having excellent range, compelled my advance to fall back, it being impossible to move my command across the ford under their fire.
I then ordered Colonel Huston, commanding the Second Division, to cut a road through the timber, and move Battery F (Captain Murphy), First Missouri Artillery, to a point on the south side of the creek, and half a mile from the regular ford, my intention being to draw the fire of the enemy, to enable my infantry to cross the creek at the ford. The movement was entirely successful, the battery dividing, getting into position, and opening fire on the enemy before they discovered the movement. Under cover of its fire, I ordered forward the batteries of Captain Backof, Lieutenant Foust, and Lieutenant Borris, supported by the Nineteenth Iowa, Twentieth Wisconsin, and Ninety-fourth Illinois Infantry. So rapidly was the order obeyed that the whole eighteen pieces were at work before the enemy could obtain our range. The fire was rapidly replied to by the rebel batteries, which had every advantage in position; but so accurate was the firing that in one hour nearly all their batteries were silenced.
During this time I had formed the infantry, the Second Division, Colonel Hudson commanding, occupying the right, and the Third Division, under my immediately command, the left of my position. It required but a short time to satisfy myself that the rebels were present in largely superior force, and I immediately determined to give them the best fight I could until you could came up with additional forces. The enemy making a movement of their infantry toward my left, I ordered forward the Second Brigade of the Third Division, under Colonel W. W. Orme, to the base of the ridge occupied by them, and, while their attention was attracted by the fire of the Second Brigade, I moved up the First Brigade, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Bertram. The batteries advanced across the open field with the infantry, pouring in a terrible fire of grape and canister. When within 100 yards of the ridge, the Twentieth Wisconsin and Nineteenth Iowa Infantry were ordered to charge a battery placed near a farm house, on the edge of the hill. The charge was made in gallant style, the enemy driven back, and the battery taken, but the ground could not be held. Regiment after regiment of infantry was hurled upon them, and they were compelled to fall back. This was followed by a charge of the rebels en masse upon the batteries of Captain Foust and Backof, and Lieutenant Borris. Never was there more real courage and pluck displayed, and more downright hard fighting done, than at this moment by the above-named batteries. Advancing to within 100 yards of the guns, the rebels received a fire that could not be withstood, and retreated in disorder, receiving, as they ran, a terrible fire, causing great slaughter among them.
For the management of his battery and the soldier-like qualities displayed by Captain Foust, Company E, First Missouri Light Artillery, at this time especially, he deserves very great credit.
Colonel Huston was then instructed to move one of his brigades from the right to the support of the center.
Arriving at the point and discovering the rebel infantry again moving down the hill, Colonel Huston ordered the Twenty-sixth Indiana and Thirty-seventh Illinois Regiments to charge them, which they did, Colonel Huston leading them in person. It was a repetition of the first charge; the same battery was captured, the enemy again driven back, and we, in turn, compelled to abandon the position by force of numbers.
About this time (2.30 p.m.) a battery opened some distance from my right, which I soon discovered to be from division. With the knowl-