commanded by Major William H. Squires, on the left of the first line, supported by the One hundredth Illinois, the Eighth Indiana Battery, commanded by Lieutenant George Estep, occupying the intervals between the infantry. This disposition having been made, and the front well covered, with the flank companies of the first line as skirmishers, the order to advance was given. We had to pass over an open field the entire distance to the town.
Before we had been five minutes in motion, a brisk fire was opened by the enemy in and about town upon our skirmishers, which soon became effectual upon the first line also. The fire was vigorously returned by our skirmishers, but, I presume, with little effect, owing to the cover the town, fences, and bushes afforded the enemy.
Not wishing to try and cope with the enemy under such unfavorable circumstances any longer than was absolutely necessary, I ordered the skirmishers and the first line to charge at a double-quick and get possession of the town at all hazards. The front line was lying flat on their faces at the time of receiving the order; but in the twinkling of an eye the entire line sprang to their feet, fixed their bayonets, and, rushing forward with a yell, had, in five minutes' time, possession of the town and the crest beyond. The manner in which this was done left nothing to be desired.
Our entire loss, though skirmishing all day, was sustained at this point. Twenty of the Twenty-sixth Ohio and 7 of the Fifty-eighth Indiana were lying around with wounds of greater or less severity to tell the tale.
Leaving our wounded to be cared for by the rear brigades, we pushed forward, skirmishing nearly all the time. After advancing about 1 1/2 miles beyond the town, I discovered that the front line was becoming much exhausted, and many of the Twenty-sixth Ohio were throwing their knapsacks away. I, therefore, relieved it with the second line, sent a detail back to collect the knapsacks, and pressed on to this point, skirmishing all the way through a drenching rain, and through almost impassable thickets of cedar, and over muddy and sloppy plowed fields. At half a dozen points on the way we were resisted by the enemy's artillery; but Lieutenant Estep's battery, assisted by Major S. Race, in command of the artillery of the division, soon dislodged them, and we moved forward without allowing ourselves to be even temporarily detained, until we came to the eminence just in front of our camp, and which overlooks the bridge at Stewart's Creek.
Here we found the enemy had a battery planted on the hill beyond Stewart's Creek. We had no sooner planted a section of Estep's battery and opened upon them that they promptly returned our fire. The fearful accuracy of their fire soon convinced us that this was a different battery from that with which we had been contending all day, as every shot from the either struck our pieces or came within close proximity. Having no long-range guns in Estep's battery, I sent to the rear for some out of another battery, and as soon as they had got in position the enemy's fire was silenced.
It was during this artillery duel that my skirmishers, who were concealed near the banks of Stewart's Creek, discovered that the enemy had loaded the bridge with rails and other combustible material and had set fire to it. Volunteers, being called for to extinguish the flame at all hazards, the entire line of skirmishers from the Third Kentucky, assisted by Company B, Captain Ewing, of the Twenty-sixth Ohio, rushed in and threw the combustible from the bridge, and saved it. Great credit is due for this act, as the loss of the bridge would have delayed
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