to forward, we moved in line until we came to an open field, where the enemy opened upon us a murderous fire from two batteries placed upon a hill beyond. I halted the brigade and ordered Captains Landis and Buibor, with their batteries, to take position and fire upon the enemy. We here had a brisk artillery fight, which lasted about three-quarters of an hour. Our batteries having driven those of the enemy from their position I then advanced my brigade until I came to another field, where I found the enemy in line under the cover of a fence on the far side of the field, waiting our approach. Here we saw danger ahead, with a battery and line of infantry firing upon us from the left and a heavy fire in front. We moved forward at double-quick across the open field to meet the enemy. Here was unceasing fire of musketry for about one and a half hours, and as we would break the lines of the enemy they would bring fresh troops. I sent to Colonel Gates, whose brigade was not engaged, to try and relieve us of the cross-fire on the left, which he did by sending to my support the Second Missouri Infantry, Colonel Cockrell commanding. We then soon succeeded in driving the enemy from the field, but not until we had lost many brave and gallant officers and soldiers.
During this engagement I was enabled to see the whole length of my brigade, consisting of Third Missouri and Second Mississippi Regiments,* and I am proud to say there was no faltering, but all seemed eager for the combat, and nobly did they sustain it. No troops could have done better; nor could I distinguish between the regiments which behaved the most gallantly. Each did vigorously the work assigned it.
In this charge we lost largely in officers. Colonels Erwin and MacFarlane and Lieutenant-Colonels Terral and Hedgpeth were wounded. Colonel Terral fell while urging his men forward. He was at least 20 yards in advance of his command. I fear he will never again be able to take the field. In him we lose a gallant officer. Lieutenant-Colonel Leigh, of Forty-third Mississippi, fell while gallantly leading his wing of the regiment. Major McQuiddy was severely wounded. major Vaughn, of the sixth Missouri, was killed while leading the charge. Several officers of the line were killed, among whom were the following: Captains Taylor, McKinney, and Graves.
After the enemy fell back and the firing ceased we gathered up the wounded and advance d our line some 200 yards beyond where the enemy had fought us and slept upon our arms all night.
About daylight, leaving our skirmishers out, we fell back about 100 yards under cover of the hill in order to get some refreshments. Before we were done eating the enemy opened their batteries upon us most furiously.
Just at this time I received a message from General Hebert, informing me that he was unable to take the field and that the command of the division would devolve upon me. In a few minutes I received an order from General Price placing me in command. The command of the Third Brigade now devolved upon Colonel Moore, of the Forty-third Mississippi Regiment.
At the time of assuming command I found the brigades placed as follows: The Third Brigade on the left of General Phifer, its left resting near the Mobile and Ohio Railroad; First Brigade (Colonel Gates) on its left, fronting the railroad; the Fourth Brigade (Colonel McLain) on its left, and the Second Brigade (Colonel Colbert) in reserve. In immediately sent for the Second Brigade and placed it in line where the
*So in original, but erroneous. See. p. 374, for organization.