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[401] this withering fire they vainly attempted to deploy, but soon broke and fell back under cover, leaving not less than one hundred and fifty dead and wounded as evidence how our troops maintained their position. The attack on the left was also repulsed, but as the ground was covered with brush the loss could not be judged.

Gen. Prentiss having succeeded in rallying a considerable portion of his command, I permitted him to pass to the front of the right of my Third brigade, where they redeemed their honor by maintaining that line for some time while ammunition was supplied to my regiments. A series of attacks upon the right and left of my line were readily repelled, until I was compelled to order Ross's battery to the rear, on account of its loss in men and horses. During all this time Mann's battery maintained its fire steadily, effectively, and with great rapidity, under the excellent handling of Lieut. E. Brotzmann.

For five hours these brigades maintained their position under repeated and heavy attacks, and endeavored with their thin ranks to hold the space between Stuart's and McClernand's, and did check every attempt to penetrate the lines.

When, about three o'clock, Col. Stuart, on my left, sent me word that he was driven in, and that I would be flanked on the left in a few moments, it was necessary for me to decide at once to abandon either the right or left. I considered that Gen. Prentiss could, with the left of Gen. McClernand's troops, probably hold the right, and sent him notice to reach out toward the right, and drop back steadily parallel with my First brigade, while I rapidly moved Gen. Laumann from the right to the left, and called up two twenty-pounder pieces of Major Cavender's battalion to check the advance of the enemy upon the First brigade. These pieces were taken into action by Dr. Corvine, the surgeon of the battalion, and Lieut. Edwards, and effectually checked the enemy for half an hour, giving me time to draw off my crippled artillery, and to form a new front with the Third brigade. In a few minutes two Texan regiments crossed the ridge separating my line from Stuart's former one, while other troops also advanced.

Willard's battery was thrown into position, under command of Lieut. Wood, and opened with great effect on the Lone Star flags, until their line of fire was obstructed by the charge of the Third brigade, which, after delivering its fire with great steadiness, charged full up the hill, and drove the enemy three hundred or four hundred yards. Perceiving that a heavy force was closing on the left between my line and the river, while heavy fire continued on the right and front, I ordered the line to fall back. The retreat was made quietly and steadily, and in good order. I had hoped to make a stand on the line of my camp, but masses of the enemy were pressing rapidly on each flank, while their light artillery was closing rapidly in the rear. On reaching the twenty-four-pounder siege-guns in battery, near the river, I again succeeded in forming line of battle in rear of the guns, and by direction of Major-Gen. Grant I assumed command of all troops that came up. Broken regiments and disordered battalions came into line gradually upon my division.

Major Cavender posted six of his twenty-pound pieces on my right, and I sent my Aid to establish the light artillery--all that could be found — on my left. Many officers and men unknown to me, and whom I never desire to know, fled in confusion through the line. Many gallant soldiers and brave officers rallied steadily on the new line. I passed to the right, and found myself in communication with Gen. Sherman, and received his instructions. In a short time the enemy appeared on the crest of the ridge, led by the Eighteenth Louisiana, but were cut to pieces by the steady and murderous fire of the artillery. Dr. Corvine again took charge of one of the heavy twenty-four-pounders, and the line of fire of that gun was the one upon which the other pieces concentrated. Gen. Sherman's artillery also was rapidly engaged, and after an artillery contest of some duration the enemy fell back.

Capt. Gwin, U. S. N., had called upon me by one of his officers to mark the place the gunboats might take to open their fire. I advised him to take position on the left of my camp-ground, and open fire as soon as our fire was within that line. He did so, and from my own observation and the statement of prisoners his fire was most effectual in stopping the advance of the enemy on Sunday afternoon and night. About dusk the firing ceased. I advanced my division one hundred yards to the front, threw out pickets, and officers and men bivouacked in a heavy storm of rain. About twelve P. a. Gen. Nelson's leading columns passed my line and went to the front, and I called in my advanced guard. The remnant of my division was reunited, Col. Veatch with the Second brigade having joined me about half-past 4 P. M.

It appears from his report, which I desire may be taken as part of mine, that soon after arriving on the field of battle in the morning, the line of troops in front broke and fled through the lines of the Fifteenth and Forty-sixth Illinois, without firing a shot, and left the Fifteenth exposed to a terrible fire, which they gallantly returned. Lieut.-Col. Ellis and Major Goddard were killed here early in the action, and the regiment fell back. The same misfortune, from the yielding of the front line, threw the Forty-sixth Illinois into confusion, and although the fire was returned by the Forty-sixth with great spirit, the opposing force drove back this unsupported regiment, Col. Davis in person bringing off the colors, in which gallant act he was severely wounded.

The Twenty-fifth Indiana and Fourteenth Illinois changed front and held their ground on the new alignment until ordered to form on the left of Gen. McClernand's command. The Fifteenth and Forty-sixth were separated from the brigade, but fell into line with Gen. McClernand's right.

The battle was sustained in this position — the left resting near my headquarters until the left


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