War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0090 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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attack the enemy at Iuka. One-half mile west of Barnett's the advance pickets of the enemy were first encountered in a deep ravine. A battalion of the Third Michigan Cavalry, by dismounting a body of skirmishers, soon drove the enemy from his cover. Soon after passing Barnett's the cavalry were thrown tot he rear and a battalion of the fifth Iowa deployed as skirmishers. From this time out or advance was warmly contested. The enemy's sharpshooters occupied every position of defense, making the last 5 miles of the march a steady contest and a constant skirmish. At Mrs. Moore's house, 4 miles from the battle ground, the action became quite hot. Lieutenant Schraum, of the Benton Hussars (one of my body guard), was mortally wounded, and number of skirmishers killed or wounded. The enemy was steadily driven before us and with constant loss. When within 2 miles of the battle-field the battalion of the Fifth Iowa skirmishers was relieved by an equal force of the Twenty-sixth Missouri, and the forward movements of the column pressed. When the head of the column had reached a point on the brow of a hill, at the cross-road, 2 miles from Iuka, it was halted for the purpose of reconnoitering, and the line of skirmishers pushed rapidly forward. This line had not advanced more than 300 yards when they came upon the enemy, drawn up in great force and occupying a strong position along a deep ravine running transversely with the main road and behind the crest of the hill. It was in position just behind the line of skirmisher, and saw at a glance that the moment for action had come. The skirmishers were driven back on the head of the column, and the attack by the enemy immediately began. The ground occupied by the head of the column was on the brown of a densely wooded hill, falling off abruptly tot he right and left. The underbrush and timber were too thick to admit of deployments, and the most that could be done was to take a position across the road, by marching the leading regiments into position by a flank movement. This was done under a heavy fire of musketry and grape, canister, and shell. The Eleventh Ohio Battery was with difficulty got into position on the crest of the hill, where it could command the road in front of us. The Fifth Iowa, under the brave Matthies, being the leading regiment, was first in position in the woods to the right of the road, with its left resting near the battery. The Twenty-sixth Missouri, under the resolute Boomer, immediately took position on the right of the road, with its left resting near the battery. The Twenty-sixth Missouri, under the resolute Boomer, immediately took position on the left of the road, a little in advance of the battery, and, with its left thrown forward, so as to cover the open field ont heir left with their fire. This was the position when the battle open on our side. I directed each of these regiments into position myself, and they, were taken by the troops, under a heavy fire, with the steadiness of veterans, determined to conquer. The battle thus opened with but three regiments in position. The rebels were commanded by Major General Sterling Price in person, who had arrayed against us no less than eighteen regiments. I saw the importance of holding the position we had assumed, and gave each regimental commander orders to hold every inch of ground at every hazard. As the remaining regiments of the First Brigade came up the hill I threw them into position to protect the flanks of our little line of battle, the Fourth Minnesota, under Captain Le Gro, and the Sixteenth Iowa, Colonel Chambers, the former on the left and the latter on the right of the line, in rear, en echelon. the battle at this time had become terrific. The enemy in dense masses bore down in front on the right and left, showing a determined purpose to envelop and crush the little line in front.