De Golyer's battery in the mean time opened a well-directed fire against the enemy posted behind the fence, and Rogers' battery of 24-pounder howitzers, supported by Smith's brigade, took a position to the right and well in advance, and poured in a most destructive enfilading fire, under cover of which the line advanced and the crest was gained. A desperate attempt was made to charge and capture Rogers' battery, which was promptly repelled by Smith's brigade, which drove back the enemy with great slaughter, and captured a large number of prisoners. Stevenson's brigade, with the right refused, was advanced at double-quick into a piece of woods on the right of Smith, upon gaining which he was ordered to throw forward his right, so as to make his line of battle nearly parallel with the general line, and to move forward and drive the enemy from a hill in his front, where batteries were being placed. This movement was most brilliantly executed.
The brigade charged across the ravines, up the hill and through an open field, captured seven guns, portions of two batteries, several hundred prisoners, and swept across the road, thus cutting the enemy off from his direct line of retreat to Edwards Depot. In the mean time Hovey, Leggett, and Smith were hotly engaged. Two regiments of Sanborn's brigade were ordered to the support of Hovey, one to the support of Smith, and one to Leggett. The enemy, discovering that their left was turned, now made a most desperate attempt to turn ours, precipitating all their available force on Hovey, whose DIVISION, having been fighting for three and a half hours, was very much fatigued and partially out of ammunition.
The tide of battle was turning against us, when Boomer's brigade came up, and with its able and heroic commander at the head went gallantly into the contest, checked the advance of the enemy, and held him at bay until Holmes' brigade came up, when a dashing charge was made, the enemy rolled back, and the battle won. In the charge the SEVENTEENTH Iowa captured the colors of the Thirty-first Alabama and Waddell's Alabama battery (four pieces).
As soon as the cartridge-boxes could be filled with ammunition, the pursuit was ordered and kept up until dark; Stevenson's brigade and De Golyer's battery in advance, followed by Carr's and Osterhaus' DIVISIONS, of McClernand's corps, then by Smith's and Leggett's brigades, and Crocker's DIVISION, except Holmes' brigade, which was left to guard the wounded, assist in burying the dead, securing the spoils taken from the enemy, &c., the troops bivouacking for the night from 2 to 5 miles in advance of the battle-field.
This, by far the hardest fought battle of all since crossing at Bruinsbrug, and the most decided victory for us, was not won without the loss of many brave men, who heroically periled their lives fir their country's honor. Their determined spirit still animates their living comrades, who feel that the blood poured out on Champion's Hill was not spilt in vain. Every man of Logan's and Crocker's DIVISIONS was engaged in the battle.
Our loss was: Killed, 166; wounded and MISSING, 894. * That of the enemy: Killed,---; wounded and prisoners,---; ---pieces of cannon, two stand of colors, besides quantities of small-arms and ammunition.
At 6 a. m. on the 17th, started for Black River, Logan in the advance, followed by Quinby, who had arrived and assumed command of his DIVISION, and reached a point on the river about 3 miles to the north
*But see revised statement, Part II, p 9.