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[220] Harris and Lytle, who fought bravely, but lost ground, in consequence of the disaster on our farther left. Finally, a desperate charge was made upon Lytle's front and right, favored by irregularities of ground, which covered and concealed it, and his brigade was hurled back; Lytle himself falling at this moment, and, believing his wound mortal, refusing to be carried off the field.

The charging Rebels now struck the left flank of Gilbert's corps, held by R. B. Mitchell and Sheridan, which had been for some little time engaged along its front. The key of its position was held — and of course well held — by Brig.-Gen. Philip H. Sheridan, who had been engaged in the morning, but had driven the enemy back out of sight, after a short but sharp contest, and had just repelled another assault on his front, advancing his line as his assailants retired, and then turning his guns upon the force which had just driven Rousseau's right. And now Gen. Mitchell pushed forward the 31st brigade, Col. Carlin, on Sheridan's right, and charged at double-quick, breaking and driving the enemy into and through Perryville, to the protection of two batteries on the bluffs beyond, capturing 15 heavily laden ammunition wagons, 2 caissons with their horses, and a train-guard of 140, retiring amid the Rebel confusion to this side of the town, and thence opening fire with his battery as darkness came on.

Meantime, the 30th brigade, Col. Gooding, which had been sent by Gilbert to the aid of McCook, had formed on our extreme left, confronting the division of the Rebel Gen. Wood, and here fought desperately for two hours against superior numbers. A lull occurring in the fusillade, Gooding rode forward, about dark, to ascertain the Rebel position; when his horse was shot under him and he made prisoner. His brigade then fell back, having lost 549 men out of 1,423; taking position in line with McCook. There was some random artillery firing afterward; but darkness substantially closed the battle.

Gen. Buell did not learn until 4 P. M. that any serious conflict was in progress. He nor heard with astonishment from McCook that he had been two hours hotly engaged; that both the right and the left of his corps were turned, or being turned; and that he was severely pressed on every hand. Reenforcements were immediately ordered to McCook from the center, and orders sent to Crittenden — who was advancing with our right division — to push forward and attack the enemy's left; but Crittenden's advance only reached the field at nightfall, when a single brigade (Wagner's) went into action on the right of Mitchell's division, just before the battle was terminated by darkness.

At 6 A. M. next day,1 Gilbert's corps advanced by order to assail the Rebel front, while Crittenden struck hard on his left flank; but they found no enemy to dispute their progress. Bragg had decamped during the night, marching on Harrodsburg; where he was joined by Kirby Smith and Withers; retreating thence southward by Bryantsville to Camp Dick Robinson, near Danville.

Bragg admits a total loss in this

1 Oct. 9.

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