received the first fire. This advance was composed of 25 men of Company E, Third Iowa Cavalry, under Lieutenant Spencer.
The advance of my column coming up, composed of the remainder of Company E, Third Iowa Cavalry, Captain Duffield, and detachment of Ninth Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, under Captains Cook and Glaze and Lieutenant Dunn, 125 men in all, I ordered them to dismount and deploy their men in the woods upon the right and left of the road, instructing them to concealed themselves as best they could and not to fire until they saw an object. During this time the rebels kept up a continual fire, chiefly upon the center of our line. Our fire was by volleys and mostly at random. Major Caldwell coming up, I ordered him to form his men upon the right of our line, the object of the enemy seeming to be to flank us in that direction. To do this he was compelled to advance his line into the woods 70 or 80 yards east of the road. Here he was met by a strong force of the enemy, who greeted him with a shower of shot and ball. Our little column wavered for a moment under the galling fire, but soon recovered itself and went steadily to work. By this time the men seemed to have got into the merits of the thing, and the brush, which they dreaded so much at first, they now sought eagerly as their surest protection. Our fire, which was at first by volleys, was now a succession of shots, swaying back and forth from one end of the line to the other. As soon as I saw our line steady I ordered forward one gun of the section to our center, which rested upon the road, here so narrow that the piece had to be unlimbered and brought forward by hand. I ordered Lieutenant Armington to open with shell and canister upon the left of the road, which was done in fine style, silencing the rebel fire completely for a time. I now discovered a large body of rebels crossing to the west side of the road, evidently with the view of flanking us on the left. Seeing this, I ordered the other gun of the section to take position in our rear and on the west side of the road and to shell the woods upon our left, at the same time ordering the advance of our left wing. The prompt execution of these orders soon drove the enemy back to the east side of the road. This accomplished, there was a lull in the storm ominous and deep.
Our whole line was now steadily advancing. Captains Duffield and Cook were upon the right. Major Caldwell was upon the extreme left. Captain Glaze and Lieutenant Dunn were immediately upon the left of the center. Juts at this moment a heavy fire was opened upon our left, followed by the wildest yells, and in quick succession came a storm of leaden hail upon our center and a rush of the of the enemy for our gun. On they came, tearing through the brush. Their fire had proved most destructive, killing and wounding 4 of the cannoneers and quite a number of others in the immediate vicinity of the gun; among the rest my chief bugler, who was near me and immediately in rear of the gun, and who received nine buck-shots and balls. Now was the crisis; the buck-shot rattled upon the leaves like the pattering of hail. I could not see our line 40 feet from the road on either side, but I knew that Caldwell, Cook, Duffield, Glaze, and Dunn were at their posts, and felt that all was well. On they came, until they had gotten within 40 feet of the gun. Our men, who had reserved their fire until now, springing to their feet, poured a well-directed volley into their ranks, and the remaining cannoneer delivered them a charge of canister which had been left in his gun since the fall of his comrades. The rebels recoiled and fell back in disorder. They, however, rallied and made two other attempts to gain possession of the gun, but with like