War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0104 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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was almost impassable, and we found it impossible to put it in good condition. Whilst waiting at the head of my column to hear from the rear, I was informed by General Sturgis that General Grierson, commanding Cavalry DIVISION, had struck the enemy beyond Brice's Cross- Roads, some five miles in advance, and was ordered to move my leading brigade up as rapidly as possible to the support of the cavalry, leaving the other two brigades to come up with the train. I accordingly ordered Colonel Hoge, commanding Second Brigade, in advance that day, to move up in quick time without any reference to the column in his rear, and sent my quartermaster to close up the train and have it, with the brigades of Colonels Wilkin and Bouton, move up as rapidly as possible. I accompanied the advance brigade, and, en route to the field, received repeated and urgent orders to move up as rapidly as possible, as the enemy was developing large force and driving our cavalry back. Colonel Hoge's reached the cross- roads between 1 and 2 p. m., and went into action at once on the right of the Baldwyn road, relieving Colonel Waring's brigade of cavalry, which had been forced back to within a short distance of Brice's house. As fast as Colonel Hoge's regiments came up, they were deployed on the right of the Baldwyn road, extending the line in a semi- circular form in the direction of the Guntown road, relieving the cavalry as they took position. As soon as the regiments took their position in line, skirmishers were thrown forward, and the men told that the enemy was in their immediate presence in force, and that they must be prepared to meet a heavy attack soon. The skirmish line was established along the whole front by Captain Fernald, Seventy- second Ohio Infantry, acting aide- de-camp, under a constant fire from the enemy. Chapman was ordered in battery in the open ground about Brice's house, and directed to open upon the enemy over the heads of our men. Soon after Hoge's brigade was placed in position, the First Brigade, Colonel Wilkin, came up, the Ninety- fifth Ohio Infantry in advance. This regiment was immediately placed in line on the left of the Baldwyn road, with instructions to assist the regiments of Hoge's left in holding that road, and to govern itself by the movements of his brigade. The One hundred and fourteenth Illinois Infantry coming next, was placed on the right of Hoge's brigade, completing the line to the Guntown road, and relieving the cavalry to that point. The Ninety- THIRD Indiana Infantry, Colonel Thomas, was placed on the right of the Guntown road, over which it was very evident the enemy was then advancing to attack. The Seventy- second Ohio Infantry and Mueller's section of the Sixth Indiana Battery were posted on an eminence in the rear of Brice's house, to keep the enemy from getting possession of a bridge a short distance back, and cutting us off. Battery E, First Illinois Light Artillery, Captain Fitch, and the Ninth Minnesota Infantry, Lieutenant- Colonel Bouton's brigade of colored troops had charge of the train on that day, and had not yet come up.

The arrangements mentioned above had not yet been fully completed before the enemy made a furious attack along the whole line and on each flank, developing the fact that his force was far superior to that bloody contest, was forced back, and I was obliged to throw in the only regiment I had in reserve to drive the enemy back and re- establish my line at that point. This work was gallantly performed by the Ninth Minnesota, under the heroic Marsh, and I desire here to express to him and his brave men my thanks for their firmness and bravery, which alone saved the army at that critical moment from utter defeat and