earlier to our support. He said he could not find General Stanley at his headquarters nor had he left any one to tell of his whereabouts, which delayed the re-enforcements two hours.
I had successfully gained an hour and a half by the operations of the artillery, and its withdrawal bought the enemy's column forward in steady line, firing as they advanced, and, when within short range, the First Brigade as one man rose from its concealment and delivered a most deadly volley into the enemy's lines. They fell like the leaves of autumn, staggered for a moment, closed up their openings, and advanced again. Oglesby's brigade, in like manner with Hackleman's, gave them an oblique fire with proportionate effect. The foe, after a short and sanguinary struggle, reeled, broke, and fled in dismay. Again they formed and advanced with increased numbers. The rattle of musketry on both sides spoke plainer than words can do that a most deadly and sanguinary struggle for victory was progressing. The enemy's fire was too high, while our men planted their shots with great precision, and after a well-directed volley the order was given to charge, when the enemy was forced back at the point of the bayonet with great slaughter across the open field and into the woods beyond. They then received re-enforcements, and, nothing daunted, again moved forward, and the fight between them and the First Brigade became terribly fierce and obstinate and again they were driven from our front. I here quote from the very clear and able report of Colonel Sweeny the following:
Just at this juncture part of Mower's brigade moved up to our support, but before they could be deployed into line they became panic-stricken and broke in confusion. In was while endeavoring to rally these men that Generals Hackleman and Oglesby were wounded. The former received his death-wound while thus rallying troops to sustain his gallant brigade. His last words were, "I am dying, but I die for my country. If we are victorious, send my remains home; if not, bury me on the field." No nobler sentiment was ever unuttered by soldier or patriot. After he fell the command of the brigade devolved upon me, and the fight continued with unabated fury until our ammunition was almost expended; but by this time the enemy had almost disappeared from our front, although it was evident he was massing his troops on our left for the purpose of turning our flank. About this time a regiment of Colonel Mower's brigade relieved the Fifty-second Illinois, who were out of ammunition, and an order being received from General Davies a few minutes after to fall back, we retired in good order and took up a position on the right of Fort Robinett.
Here the chivalric and generous Hackleman and the gallant Oglesby fell, the former mortally wounded and the latter supposed to be so. On some kind attentions being bestowed on the bleeding Oglesby he said, "Never mind me; look yonder (pointing to the enemy); I have live to see my troops victorious." Here too the brave Colonel Baker met his fate while charging at the head of his regiment. His last words were, "I die content. I have seen my regiment victoriously charging the enemy." The Union Brigade being attacked in front, being on our extreme left, party of them gave way. The remainder left a good record for themselves. The intensity of the firing on our part may be judged of by the fact, as Colonel Sweeny reports, "The guns became so hot the men could scarcely hold them and the cartridges prematurely exploded in the guns from heat." This fact having been stated to him by several officers his reply was, "Let them burst; there is not time to cool off now."
About the time that the enemy had been repulsed a second time the head of Colonel Mower's column appeared at the white house. He soon came to report to me. I ordered him to form his brigade in rear of our line.
It becoming apparent, from the fire of the enemy having ceased in our front and other evidences, that they were mussing their troops to