These regiments were ordered to hold their position at all hazards until further orders. The Twenty-sixth Missouri Infantry was formed in order of battle below the crest of the ridge, with its left nearly in rear of the center of the Fifth Iowa and its right retiring from the front line, with orders to Colonel Boomer, commanding, to move immediately to the right of the Fifth Iowa should the enemy make his appearance in that direction, but with discretionary authority to move to the relief of any point the most strongly assailed. The Sixteenth Iowa Infantry was formed in order of battle below the crest of the hill with its right, in rear of the left of the Fifth Iowa and the battery and the three right companies of the Forty-eighth Indiana masking the balance of its front and about 20 yards in advance, this formation and movements were made under a steady fire of canister from the enemy's batteries, and hardly had the disposition of the troops been made when the enemy came forward with his whole force and formed in front of the battery three battalions deep. I immediately ordered the battery to open fire and the infantry to commence firing. The battery fired with great rapidity and with extraordinary accuracy of aim, which, in conjunction with the volleys of musketry from the regiments in the front line, threw the enemy into confusion; and thus in his first attempt to take the battery the enemy was repulsed with heavy loss. The firing of his musketry during this advance was very rapid and quite destructive, and caused the battalion ont he left of the battery to waver and the right to fall back. The enemy soon reformed and with renewed vigor and cheers came on to the assault again and was again repulsed by the well-directed fire of the battery and the volleys and charges made by the Fifth Iowa. The three companies of the Fifth Iowa flanking the battery had by this time become so unmasked by the loss of men that it seemed impossible for the regiment or the battery to hold out, and Colonel Boomer, of the Twenty-sixth Missouri, immediately brought up four companies of his command, and formed them in line under the most galling fire on the right of the battery and left of the Fifth Iowa. The firing of the enemy at this time had become so destructive that Colonel boomer promptly proceeded to bring up the balance of his command with great gallantry and personal bravery, but fell severely wounded before reaching his command and was carried from the field.
I had during this time been making the greatest efforts, in conjunction with the general commanding the division, members of the staff, and the field officers of the regiment, to bring back the regiment placed upon the left of the battery to its first position. During these efforts Colonel Eddy, commanding the regiment with the greatest valor, fell, severely wounded, and was carried from the field. The fire was so galling it was found impossible to bring this regiment again onto this line. Colonel Chambers, commanding the Sixteenth Iowa Infantry, had already fallen and had been carried from the field, and it did not at this time seem prudent to move the second line of battle in rear of the battery. I proceeded to the left flank of the whole line, with a view of drawing in that battalion in support of the battery, but the enemy had then appeared in its front and was engaging it with musketry. There was no alternative but for the battery, the Fifth Iowa, and the four companies of the Twenty-sixth Missouri to fight the battle out with nearly the whole force of the enemy concentrated on that point, and nobly did they do this. The infantry on the right continued to fire and charge upon the enemy under their gallant leader, Colonel Matthies, until their whole 40 rounds of ammunition were exhausted and until