left regiments became at once engaged in the conflict. Carlin's right rested in a small open field, which presented an admirable position for a light battery, and the Second Minnesota was rapidly brought into position a little in rear of our line of infantry, which was soon drawn back so as to give as free range as possible to the guns. The enemy soon showed himself in heavy force on our front, and was evidently making an effort to turn our flank with a view to getting possession of the road leading to Gordon's Mills, over which a part of the troops of General Crittenden's command had yet to pass in reaching the battle-field.
My lines of infantry as now formed ran through a thick oak forest, a few hundred yards in advance of and parallel to the road leading to Gordon's Mills, my right a little refused. The action commenced about half past 12 p. m., and was sustained with great stubbornness on both sides for a half to three-quarters of an hour, when Heg reported his left as being very hard pressed and asked for re-enforcements, informing me at the same time that he had ordered his reserve regiment into the front line and was still unable to hold his position much longer. I immediately ordered Carlin's reserve regiment, which proved to be the Twenty-first Illinois, to his support.
This distinguished regiment moved promptly into position under its indomitable leader, Colonel Alexander, and engaged with great spirit in the contest then pending and of doubtful issue. My lines thus arranged, with the admirable position taken, and efficient working of the Second Minnesota Battery on my right, I was enabled to repel the repeated assaults of the enemy, and to prevent him from flanking our position, until about 4 p. m., when re-enforcements arrived. Colonel Harker's brigade, of General Wood's division, first arrived and was quickly formed in line, and moved forward in support of my troops.
General Crittenden, Wood, and Sheridan arrived at this time upon the field, followed by their respective commands. As soon as fresh troops could be placed in position to do so, my command was relieved from further participation in this part of the engagement, and ordered into bivouac a few hundred yards in rear of the field they had held for a so many hours against almost overwhelming odds, over one-third of their number having fallen, killed or wounded, among whom was the gallant leader of the Third Brigade, Colonel Heg.
The approach of night was fast bringing a close to the contest, and I ordered my troops to stack their arms, in order that they might get refreshments and replenish their exhausted cartridge boxes.
About 3 o'clock in the morning of the 20th, in compliance with orders from the corps commander, I ordered my command under arms and moved it to the forks of the road in rear of the Widow Glenn's house, where it remained awaiting orders until daylight. My position by this time having been determined upon, I at once formed my lines and put my batteries in position on a high wooded hill a few hundred yards north of the road leading to Crawfish Spring.
General Lytle's brigade, of General Sheridan's division, was formed immediately in my front a short distance in advance of the base of the hill.
Remaining in this position until near 10 o'clock, I received orders from General McCook (through Captain McClurg) to move to my left and close upon General Crittenden's right. This movement was
immediately commenced, and I soon discovered that General Critten-