left, in order to obtain a more advantageous position, and enable his men to procure from the creek the water for which they were suffering.
So much being accomplished, and no enemy in sight save some cavalry on the bluffs across the creek, he proceeded, at 1 1/2 P. M., to the left of his line; in no apprehension of an attack until he should see fit to make one.
Battle of Perrlyvillie.|
He was grievously mistaken.
Hardly had he been half an hour away from his front, when his left, composed mainly of green soldiers, under a brave but inexperienced commander, and not fully formed in order of battle, was suddenly and vehemently assailed in front and flank by rapidly charging masses of infantry and artillery, hitherto concealed in woods and hollows, but which seemed as if magically evoked from the earth.
's division, which had been silently moved from the Rebel
left to their right, led this assault, responding with terrific yells and more hurried step to the fire of our batteries, until within short musketrange, when, at their very first volley, Maj.-Gen. James S. Jackson1
His fall disorganized the raw and over-matched brigade of Gen. Terrill
, which he was desperately exerting himself to steady, and it gave way in utter panic; Gen. Terrill
himself following his chief's example and sharing his fate not long afterward; as did, at a later hour, Col. George Webster
, 98th Ohio, commanding a brigade.
's brigade being thus instantaneously routed, with the loss of Parsons
's battery, the whole force of the Rebel
charge fell upon Rousseau
, who was ready to receive it. An attempt to flank and crush his left was promptly met by new dispositions: Starkweather
's brigade, with Stone
's and Bush
's batteries, being faced to that flank, and receiving the enemy with volley after volley, which tore his ranks and arrested his momentum for two or three hours, until our ammunition was exhausted, and Bush
's battery had lost 35 horses; when our guns were drawn back a short distance, and our infantry retired to replenish their cartridge-boxes; then resuming their position in line.
's center and right were held respectively by the brigades of