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[420] had remained guarding the crossing of the main telegraph road.

I found Gens. Sigel and Asboth with the troops on the hill near the extreme left, where all was quiet, and the men, not having been under fire, fresh and anxious to participate in the fight. It was now safe to make a new change of front, so as to face Sugar Creek. I therefore ordered this force forward. Gen. Asboth moved by the direct road to Elkhorn Tavern, and Gen. Sigel went by Leetown to reinforce Davis, if need be, but to press on and reinforce Carr, if not needed in the centre. Both generals moved promptly. I accompanied Gen. Asboth, collecting and moving forward some straggling commands that I found by the way. It must have been near five o'clock when I brought the force to the aid of Col. Carr. He had received three or four shots--one a severe wound in the arm. Many of his field-officers had fallen, and the dead and wounded had greatly reduced his force. He had been slowly forced back near half a mile, and had been about seven hours under constant fire. His troops were still fiercely contesting every inch of ground. As I came up, the Fourth Iowa was falling back for cartridges, in line, dressing on their colors, in perfect order. Supposing with my reinforcements I could easily recover our lost ground, I ordered the regiment to face about. Col. Dodge came up, explaining the want of cartridges, but informed of my purpose, I ordered a bayonet charge, and they moved again with steady nerves to their former position, where the gallant Ninth was ready to support them. These two regiments won imperishable honors.

Gen. Asboth had planted his artillery in the road, and opened a tremendous fire on the enemy at short range. The Second Missouri infantry also deployed and earnestly engaged the enemy. About this time the shades of night began to gather around us, but the fire on both sides seemed to grow fierce and more deadly. One of my body-guard fell dead; my Orderly received a shot, and Gen. Asboth was severely wounded in the arm. A messenger came from Gen. Sigel, saying he was close on the left, and would soon open fire. The battery of General Asboth run out of ammunition and fell back. This caused another battery that I had located on the other side of the road. to follow; this latter fearing a want of support. The infantry, however, stood firm, or fell back in good order, and the batteries were soon restored, but the caissons got quite out of reach. The artillery firing was renewed, however, and kept up till dark — the enemy firing the last shot, for I could not find another cartridge to give them a final round; even the little howitzers responded, “No cartridges.” The enemy ceased firing, and I hurried men after the caissons and more ammunition; meantime I arranged the infantry in the edge of the timber, with fields in front, where they lay on their arms and held the position for the night. I directed a detail from each company to bring water and provisions; and thus, without a murmur, these weary soldiers lay, and many of them slept within a few yards of the foe, with their dead and wounded comrades scattered around them. Darkness, silence and fatigue soon secured for the weary, broken slumbers and gloomy repose. The day had closed on some reverses on the right, but the left had been unassailed, and the centre had driven the foe from the field.

My only anxiety for the fate of the next day, was the new front which it was necessary to form by my weary troops. I directed Colonel Davis to withdraw all the remainder of his reserve from the centre, and move forward so as to occupy the ground on Carr's immediate left. Although his troops had been fighting hard most of the day, and displayed great energy and courage, at twelve o'clock at night they commenced their movement to the new position on the battle-field, and they, too, soon rested on their arms.

Nothing further had been heard from General Sigel's command after the message at dark, that he was on or near the left. His detour carried him around a brushy portion of the battle-field, that could not be explored in the night. About two o'clock he reported at my headquarters with his troops, who he said were going to their former camps for provisions. The distance to his camp, some two miles further, was so great I apprehended tardiness in the morning, and urged the General to rest the troops where they then were, at my headquarters, and send for provisions, as the other troops were doing. This was readily concurred in, and these troops bivouacked also for the night. The arrangement thus completed to bring all four of my divisions to face a position which had been held in check all the previous day by one, I rested, certain of the final success on the coming day.

The sun rose above the horizon before our troops were all in position, and yet the enemy had not renewed the attack. I was hardly ready to open fire on him, as the First and Second divisions had not yet moved into position. Our troops that night rested on their arms in the face of the enemy. Seeing him in motion, I could not brook delay, and the centre, under Col. Davis, opened fire. The enemy replied with terrible energy from new batteries and lines which had been prepared for us during the night. To avoid raking batteries, the right wing fell back in good order, but kept up a continuous fire from the new position immediately taken. The First and Second division soon got under way, and moved with great celerity to their position on the left. This completed the formation of the line of battle. It was directly to the rear of the first, and was quite continuous, much of it on open ground. We then had our foe before us where we well knew the ground. The broken defiles occupied by him, would not admit of easy evolutions to repel such as could be made by us on the open plain. Victory was inevitable. As soon as the left wing extended so as to command the mountain, and rest safely upon it, I ordered the right wing to move forward so as to take position where I placed it the night previous. I repaired,

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