War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0586 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

sunrise at quick-time south toward Lexington, Henderson County, for about 6 miles, to Parker's Cross-Roads, where the advance of our brigade met the advance of the rebels being driven back into the woods west of the Lexington road, on the road leading from McLemoresville to Clarksville, on the Tennessee River-Clarksville, a small crossing merely.

The mounted infantry of the Eighteenth Illinois were sent forward through the woods and drew the fire of the rebel artillery, they then using sex pieces. At this time the Ohio brigade had not started from Huntington, about 12 miles distant. the three regiments-the Seventh Tennessee, having about 300 men, remained at Huntigdon-were moved forward to Parker's house, at the cross-roads, and thence west in front of the rebels. The enemy's guns were masked and in position, commanding the road. One of our guns was put in position and fired at random, we then not being able to see the enemy. To that shot the rebels responded with several pieces, at once dismounting our gun. At this point it was determined to form our line a half mile to the south-east, in a wood facing the west and north, with an open field between us and the enemy. The movement was executed without casualty. The wagons were placed in our rear, and the two remaining guns with our brigade placed in position, my regiment occupying the center of the line and supporting the guns, which then had less than 20 rounds of ammunition; the Fiftieth Indiana on the right well advanced and deployed as skirmishers; Thirty-ninth Iowa on my left and in line. At this time the rebels, over 6,000 strong, advanced against our position in two columns; the smaller one, about 2,000 strong, advanced toward our front; they being mounted were thrown into confusion by our shells, without suffering much punishment, and were then driven by our skirmishers on to their main force, which was advancing across the field on our right flank, and had so far advanced as to flank us, compelling us to change our front to the north, so that our next line was along the north side of the wood, pasture, or field in which we were, facing the north and the open field. By this time our artillery was out of ammunition and the guns were soon from loss of horses rendered useless and were run into a ravine and temporarily abandoned.

The change of front was made under a severe fire of small-arms, from which 15 or 20 men of my regiment (One hundred and twenty-second Illinois) were wounded, among them the captain of Company A. Pending this move on our part the rebels had obtained a ridge in the field in our new front, in shape of an arc of a great circle, behind the crest of which they had placed ten pieces of artillery at distances varying from 300 to 600 yards, and as we came into line, facing the north and in front of the rebels' guns, they opened upon us most furiously with grape, canister, shell, and solid shot.

This artillery was supported by over 2,000 dismounted infantry, their whole force having been mounted.

Our guns were of no service to us at this time, our ammunition being all gone. The One hundred and twenty-second Illinois was then advanced close up to the north fence and commenced to return the rebels's compliments. This lasted one hour and fifteen minutes, the rebels all the time firing their artillery with great rapidity and considerable accuracy; also keeping up a heavy fire from their infantry supports. During this time the One hundred and twenty-second Illinois-that is, the companies present-held their places and responded rapidly and with accuracy, considering the character of guns they had, and yet have-altered Harper's Ferry muskets.