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[63] hurried to the Rebel rear as prisoners, and soon started on the road to Corinth.

McClernand for a while stood firm; but the defection of Sherman's division on one side, and Prentiss's on the other, left the Rebels free to hurl themselves against him in tremendous force. Two green regiments, the 15th and 16th Iowa, which he now brought to the front under a heavy fire, gave way at once in disorder. Changing his front to meet the Rebel onset, he faced along the Corinth road and planted his batteries to command it; so that the Rebels were for a time foiled in their efforts to advance; and an effort to come in on his rear, over ground abandoned by Sherman's division, was handsomely repulsed, with heavy mutual loss, by Dresser's rifled battery.

But one division could not sustain the weight of more than half the Rebel army, admirably handled, and constantly advancing fresh regiments to replace those already blown or too badly cut up. After repulsing several determined attacks, sometimes advancing a little, but generally giving ground, and losing three Colonels of the line and three officers of his staff, with at least half the effective force of his batteries, McClernand, by 11 A. M., found himself pushed back, with Hurlbut's fresh division on his left, and the debris of Sherman's on his right.

Meantime, a brigade of Sherman's division, under Col. David Stuart, which had been oddly posted on our extreme left, holding what was known as the Hamburg road, had been suddenly shelled from the opposite bluffs of Lick creek, by a force which the next instant peppered them with grape, and the next rushed across the creek and began pouring in sharp volleys of musketry, while the Rebel batteries, firing over the heads of their infantry, soon made our position untenable. Stuart fell back to the next ridge; and, finding the Rebels who had followed Prentiss beginning to come in on his right, sent to Gen. W. H. L. Wallace for assistance. Gen. McArthur's brigade was promptly dispatched to Stuart's support; but, bearing too much to the right, was soon sharply engaged with the pursuers of Prentiss. Falling back to a good position, he held it, though wounded, until Wallace caine to his aid; but Stuart, receiving no direct support, was driven back from one ridge to another, until by noon, himself wounded, several of his officers fallen, and his command sadly shattered, he fell in behind McArthur to reorganize. And thus, of our six divisions, three had been thoroughly routed before mid-day.

Gen. Grant had arrived on the battle-field about 8 A. M.; but, early as was the hour, his army was already beaten. As this, however, is a circumstance of which he is not easily convinced, it did not seem to make as vivid an impression on him as on others. Sending word to Lew. Wallace to hasten up with his division on our right, he devoted his personal attention to reforming his shattered brigades, reestablishing his silenced batteries, and forming new lines of defense to replace those so suddenly demolished. Hurlbut's and W. H. L. Wallace's divisions were still intact; while of the others the better but not the larger part of those not already disabled fell into line on their flanks, or just behind them.

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