regiment was accordingly thrown forward in line of battle, with Companies A and B deployed as skirmishers forward and on the right and left flanks respectively.
A section of Bolton's battery was sent forward at the same time, with which we acted as a support. This soon after began shelling a house (in which some rebel infantry were posted) about 600 or 800 yards in front of our position and beyond an open field. After the third or fourth round I directed the artillery to cease firing, as previously instructed, and moved rapidly forward in line of battle until we had reached a position beyond the house, which was found deserted, and there halted until the Forty-sixth and Fourteenth Illinois Regiments, then advancing, took a position in line with and on the right and left of us respectively, when we again moved forward as before through the woods a distance of about three-quarters of a mile, halting near the edge of the timber bordering on an old field.
Here we received orders from General Veatch to move rapidly forward ant take possession of a high ridge about one-half mile distant. While the infantry was advancing at as fast a rate as possible over the rough, uneven ground, thickly covered with high grass and weeds, I rode forward to the hill and discovered the enemy coming up the road in large force, apparently making for the same point.
I at once directed Major Rheinlander, of the Twenty-fifth, who was present, to order the artillery forward immediately, and in a short time, the enemy replying, a fine artillery practice was carried on, which lasted probably for half an hour. During this time the regiment had advanced to within easy supporting distance and was halted.
The enemy's battery becoming disabled and a retreat on his part indicated a general advance was ordered. In the execution of this movement the two wings of the Twenty-fifth were separated by the road, on each side of which was a deep ditch, and it was not until we had advanced a distance of about 600 yards that they (the wings) could be brought together. From this to the river we advanced on the double-quick, with bayonets fixed, driving the rebels, who retreated rapidly before us. The firing was very heavy, and many of the Twenty-fifth were wounded, though none were killed. A number of the enemy gave themselves up as prisoners and were immediately sent to the rear.
Approaching a corn field we were directed by General Ord (who then appeared) to press on until we should reach the timber bordering the river and then halt. Gaining the position designated we halted, corrected our alignment, and supplied ourselves with water. Many of our number were well nigh exhausted by the heat and the distance and rapidity with which we had marched. In a moment, however, we were ordered by General Veatch to move by the left flank over the bridge and engage the enemy, who had taken a position beyond. Major Rheinlander, being on the left, directed the leading guide, but before the regiment had all passed over considerable confusion was apparent, occasioned by a most destructive fire of musketry and artillery and the rapid retreat of the troops which had preceded us. Other regiments following in quick succession, it was with great difficulty that order was restored.
Major Rheinlander fell here severely, though not dangerously, wounded, and was carried from the field, as also Lieutenants Shannon and Mason. Lieutenant Webster was killed about the same time, while gallantly leading his men.
The firing was renewed and continued, however, and in a short time