War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0286 KY.,SW.VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N.ALA., AND N.GA. Chapter XLII.

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supported by Lieutenant-Colonel Griffin, Thirty-eighth Indiana. When the nature of the movement became more developed, and a position for the battery discovered, I sent for instructions as to the disposition of the battery, and was ordered to let it follow in my rear; also that General Palmer was on my right, and was cautioned not to fire into his skirmishers. About this time my line became sharply engaged, and the enemy receding, we closely pressed them. The woods impeding the progress of the battery, Lieutenant-Colonel Griffin hurried forward and took position on the right of the Thirty-third Ohio, having left two companies with the battery. Success appeared to have followed the movement of our left, who were pressing forward with cheers. This state of things extended along my line also. Passing over the enemy's killed and wounded, overtaking and capturing prisoners attended our progress until we arrived at a corn-field in our front, over which we had driven the enemy. Here their battery essayed to get into position, but their horses and men were shot down as often as attempted. Here I was cautioned not to fire into Palmer on my right; that we had passed over a part of his skirmishers, and the exact spot was pointed out on an elevation on my right where they were lying down.

The advance on my left having ceased, I halted in front of the field and placed the battery in position, bearing to my left and the point where the enemy attempted to place a battery. About this time I was informed by my skirmishers that the enemy was passing to our right. I immediately sent a staff officer to notify General Palmer, who, after proceeding a short distance in the supposed direction of General Palmer's line, found himself within 20 paces and confronting a strong skirmish line of the enemy. After adroitly making his escape, and being unable to find my intermediate commander, [he] reported in person the presence of the enemy on the right to Major-General Thomas, who immediately directed him to order any forces that could be found in the woods to meet the enemy in his new position. Three separate commands were thus notified. I was immediately after informed that my right was being turned. Dr. Miller, my brigade surgeon, coming up, reported the enemy in my rear; that he had been in their hands. As information like this came in I dispatched the same to the general commanding division, and threw a company of skirmishers to my right and rear. Scarcely had their deployment been completed when the enemy opened upon them a destructive fire. To form a front to the right by causing the Thirty-eighth Indiana to change their front to the rear and to change the Tenth Wisconsin to the right of the Thirty-eighth Indiana and limber the battery to the rear, between the two regiments, employed but a few moments; this, too, under a heavy fire. The enemy charged down upon me along my whole line, pouring in canister and shell. I had now dispatched every staff officer and orderly with information of my position, asking for support, expressing my intention to hold my place with desperation until assistance arrived; for I felt that the safety of the forces on my left depended upon holding this position. I had observed a line of our forces in my rear passing to the left. I sent to the officer for assistance, but he had other orders. Thus, contending with an overwhelming force in my front and on my flank, was [fought] one of the most stubborn and heroic fights that ever fell to my lot to witness. The gallant Lieutenant Van Pelt was shot down at his guns, having fired 64 rounds into the midst of the enemy as they came charging down the hill, the two regiments on the right and