War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0047 Chapter XXIX. MISSISSIPPI CENTRAL RAILROAD.

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which were promptly supplied, but the distance from camp being over 6 miles, it necessarily took several hours to get infantry re-enforcements upon the ground.

At this time I would have withdrawn my little force from the contest, having less than one man to twenty of the enemy, but the nature of the ground over which I would have been obliged to retreat was such, that my force must have been annihilated had I attempted to escape from such overwhelming numbers. I had not men enough to retreat, and consequently had no choice left but to fight until support could reach us.

After we had been engaged about two hours six companies of the Twentieth Ohio, under Colonel Force, came up; also two pieces of artillery under Lieutenant W. Hight, of the Ninth Indiana Battery. Two of these companies were immediately deployed to relieve the cavalry and mounted infantry, that they might be held in readiness to meet any flank movement of the enemy. There being no adequate support for the artillery I dared not bring it into action, but sent it about a mile to the rear, to take position at the junction of the Van Buren and Middleburg roads and await re-enforcements.

About noon I discovered that the enemy were making a determined effort to flank us upon the right and get to our rear upon the Middleburg road. Leaving Colonel Force in command on the Van Buren road, I took the two companies of the Eleventh Illinois Cavalry and mounted infantry and passed over the Middleburg road, where we found the enemy advancing in large numbers. The infantry immediately dismounted and engaged the enemy with great vigor and determination, and after a desperate struggle of over an hour drove them back. Just at the close of the struggle Captain Chandler, of the Seventy-eighth Ohio, came upon the ground with the remainder two companies of the Twentieth Ohio and two companies of the Seventy-eighth Ohio. These four companies were at once deployed upon the right and left of the Middleburg road and engaged the enemy's skirmishers.

The firing having ceased on the Van Buren road I sent orders to Colonel Force to leave a sufficient guard to protect our left from a surprise and bring the balance of his command to the Middleburg road, where it was evident that the enemy were organizing for the purpose of making a determined effort to break our lines to reach our rear.

The infantry re-enforcements had not arrived. The balance of the Seventy-eighth Ohio was reported close by, but not near enough to support the artillery, hence it could not be used. At this moment Lieutenant Colonel Harvey Hogg, of the Second Illinois Cavalry, came up, with orders from you to report to me upon the field with four companies of his command. I immediately assigned him a position on the right of the road, but discovering that the enemy would probably make a cavalry charge upon us before Colonel Force could reach me from the Van Buren road, I asked Colonel Hogg if he could hold a position on the left of the road and a little to the front of where he then was against a charge from the rebel cavalry. He promptly said he could and besought me to give him the position, which was done.

He had not completed his change of place before the enemy charged down the line of the road in vast numbers, but meeting the deadly fire of the four infantry companies under command of Captain Chandler they were compelled to retreat, leaving many of their horses and men strewn upon the ground.

They twice repeated their attempt to get possession of the road and were both times repulsed by the companies under Captain Chandler.