siderably farther to the east, and the skirmishing party was withdrawn to the regiment at Williams' house.
Determined to ascertain if possible the force and disposition of the enemy, two pieces of artillery were ordered forward to the edge of the wood, supported by four companies of the Fiftieth Indiana, under Major Attkisson. From these guns a fire was opened upon the enemy along the ridge. He replied with at least a full battery, and the fire for a little while was intense on both sides. Seeing that the enemy had put a heavy force in line along and just over the crest of the ridge, and having accomplished all I desired at that place and time. I ordered our fire to cease and the forces there to be withdrawn to the main column at the cross-roads. Two or three of the horses of one gun having been disabled it was gallantly taken out by a detachment of the Fiftieth under a heavy fire of grape and shell.
The whole command was then moved south, down the Lexington road half a mile, to the Red Mound, and placed in line of battle along and behind the crest of the ridge, which ran back from the road at an angle of forty-five degrees about half the length of the line, where it turns still more eastward; the left rested upon the road; the right upon a thick wood and ravine; the artillery was placed at the turn in the ridge. This position covered a field to the west, a considerable part of the road running south from the cross-roads, and also, by our guns, a portion of the road from the west to the cross-roads. The wagon train was placed in a hollow to the rear, with two companies (one of the Thirty-ninth and one of the One hundred and twenty-second Illinois beyond) to protect it. These dispositions were scarcely made, indeed the artillery had not got fully into position, before the enemy in heavy columns was seen moving from the wood on to the road, near Williams' house, and along it toward the cross-roads. Being out of range of our musketry the artillery was ordered to open fire upon the advancing column, which it did; but from some cause seemingly with but little effect. Lieutenant-Colonel Wells was also directed to send two companies of his regiment (the Fiftieth Indiana) toward the cross-roads to watch and check his advance. Company G, Captain Carothers, immediately moved up the road at double-quick, deployed in the lane,, opened a galling fire, and held his position until forced back by overwhelming numbers. Company B, Lieutenant Davies, also moved forward at the same step and deployed along the edge of the woods, upon which I afterward changed my line, and did valuable service.
The enemy moved past the cross-roads eastwardly, and appeared au if desirous of escaping in that direction. Our forces were immediately and rapidly moved to the north (toward the cross-roads), and a new line formed nearly perpendicular to a prolongation of the first, along the edge and under cover of the woods, parallel to the enemy's advancing column, the left resting upon the road and the right upon an open field, with three companies thrown perpendicular to the rear in the edge of the woods to cover the right flank, and a vigorous attack was commenced. The disposition of the forces at this time was, Company G, Fiftieth Indiana, in the lane, who when forced back as aforesaid took position on the extreme left; second, the Thirty-ninth Iowa; third, the One hundred and twenty-second Illinois; fourth, the detachment of the Eighteenth Illinois; fifth, the Fiftieth Indiana, holding the right; sixth, the companies, one (Company A) of the Thirty-ninth and one of the One hundred and twenty-second at the house on the mound, to cover our rear and protect our train yet in the hollow. All had moved into position with alacrity and with the steadiness of veterans. The artil-