and he was preparing to go in search of Buell
; but as soon as the attack was made, on the morning of April 6th, he hastened to the field, despatching an urgent message to Buell
, and promptly making all the provision possible for the support of the troops already engaged.
He anticipated the call for ammunition, and when cartridges were wanted they were already at hand, and a constant supply maintained.
He was in all parts of the field, advising and commending his subordinates, constantly under fire, cool, energetic, and making unwearied exertions to maintain his position.
At times he was vigorously engaged in sending deserters back to their regiments, and in organizing temporarily the numerous fugitives who crowded to the river with exaggerated stories of disaster.
He sent again and again for Buell
's advance to hurry forward, and for Lewis Wallace
to hasten from Crump's Landing.
's advance, slow to move, was yet a long way off, and Wallace
strangely mistook the road, and did not arrive.
Confident that with these reinforcements he could defeat the enemy, Grant
held on with a tenacity which alone saved the day. The Union line was forced back more than a mile, but it was nowhere pierced.
The enemy made desperate attacks; but the Union
troops, encouraged by such officers as Grant
, fought like veterans, although many were new levies, and showed the dogged obstinacy which their commander seemed to inspire.
The last desperate attacks upon the left of the Union
line were met with such firmness, that the rebels were repeatedly thrown back until exhausted.
At this time Buell
's advance, under General Nelson
, arrived, and some of