and a messenger dispatched to inform General of the position of affairs.
After halting some time and seeing no signs of the enemy, and fearing that there might be some mistake in regard to the battery, I determined to satisfy myself by personal observation, and under direction of Sergt. David Wolsey, of Company C, first Indiana Cavalry, who had been in the advance, moved up the road some 600 yards, to a point from which could be distinctly seen one section of artillery. Several of the cavalry occupied a position in the neighborhood, and informed me that they had fired several shots at the battery without exciting a reply. Being satisfied, I returned to my command. In a short time our cavalry began to fall back slowly, and in the course of an hour I received orders from General Hovey to advance my line and feel the enemy. The order to advance was given, and almost immediately sharp and rapid firing was commenced between the skirmishers. When the order to advance was given, the Thirty-fourth Indiana was in reserve.
The whole line having advanced about 500 yards, the rebel battery opened upon us with volley after volley of grape and canister. The men were ordered to lie down until we had time to inform ourselves more accurately in regard to the enemy's position and the nature of the ground over which we had to move. The position occupied by the different regiments of my command were as follows. Eleventh Indiana on the left of the road, the Twenty-NINTH Wisconsin on the right of the road, and the Twenty-fourth Indiana on the right of the Twenty-NINTH Wisconsin. The Forty-sixth Indiana, which had command, owing to the unevenness of the ground over which we moved, had been crowded clear out of its position and in rear of the line. I directed Colonel Bringhurst to hold his right in reserve, to support the Eleventh and Twenty-NINTH. The Thirty-fourth Indiana was yet in reserve, supporting the right wing. The rebel battery was immediately in front of the right of the Eleventh Indiana and the left of the Twenty-NINTH Wisconsin.
After a short halt, another advance was ordered. The whole line moved forward, with bayonets fixed, slowly, cautiously, and in excellent order, and when within about 75 yards of the battery every gun was opened upon us and every man went to the ground. As soon as the volley of grape and canister had passed over us, the order was given to charge, when the whole line moved forward as one man, and so suddenly and apparently so unexpected to the rebels was the movement, that, after a desperate conflict of five minutes, in which bayonets and butts of muskets were freely used, the battery of four guns was in our possession, and a whole brigade in support was fleeing before us, and a large number of them taken prisoners. The Forty-sixth Indiana was immediately ordered upon the left; they moved up in gallant stile, double-quick, and, almost before they knew it, had driven the rebels from a three-gun battery in their immediate front.
The rebels were driven about 600 yards, when, being strongly reenforced, they turned upon us and made a most determined stand. At this point occurred one of the most obstinate and murderous conflicts of the war. For half an hour each side took their turn in driving and being driven. Seeing that we were largely outnumbered, having every confidence in the valor of the First Brigade, and yet fearing they would be overwhelmed, I started messengers to General and yet fearing they would be overwhelmed, I started messengers to General Hovey informing him of the state of affairs and asking for assistance. I hat the same time
4 R R-VOL XXIV, PT. II