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[174] National line the attack was conducted by such overwhelming numbers that the line was broken through, and the battle seemed well-nigh likely to become a total rout on the part of the National forces. It was at this last gap broken through the National line that McAllister's battery was stationed, and where for a time it fell in the hands of the rebels. The battery had only one hundred and fifty rounds of ammunition, and at about ten o'clock these were all fired away — not a single shot was left. Capt. McAllister in vain endeavored to obtain a supply from the rear; a shot from the enemy passed through three of his horses; another tore off the trail from one of the guns; a third smashed the wheel of a second gun. Just at this time, a heavy force of the enemy obtained a cover near him, and opened fire at about two hundred yards with musketry. Hitching six horses to the only undamaged gun, he endeavored to haul it off, but the weight was so great, and the road in such a muddy condition, that it was found impossible to get along with it, and after dragging it a half-mile, it became mired, and he was reluctantly obliged to leave it. The horses were driven off, dragging the limbers and empty caissons, and the guns were left to their fate. In the course of the day a tremendous charge on the part of our troops reoccupied the lost ground, closed up the gap and recovered the pieces. They were found where they were left, their great weight — being twenty-four-pound siege-guns — probably preventing the enemy from taking them away.

The fight raged from daylight until nearly noon without a moment's cessation, and resulted in the enemy's being driven back to his intrenchments. The battle-ground extended over a space some two miles in length, every inch of which was the witness of a savage conflict. The rebels fought with the most determined bravery, and seemed bent upon breaking through the right wing at any cost. They poured against our lines a perfect flood, and it was only by a bravery that equalled their own, and a resolute determination to conquer that outlasted their efforts, that our gallant soldiers were at length enabled to stay the fierce tide, and finally to hurl it back to its former boundaries. Our men determined that they would win, and win they did, with a gallantry that entitles every man to the name of hero.

The whole of the fight was of the most terrific character. Without a single moment's cessation the rebels poured into our forces perfect torrents of canister, shell, and round-shot, while their thousands of riflemen hurled in a destructive fire from every bush, tree, log, or obstruction of any kind that afforded shelter. The roar of the battle was like that of a heavy tornado, as it sweeps through some forest on its mission of destruction. Small arms kept up an incessant cracking, mingling with which came up occasionally the roar of company or division firing, while over all came every moment or two the resonant thunders of the batteries.

Never fought men better than did ours on this bloody day. They clung to a position till driven from it by the direst necessity, and in many individual cases, men refused to retreat, but stuck to their tree or bush till the enemy's force rolled about them and swallowed them up. Many in this way were taken prisoners, while others found a speedier, bloodier end to their daring. The victory was a costly one. Some of the regiments were cut completely to pieces, others were reduced to a size that scarcely left them a respectable company, while all suffered more or less severely. Lieut.-Col. Quinn, of the Twentieth Illinois, while gallantly urging on his men in the hottest of the fight, was struck by a grapeshot that cut his heart completely out. The mortality among officers was terrible. Major Post, of the Eighth Illinois, Capt. Rigby, acting Major of the Thirty-first Illinois, Lieut.-Col.White, of the same regiment, Lieut.-Col. Smith, of the Forty-eighth; Capt. Craig, company A, and Lieut. Skeats, company F, all of the Eighteenth; Capt. Wilson, company F, Eighth, Capt. Swartout, company H, Eighth Missouri; Capt. Shaw, company B, Lieut. Vore, company E, and Lieut. Boyce, all of the Eleventh Illinois; Adjt. Kirkpatrick, of the Thirtieth, Capt. Mendel, of the Seventh, Capt. Brokeck, of the Forty-ninth Illinois; Lieut. Mausker, of the Eighteenth Illinois; Adjt. Chipman and Capt. Slaymaker, of the Second Iowa, were among those who met their death on this bloody battlefield.

Our entire loss is not yet known, but will reach a figure not much short of six hundred, killed and wounded. The number of men wounded is beyond all precedent, but in an unusually large number of cases, they are not of a serious nature. The enemy used, generally, the “buck and ball” cartridge; that is, a cartridge with one ball and three buckshot. Almost everybody got a scratch from one of the latter; one could scarcely go anywhere where the air was not filled with them.

Affairs had scarcely quieted down, on the right wing, ere the ball was opened in Gen. Smith's division on the left. The Second, Seventh, and Fourteenth Iowa, and the Eleventh and Twenty-fifth Indiana regiments had a sharp engagement, with a very brilliant success. In front of them was the outer breast-work of the enemy, and this it was determined to storm. About three o'clock a heavy body of men was thrown forward as skirmishers, between whom and the rebels there ensued an exchange of compliments of a very exciting nature. Finally, after fighting an hour or so, with no great damage to either party, the Iowa Second rushed forward, charged the breast-work on a run, and with a tremendous cheer swarmed over the top and carried it with the bayonet. They were soon after supported by the rest of the column, and the rebels were driven into their next line by a savage fire of musketry that swept them down by scores.

The whole operation was exceedingly brilliant, and reflects high credit upon Gen. Smith, who personally superintended the operation, exposed himself precisely as if he had been a private soldier, and was among the first to mount the breast-work. The whole thing was accomplished


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