of batteries there. I ordered Colonel Mower, Eleventh Missouri Volunteers, to that point, and they performed the duty well, held the position, and thus prevented the possibility of a flank movement against our left.
About this time a battery opened fire a mile in advance of our left on our advance guard. Another battery opened fire at about the same distance on our right, in front. Hescock's battery took position and opened on this latter. The skirmishers and battle line of General Palmer's brigade covered our front form right to left, and considerable fighting occurred. Being under a sharp fire of artillery from the front, I ordered the other three regiments (Forty-seventh Illinois, Eighth Wisconsin, and Twenty-sixth Illinois Volunteers) to lay down behind the ridge, as I could not open fire either of the infantry or artillery without firing on our own men. I then ordered Spoor's battery under cover of bushes on next ridge, in rear of our left, to give it a new position. We suffered considerably from the fire of the enemy. By the retreat of the troops of General Palmer's brigade the front of the Forty-seventh Illinois and Eighth Wisconsin Volunteers being uncovered, I ordered them to advance to the crest of the ridge and open their fire, which order they promptly and with effect obeyed. I then ordered the Twenty-sixth Illinois Volunteers to change from forward, advance, and open fire, and sent Lieutenant Lloyd to order Spoor's battery into position. The artillery and infantry in front having retired through our lines, the Twenty-sixth Illinois Volunteers advanced in good order and opened fire. The fire of these three regiments checked the advance of the enemy and compelled a portion of their line to retire under cover, when the Twenty-sixth Illinois Volunteers was thrown into confusion by a charge of our own cavalry from the rear, of which I had received no intimation. I ordered the Eighth Wisconsin Volunteers to cease firing while the cavalry were in their front. The Twenty-sixth Illinois Volunteers quickly reformed, and were again thrown into confusion by the return of the cavalry through their lines, by which 4 men were badly wounded. The Twenty-sixth Illinois Volunteers again quickly reformed and the Eighth Wisconsin Volunteers opened their fire. Lieutenant Lloyd returned, being unable to find Spoor's battery; they had left the field.
I found the Twenty-sixth Illinois Volunteers had formed a new line next the bushes on right of original line, and upon inquiry of Lieutenant-Colonel Tinkham why he was further ordered by him to retire by right of companies to the rear into the swamp, which movement was executed. The Forty-seventh Illinois and Eighth Wisconsin Volunteers were still delivering their fire to the front.
General Palmer now ordered me to retire and form a new line around the edge of the swamp under cover of the bushes. I gave the order