War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0273 Chapter XXIX. CORINTH.

Search Civil War Official Records

dismay. Again they advanced, but were forced back at the point of the bayonet with great slaughter, our men driving them across the open field and into the woods.

It was in this charge the brave Colonel Baker fell mortally wounded. His last works, "I die content; I have seen my regiment victoriously charging the enemy," were worthy of him. The enemy now receiving heavy re-enforcements, the fighting between him and the Fifty-second Illinois and Second and Seventh Iowa became desperately fierce, the right of the Union Brigade having given way at the very beginning of the engagement. 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.

It 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 own gallant brigade. His last works 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 uttered 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, which was 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. It was now 5 p. m., and a fresh supply of ammunition was here distributed to the troops.

Our loss in this fight was heavy, but that of the enemy must have been terrible. the fire was so hot and well sustained by the men that several officers of the Fifty-second Illinois told me that the gun-barrels were so heated the men could scarcely hold them, and the charges actually exploded while being loaded, and wonted to know what they would do. I told them to continue the fire, necessary, until the guns burst. About 10 p. m. I received an order to move my brigade to the rear of General Ord's old headquarters and form line of battle facing to the north. From this place I was ordered about 2.30 o'clock on the morning of the 4th to take position on the Purdy road, in the suburbs of the town, to the north, the right of my brigade resting on the redan occupied by Lieutenant Green, of the First Missouri Artillery, with four guns. Two more were placed in the interval between the Fifty-second Illinois and Second Iowa. Here the brigade stacked arms in line of battle and bivouacked till daybreak.

From early dawn until 8 a. m. a brisk fire was kept up between our batteries and those of the enemy until the latter were silenced or captured. About this time I received orders to send out a regiment from my brigade to the support of Colonel Burke's sharpshooters, who were then sharply engaged with the enemy in the woods to the right and front of my position. The Seventh Iowe was detached for this purpose, but had scarcely been deployed when it was recalled. I also ordered in two companies, sent out the night before to guard the Purdy road on our right. An ominous silence took place for a few moments, when a sharp rattling of musketry was heard, accompanied by heavy volleys, and the enemy's columns burst from the woods in front and to the right, driving the sharpshooters before them and following close upon