They then threw down the fences and entered the field upon our left and opened fire upon Colonel Hogg's cavalry and the two companies of the Twentieth Ohio attached to Captain Chandler's command. The infantry and cavalry returned the fire briskly and with terrible effect. I then discovered that a full regiment of cavalry was forming in the rear of those firing upon us, evidently with the determination of charging upon our cavalry and that portion of the infantry on the left of the road. I said to Colonel Hogg if he had any doubt about holding his position he had better fall back and not receive their charge. He promptly replied, "Colonel Leggett, for God's sake don't order me back." I replied, "Meet them with a charge, colonel, and may Heaven bless you." He immediately ordered his men to draw their sabers, and after giving the order to "Forward" he exclaimed, "Give them cold steel, boys," and darting ahead of his men he fell pierced with nine balls.
The next instant the two maddened lines came together with a clash of arms sublimely terrible. The enemy wavered and gave partially away, but Colonel Hogg having fallen in full view of his men, and no other officer for the moment assuming command, our cavalry became partially disorganized and fell back a short distance, when Captain M. H. Musser, of Company F, Second Illinois Cavalry, took command and soon put them in shape for fighting again.
The struggle between the rebel cavalry and Companies G and K, of the Twentieth Ohio Infantry, who were deployed on the left of the Second Illinois Cavalry, was if possible still more determined and angry. Our men engaged in a hand-to-hand conflict with the enemy, and in fighting fifty times their own number they displayed a determined, persistent courage seldom exhibited upon the battle-field.
Seven companies of the Seventy-eighth Ohio, under Major D. F. Carnahan, and Colonel Force's command from the Van Buren road coming up at this time, they formed in line to support the artillery. I ordered a slow retreat of the advanced line and brought the enemy within range, when Lieutenant Hight, of the Ninth Indiana Battery, opened upon them with shot and shell and caused them to break and disperse in great disorder.
Thus ended a contest of seven and a half hours, in which less than 900 of our brave soldiers met and drove from the field over 6,000 well-officered and well-armed rebels.
To make mention of all who distinguished themselves for courage and gallantry on the battle-field would require the naming of every officer and man engaged. Every one did his full duty; more than could be reasonably asked. Not a man faced to the rear until he was ordered or carried back. Several fought after they were wounded until the loss of blood rendered them unable to stand. It would be unjust, however, not to name Colonel M. F. Force, of the Twentieth Ohio, whose coolness and courage inspired all who saw him; Major Fry, of the Twentieth Ohio, who commanded the advance when the attack was first made in the morning, was in the thickest of the fight all day; Lieutenant Ayres, of the Twentieth Ohio, and Lieutenant Munson, of the Seventy-eighth Ohio, who together commanded the mounted infantry, and without whose efforts we must have lost the day; Lieutenant Hills, Twentieth Ohio, displayed great energy and bravery in snatching our dead and wounded from the very hands of the enemy; Captain Kaga and Lieutenant Melick, of the Twentieth Ohio, for the adroit management of their companies and their indomitable courage; Captain Chandler, of the Seventy-eighth Ohio, whose coolness and bravery in maneuvering the four companies under his command were observable by all who saw