War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0538 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N.ALA.,AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXII.

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to the same point in the most perfect order. They planted their colors in the ground, and then extended their line by deploying to the right and left. The entire line threw themselves upon the ground and at once opened upon us and kept up a murderous fire. Here I reported the position of affairs in the front to General Cruft, and in obedience to his order, hastened to the left, where I found that our support on the left had fallen back to a point near half a mile in the rear and farther to the left. In returning to report to the general, I discovered that General Negley's entire line had apparently given way,and his troops artillery and infantry were then hurrying through the woods in our rear to some point on the left, thus leaving our entire right flank open and unprotected.

Our position at this moment was one of great peril and danger. The enemy having driven back to brigade on our left, and gained possession of the high grounds around the burnt house, had there posted a battery, one section of which was turned on our position, hurling with fearful accuracy perfect showers of grape and shell. On the right they had pressed closely upon the retiring forces of General Negley, and had gained a point within 150 yards of our position, when Captain Standart, wheeling one section of his battery to the right opened upon them with such effect that they were checked, but immediately opened upon our position a terrible fire of musketry.

Meanwhile their batteries and infantry in our front kept up an incessant firing. Thus we were completely exposed to an enfilanding fire of artillery, and musketry, rendering our position untenable, and our capture or annihilation almost certain if we remained. The men, however, stood up nobly, preventing several different attempts to gain our position from the front. At this moment I was informed that the Second Kentucky and Thirty-first, Indiana, who had for over tow hours held their position at the fence, fighting against superior numbers, had nearly exhausted their ammunition. I immediately informed General Cruft of the fact and also of our situation in the front and on the flanks and asked permission to withdraw. He refused, saying that it was necessary for us to hold our position, in order to protect the retreat of General Negley's artillery. I immediately went forward and relieved the Second Kentucky at the fence by the Ninetieth Ohio, the Thirty-first Indiana being relieved by the First Kentucky. The passage of lines

by the advancing and retiring regiments was executed in the most perfect manner and in good order.

By the time the line had again been formed at the fence, the enemy, re-enforced,were pressing steadily forward on our flanks, and a force, eight columns deep, was advancing directly to our front. The First Kentucky sprang over the fence and advanced to meet them, but after delivering several volleys was forced to fall back to the fence. Here this regiment and the Ninetieth Ohio kept them in check. I returned to the rear line, and found that all efforts to obtain a fresh supply of ammunition for the Second Kentucky and Thirty-first Indiana had proved fruitless. I informed the general of the fact, and also that it was impossible, for the two regiments, then hotly engaged in the front, to hold their position against such odds.

He again sent me to see the situation on our left and in the rear. I found the Second Brigade still holding their ground far in our rear, and one brigade of Negley's division formed in line facing immediately to our rear, and firing at the enemy, who appeared to be advancing in that direction. Of these facts and our isolated position I informed General Cruft, when he reluctantly gave me the order to have the brigade fall