ford near that point, and hold it. I immediately moved northward to McDonald's house, and thence at right angles eastward toward the bridge. A short distance from McDonald's I formed the brigade in two lines, sent skirmishers to the front, and advanced cautiously, though without losing time, 1 1/2 miles. In the meantime brisk firing was progressing upon my right, understood to be maintained by the First and Second Brigades of this division.
Being without a guide and entirely unacquainted with the country, I am unable to state how near I went to Reed's Bridge, but perceiving from the firing upon my right that I was passing the enemy's flank, i wheeled the line in that direction and began feeling his position with my skirmishers.
About this time I received an order stating that the Second Brigade was gradually giving back, and that it was necessary I should at once make an attack. This we did with a will, the first line, composed of the Thirty-fifth Ohio on the right and the Second Minnesota on the left, moving down a gentle slope, leaving the Eighty-seventh Indiana in reserve on the crest of the hill. At this time the Ninth Ohio, which had charge of the ammunition train of the division, had not arrived. Smith's battery, composed of four 12-pounder Napoleons, was placed in position in the center and on the right of the line. The enemy having discovered our location, opened a furious fire of artillery and musketry, which was replied to promptly and apparently with considerable effect; for in half an hour the enemy slackened his fire, and his advance line was compelled to fall back. I took advantage of this moment to bring forward the Eighty-seventh Indiana, and by a passage of lines to the front carried them to the relief of the Thirty-fifth Ohio, which had already suffered severely in the engagement. This movement was executed with as much coolness and accuracy as if on drill. Scarcely was the Eighty-seventh Indiana in line before fresh forces of the enemy were brought up in time to receive a terrible volley, which made his ranks stagger and held him for some time at bay. The Ninth Ohio, which I had previously sent for, arriving at this moment, I placed it on the right of my line. Still farther to the right a section of Church's battery and the Seventeenth Ohio, which had been ordered to report to me, were in position.
As the enemy slackened his fire, Colonel Kammerling, chafing like a wounded tiger that he had been behind at the opening, ordered his men to charge. Away they went, closely followed by the Eighty-seventh Indiana and the Seventeenth Ohio, the enemy falling back precipitately. The Ninth in this charge recaptured the guns of Guenther's battery, Fifth Artillery, and held them.
In the meantime the enemy, massing his forces, suddenly appeared upon my left and rear. He came forward, several lines deep, at a double-quick, and opened a brisk fire, but not before I had changed my front to receive him. My new line consisted of the Second Minesota on the right, next one section of Smith's battery, commanded by Lieutenant Rodney, then the Eighty-seventh Indiana, flanked by Church's and the other section of Smith's battery, and on the extreme left the Thirty-fifth Ohio. The two extremities of the line formed an obtuse angle, the vertex on the left of the Eighty-seventh Indiana, and the opening toward the enemy. The Second Minnesota and the Eighty-seventh Indiana lay on the ground, and were apparently unobserved by the enemy, who moved upon the left of my lines, delivering and receiving a direct fire, Church opening with all his