headquarters of Major-General McClernand. The First Brigade occupied the position in front nearest the enemy's line and at right angles to the road, and the SECOND Brigade on a similar ridge in the rear of the First Brigade.
The lines of each brigade were formed under fire from the enemy, who were being engaged by Brigadier-General Benton, to my left and near the center of the line of battle.
At this juncture I received orders from Major-General McClernand to hold my DIVISION as a reserve until the arrival of the Tenth DIVISION, commanded by Brigadier-General Smith, at which time my whole command was to be in readiness to take part in the action.
On receiving this command, I ordered my DIVISION to lie down under the cover of the brows of the hills. In less than thirty minutes afterward, general Smith arrived, and the fact was announced to the major-general commanding. In the mean time the brigade under General Benton was engaged in a severe conflict with the enemy upon our left, and gallantly resisting almost overwhelming numbers.
About 7 a. m. an aide from Major-General McClernand came rapidly forward, with orders directing me without the least delay to support General Benton's line. I immediately ordered Brigadier-General McGinnis to march the infantry of the First Brigade in line of battle across a deep and rugged ravine to his support. All concur in describing this ravine as being about 40 rods wide, and filled with vines, cane, deep gulches, and exceedingly difficult of passage. The enemy, no doubt, regarded it as impassable.
As soon as the First Brigade had commenced moving, I ordered the SECOND Brigade, colonel Slack commanding, to march by the right flank around the ravine, in support of the forces engaged in the center. They reached their proper position, in line of the DIVISION, beyond the ravine, about the same time the left of the First Brigade arrived, the right of the First Brigade being still engaged in working through the tangled vines and underbrush of the ravine. As I rode down the road toward the front and middle of my line, I met Captain Klauss, first Indiana Battery, who had been gallantly fighting the rebel batteries; the field around him and one disabled gun testified to the nature of the conflict. He at once pointed out the position of the rebel battery, the guns of which, with a line of rebel heads in their rear, were plainly visible. I immediately rode down, under cover of the brow of the ravine, to the head of the SECOND Brigade, where Colonel Slack and Colonel Cameron, of the Thirty-fourth Indiana, were standing. Lieutenant-Colonel Raynor, of the FIFTY-sixth Ohio, who had been supporting Captain Klauss' battery, here joined us. Here I attempted to communicate with General McGinnis, who was in the rear of his brigade, but the ground was impassable for my aides on horseback, and my voice could not be heard on account of the noise around him.
I pointed out he battery first to Colonel Cameron, and told him it must be taken. Colonel Slack claimed the honor for his command, but I settled the matter by directing Colonel Cameron, thirty fourth Indiana Regiment, to make the charge, and Lieutenant-Colonel Raynor, FIFTY-sixth Ohio, to support it. I also directed Colonel Slack to hold his brigade ready to move forward at any instant. The distance of the rebel gate ready to move forward at any instant. The distance of the rebel battery from the point of may attack could not have exceeded 150 yards. Upon receiving the order to charge, colonel Cameron commanded his battalion to leap the fence, which, with the FIFTY-sixth Ohio, rushed, with loud shouts and fixed bayonets, toward the battery. Their advance was met with grape from the rebel battery and a shower of ball from