when the march was resumed, arriving in Fayetteville at sunrise on the morning of the 7th.
I had intended to await at Fayetteville the arrival of the trains, in order to allow the men to procure breakfast, much needed after their long and toilsome night march. Before the arrival of the trains afforded opportunity for so doing, a message from General Blunt, with an indorsement thereon by the general commanding, was received, urging me to bring forward my division as rapidly as possible. Without a moment's delay I put my column in motion, and before noon had united with the Third Division on the bank of Illinois Creek, in front of the enemy.
Very soon after my arrival, by direction of the commanding general, I brought forward Battery F (Murphy's), First Missouri Light Artillery, and, dividing it into half batteries, placed the three pieces of the right half, under Lieutenant Marr, at a point in the open field, affording a good command of the enemy's position.
The left half, under the immediate command of Captain Murphy himself, I placed in a more commanding position, about 400 yards from there to the right, upon higher ground. In compliance with an order received from the commanding general, I then directed Captain Murphy to open the attack, which he did in gallant style, followed by the batteries of the Third Division, posted on lower ground in front.
I had meanwhile placed the Thirty-seventh Illinois Infantry as a support to protect the battery on the right, and the Twentieth Iowa Infantry on the left, with the Twenty-sixth Indiana Infantry 100 yards in the rear and center, under cover of a thick growth of young wood, as a reserve. Occupying this position, the battery did superb execution, and, in conjunction with the other battery of my command and those of the Third Division, silenced all those the enemy brought forward, as soon as their position could be ascertained. The enemy's batteries being silenced, I was ordered to move forward two infantry regiments of my division to the support of the infantry of the other division, which were falling back, after a desperate assault of the enemy's position, on the ridge. I brought forward the Twenty-sixth Indiana and the Thirty-seventh Illinois at double-quick.
Finding, on my arrival at the foot of the ridge, that the other regiments had fallen back so far, and were so badly cut up that it was necessary to give them time to reform, I ordered the two regiments to move up the hill to assault the position of the enemy, strongly posted on the crest of the ridge. Throwing out a company of skirmishers from each to cover their front, both regiments moved steadily and compactly forward till they reached a point 75 to 100 yards beyond the crest of the ridge, when the skirmishers commenced firing upon the enemy, of whom comparatively few could be seen. Suddenly the infantry of the enemy, which had been lying down, concealed by the thick brush and leaves, rose up in one overwhelming number and poured in a deadly, galling fire, which was withstood and returned for a time by our troops with the coolness and firmness of veteran soldiers. The preponderance of numbers on the part of the enemy was so great that the infantry was eventually forced to retire in some little confusion; but they soon reformed in good order, taking a position about 250 yards from the foot of the ridge, which they maintained until the close of the action. The two regiments had lost nearly one-third number in killed and wounded in the desperate assault. All these operations took place under my immediate supervision.
During this time the Twentieth Iowa Infantry, which had formed the left support of Murphy's battery, was, by some mistake in conveyance