War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0284 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter XLIV.

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way a superior one for effective defense, I ordered at once a part of my command to dismount and placed it in such a position that it could sweep with its fire not only the front but the entire left flank and not running the slightest danger of being annoyed by the enemy's sharpshooters, the formation of the ground affording ample protection for both men and horses. Close to the road and on the left of it stood a large dwelling-house, surrounded by at least half a dozen of bullet-proof negro log cabins, which I was just on my way to take possession of with 50 of my men who had stepped forward voluntarily, when I received orders from the front to resume my place in the column of march. I did it with reluctance, for I knew by frequent discharges of fire-arms that General Grierson was still engaging the enemy in the rear with the Third Brigade. Still, obedience being the first virtue of a soldier, I resumed my march as ordered. Having proceeded not over 1 1/2 miles I was again ordered by Colonel Waring to take position on the left-hand side of the road, facing the enemy. I immediately deployed a part of my command in a deep gully, some 500 yards left from the road, intrusting the command of the same to Major Yorke. Twenty-five men, under Adjutant Pierson, I placed dismounted on an eminence facing the bend of the road. I directed his attention particularly to a hollow road on the opposite hill which, if allowed to be occupied by one or two pieces of the enemy's artillery, might have played havoc among my center, which was drawn up as a reserve a few paces in the rear of the 25 men under Adjutant Pierson. I had as yet not disposed of half of my command when a terrible rush was made from the rear, caused by the rout of the Third Brigade, and at a time it seemed that it might carry terror and dismay among the First Brigade, which was just preparing for action. Fortunately, the road being pretty wide and the woods open, it took but very little time for the fugitives to pass, and scarcely had the last one passed my lines when the enemy was on his heels, and began to show himself in considerable numbers in our immediate front on the opposite hill. A few scattering shots and the occasional whiz of balls reminded my men that they were for the first time facing the enemy. But only did they perform their work; volley after volley did they pour from their sevenshooters among the pressing foe. Major Yorke did his work bravely on the left; the adjutant was busily engaged in the center keeping the road clear, while Captain von Pannwotz was ordered to take possession, on the immediate right side of the road, of a few buildings, whence he poured forth a galling fire. An entire hour the enemy was held in check on my left and center most stubbornly, but having on my right only one squadron of the North Missouri, under Captain Howe, and a part of the Second Illinois under Captain Moore to support me (the latter was withdrawn during the hottest of the engagement), I began to be apprehensive of being flanked. I sent, therefore, orders to Major Yorke, whose left was considerably in advance of the center and right, to fall slowly back toward the center, still keeping Adjutant Pierson in his old position, when at once a fire was opened by the enemy obliquely on my right. I now ordered the center to move, and I am proud to say that neither an officer nor a man of my command showed any unbecoming haste to withdraw himself from the enemy's fire. They all moved off in perfect order, and not until they had inflicted upon the enemy a severe lesson.