War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0233 Chapter XXIX. CORINTH.

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4th at 2 o'clock I had my men under arms. Soon after daylight Colonel Holmes, temporarily commanding the brigade, assigned me the position of reserve to the First Missouri Battery, which was supported by the Twelfth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, as I have been informed. About 9 a. m. it became manifest that a determined enemy was in strong force in front. As soon as the front line engaged him I deployed my regiment into line and caused both officers and men to lie down. In this position I watched the progress of events. After delivering a few volleys the front line began to waiver and fall back. Their retreat soon became a rout, and they came down pell-mell upon us, running over my men in every direction. The caissons and a number of loose horses came thundering down and passed through the interval between the Tenth Missouri and my regiment. The gunners at the battery gave the rebels a parting salute and the made good their retreat. As soon as the debris of the broken line had passed by I discovered the enemy occupying the earthworks and houses on the right and left. Expecting him to advance upon us, I reserved the fire for a time, intending at the proper moment to deliver a volley and use the bayonet. Soon, however, a musketry duel ensued, the enemy firing over the brow of the hill and up which he came from his place of concealment; we from the ground. By the giving way of the front line upon my left I was outflanked and exposed to a galling cross-fire, to meet which I hastened to the left and directed Major Cooper to change the front of three companies. The din was so great that commands could not be distinctly heard and three other companies were put in motion, which created a momentary confusion. This, however, was promptly set to rights by the gallant officers who led the companies. As soon as my wishes were understood the men again laid down, the left in position to meet the flank fire. At this juncture the enemy turned one of our guns and opened with grape upon us. I directed the men to pay their compliments to those who handled it. After firing 4 rounds the gun was completely silenced. My left flank, which had been so heavily threatened, was now relieved by the opportune arrival of the Seventh and Seventeenth Iowa Regiments and the Union Brigade. A few troops of the Twelfth Illinois, numbering perhaps 30, had formed upon my right. The enemy beginning to waiver I ordered an advance, and my regiment retook the battery and captured two rebel officers in the works, who, endeavoring to rally their men, were unable to make their escape. One of the artillery officers, who only withdrew to my line and to whose bravery I would take pleasure in attesting if I knew his name, joined in the advance, improvised an artillery squad, and soon rained grape upon the retreating foe with telling effect. The enemy endeavored to rally at the foot of the hill, but a few well-directed volleys broke his lines, and he found safety in the depths of the thick woods beyond.

Both officers and men of my command acted with a great deal of coolness and determination. Major Cooper bore himself gallantly, directing the fire of the left wing with much energy. Captains Rankin, Cochran, Welsh, and Reavis were at all times at their posts, cheering their men. Lieutenants Cone, Webber, O'Neal, Scott, and Dempsey, commanding companies, conducted themselves with great determination. Lieutenant Webber made himself a conspicuous mark by assisting to erect our colors after Color-Bearer P. M. Hale, of Company G, was stricken down mortally wounded. Lieutenants Walbright, Joiner, Keffer, and Dillon by their conduct demonstrated that they are men