Skirmishers were sent forward from both regiments. The enemy's batteries were opened upon us. The firing was very accurate, the shells falling on the right and in the rear of the Ninety-fourth Illinois; but they were soon silenced and compelled to retire their batteries to a less exposed position, from which they fired only at intervals. The Twentieth Wisconsin Infantry, having advanced on the right of the Nineteenth Infantry, having advanced on the right of the Nineteenth Iowa, I sent out three companies of the Nineteenth Iowa and skirmishers, and ordered the remaining seven companies to advance and support the Twentieth Wisconsin, which was now moving forward through an open field on the right of the road, and at the same time I ordered the Ninety-fourth Illinois to advance through the brush to an open field on the left. Here the Ninety-fourth received the first fire from the enemy, which was hotly returned, and the enemy fell back to a position under cover of the fence.
Meanwhile the Nineteenth Iowa had received and returned the fire of the enemy, and now advanced steadily up the hill to the left of the white house, and across the orchard back of the house to a fence, behind which the enemy in greatly superior force were concealed. As it approached, the enemy in greatly superior force were concealed. As it approached, the enemy rose up and poured in a most severe and destructive fire upon it, and the Twentieth Wisconsin having already commenced to fall back in disorder, the Nineteenth Iowa was unable to hold its position, and was compelled to fall back across the orchard, when Lieutenant-Colonel McFarland fell, shot through the body. Major [D.] Kent then took command and rallied a portion of his men, who had fallen back to the right of the battery, near the position of the Ninety-fourth Illinois. This detachment he left in command of Captain Roderick, while he was engaged in rallying the remainder of his men.
Meanwhile the three companies of the Nineteenth Iowa which were sent out as skirmishers had been advanced to the right of the battery, up to a corn-field, when they were attacked by a superior force of the enemy's cavalry, which they drove back, and continued to advance near to the foot of the hill, when they were met by a greatly superior force of infantry and cavalry, which they dispersed.
I then ordered them to fall back to the corn-field, in order to give the artillery a chance to shell the wood, where they remained until ordered to join the regiment. The battery meanwhile had been actively and effectually engaged in throwing shot and shell wherever it was most needed; changing its position to the front and to the left as circumstances required, and, as the enemy were making great efforts to turn our left wing, the battery took position in the wheat-field on the left of the road, supported by the Ninety-fourth Illinois on the left, outside of the fence.
After the Nineteenth Iowa and Twentieth Wisconsin were driven back, the rebels poured down in large numbers on our left, but were twice repulsed with heavy slaughter by the Ninety-fourth Illinois and the well-served canister from Battery E. But the rebels continuing to menace our left flank in large force, and the battery being so far advanced, with no support but the Ninety-fourth Illinois, which was kept continually engaging the enemy, the battery and the infantry regiment were ordered to fall back. The battery, from loss of horses, was compelled to leave one of its caissons on the field, but it was brought away by a squad of the Ninety-fourth Illinois, under the personal direction of Lieutenant-Colonel McNulta. The battery fell back across the road, and the Ninety-fourth Illinois also fell back to the road in good order.
The three companies of skirmishers of the Nineteenth Iowa were brought out to the road by my direction, when they came up in perfect