our lines, poured volley after volley into our ranks; but manfully was the attack repelled. Here the heroic bravery of our Kentucky troops, supported with equal courage by those of our sister State (Indiana), proved more than a match for the boasted chivalry of Louisiana. My brigade was at this time fighting fully 6,000 picked troops of the rebel army. Finding that the enemy were pressing us severely at this moment, I requested Captain Mendenhall to again commence firing. His battery opened in magnificent style and with fearful execution. The enemy withstood the effects of his well-directed shots but for a short time, then wavered, and again fled in great disorder, our men charging across the bridge and after them; but again they rallied and in turn drove our men to their first position. They remained but a short time, however, receiving our terrific volleys of musketry and artillery, when for the last time they turned and precipitately retreated, leaving us masters of the hard-earned bridge. In their retreat one company of the Twenty-first Louisiana Regiment, becoming separated from the regiment, our men succeeded in capturing the first and second lieutenants and a number of privates.
Thus closed one of the most desperately-contested fights of the war, considering the numbers engaged. Receiving orders to advance no farther than the ground already gained and occupied, I relieved the ten companies more particularly engaged during the day from the forces in reserve, and placed the rest of the brigade in position to retain the ground gained during the day.
At 9 p.m., in compliance with orders from General Buell, I, with those ten companies of wearied men, who had so gallantly fought throughout the entire day, commenced the construction of rifle pits, working incessantly throughout the night. By daylight I had completed a line of pits along our entire front. At 5 a.m. the brigade was relieved by the Nineteenth Brigade, under Colonel Grose, and returned to the intrenchments.
The gallantry of the officers and men of my command on that day has rarely been equaled-never excelled. Where all did so well it seems almost useless to particularize, but the conduct of certain officers deserves special mention.
Asst. Adjt. General Wickliffe Cooper, as on all occasions before, exhibited the greatest bravery. The coolness and precision with which he made the several reconnaissances ordered by men amid the greatest danger merit the highest praise.
My aide-de-camp, Lieutenant S. W. Tuley, also behaved in the most gallant manner.
Lieutenant-Colonel Hanson, of the Twentieth Kentucky Regiment, displayed great coolness and judgment both in the manner of handling his regiment and in his efforts to assist me in the discharge of my duties.
Lieutenant-Colonel Spencer and Major Hurd, of the Second Kentucky Regiment, proved themselves on this occasion, as they have done before, to be the brave, determined officers they are.
Major Cahill, of the First Kentucky Regiment, although suffering from the wound received at Shiloh, still discharged his duties as commander of his noble regiment faithfully.
Lieutenant-Colonel Osborn, of the Thirty-first Indiana, suffering from a protracted illness, was forced to leave the field before the action commenced. Major Smith then assumed command, and, with his regiment, behaved in the bravest possible manner.
Major Buckner, of the Twentieth Kentucky, and Captain Wheeler,