the center, rendered the juncture apparently favorable for bringing additional and fresh troops into action.
Hascall's brigade was now brought forward and put in position on the right of Wagner's brigade; but the abatement of the enemy's fire was but the lulling of the storm, soon to burst with greater fury. The attack was renewed on our center and left with redoubled violence. Hascall's brigade had got into position in good season, and aided, in gallant style, in driving back the enemy. Estep's battery, generally associated with Hascall's brigade, had been detached early in the morning and sent to the right and rearward to aid in driving back the enemy from our center and right.
The falling back of the right wing had brought our lines into a crotchet. This rendered the position of the troops on the extreme left particularly hazardous, for had the enemy succeeded in gaining the turnpike in his attack on the right, the left would have been exposed to an attack in reverse. This danger imposed on me the necessity of keeping a rigid watch to the right, to be prepared to change front in that direction should it become necessary. Again the enemy was seen concentrating large masses of troops in the fields to the front and right, and soon these masses moved forward to the attack. Estep's battery was now moved to the front to join Hascall's brigade. The artillery in the front line, as well as that placed in the rear of the center and left, poured a destructive fire on the advancing foe, but on he came until within small-arm range, when he was repulsed and driven back.
But our thinned ranks and dead and wounded officers told, in unmistakable language, how largely we were suffering in those repeated attacks. Colonel McKee, of the Third Kentucky Volunteers, had been killed, and Colonel Hines and Lieutenant-Colonel Lennard, of the Fifty-seventh Indiana, and Colonel Blake and Lieutenant-Colonel Neff, of the Fortieth Indiana, with others, wounded.
During this attack the Fifteenth Indiana Volunteers, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Wood, counter-charged one of the enemy's regiments and captured 173 prisoners. The capture was made from the Twentieth Louisiana. While this attack was in progress, I received a message from General Palmer, commanding the Second Division of the left wing, that he was sorely pressed, and desired I would send him a regiment if I could possibly spare one. I sent an order to General Hascall to send a regiment to General Palmer's assistance, if his own situation would warrant it. He dispatched the Fifty-eighth Indiana Volunteers, Colonel G. P. Buell's regiment, to report to General Palmer. The regiment got into position, reserved its fire until the enemy was in close range, and then poured in a withering discharge, from which the foe recoiled in disorder.
Our extreme left next became the object of the enemy's attention. His skirmishers were seen descending the slope on the opposite side of the river, and also working their way down the stream, apparently with the design of gaining our left flank and rear. A few well-directed shots of grape and canister from Cox's battery drove them back. This battery did most useful service in counter-battering the enemy's artillery posted on the heights on the southern side of the river.
The afternoon was now well advanced, but the enemy did not seem disposed to relinquish the design of forcing us from our position. Heavy masses were afresh assembled in front of the center, with a view evidently of renewing the onset, but the well-directed fire of the artillery held them in check, and only a small force came within range of our small-arms, which was readily repulsed.