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The battle, for the most part, was fought in a forest with a thick undergrowth beneath, and regiments acted mostly on the principle of hitting a head wherever it could be found. Swarming on all sides of them, they were not at a loss to find them. One regiment was only driven from before them when another sprung up to take its place, and there is hardly a regiment of the force engaged but was opposed to triple its numbers. Thus went the tide of battle for five hours--now gaining a little, but upon the whole obliged to retire. Officers and men dropped upon all sides. Field-officers were borne killed and wounded from the field, and their next in command coolly took their place and continued the fight. Lieut.-Col. White, of the Thirty-first, Lieut.-Col. Smith, of the Forty-eighth, Lieut.-Col. Irvin, of the Twentieth, and Major Post, of the Eighth Illinois, and scores of company officers were all killed, gallantly leading on their men.

Cols. Logan, Lawler, and Ransom were wounded, but yet firm in their determination never to yield.

And still with unyielding courage the gallant Illinoisians and Indianians would not acknowledge themselves vanquished. When the last cartridge had been expended, and orders were given to retire, for other regiments to take their place, soldiers, grim with smoke and powder, would angrily inquire for what, and beg to be allowed to use the bayonet. But it was not in the power of mortal men, occupying the position ours did, and exposed to such a raking artillery fire as the enemy subjected them to, to maintain their ground against the overwhelming force which the rebels continued to push against them.

Oglesby's, W. H. L. Wallace's, and McArthur's brigades were successively obliged to retire; a portion of Swartz's and McAllister's batteries had been lost and gained, and lost again, and it was not until the advancing enemy had reached Craft's brigade, and Taylor's and Willard's batteries could be brought into action, that we were able to stem the tide. These two batteries outdid themselves. Grape, canister and shrapnel, and an uninterrupted musketry fire from the First Nebraska, Forty-eighth and Fifty-eighth Ohio, proved too much for the so far victorious foe, and they at last were obliged to retire.

By this time it was noon. Gen. Grant had just returned from the landing, where he had a conference with Commodore Foote. That officer had informed the General that it was impossible for him to put his gunboats in a condition to make another attack, for several days at least. Notwithstanding this, upon being informed of the severe repulse our troops had met with in the morning, he saw that some immediate action on our part was necessary to retrieve the day.

He immediately gave order to his generals of divisions to prepare foran immediate and general attack along the entire lines. The regiments which had suffered most severely in the morning were withdrawn. Gen. Lew. Wallace was given a division composed of two regiments of his own brigade, (the Eighth Missouri and Eleventh Indiana,) and several other regiments whose loss in the action of the morning had been but slight, and was given the job of clearing the ground we had lost in the morning, while Gen. Smith, commanding the left, received orders to storm the works under which his division was lying.

Gen. Smith is, emphatically, a fighting man, and as may be imagined, the events of the morning had tended to decrease in no measure his pugnacity. When he received his long-desired orders for an assault of the enemy's works his eyes glistened with a fire which, could it have been seen by his maligners, would have left them in no doubt as to his private feelings in regard to the present contest. All the arrangements were complete by three o'clock, and his column was put in motion soon after. The force under his command was as follows:

Col. Cook's brigade-Seventh Illinois, Fiftieth Illinois, Twelfth Iowa, Thirteenth Missouri, Fifty-second Indiana.

Col. Lauman's brigade--Second Iowa, Seventh Iowa, Fourteenth Iowa, Twenty-fifth Indiana, Fifty-sixth Indiana.

Under cover of Capt. Stone's Missouri battery, this force began the assault. It was a formidable undertaking, which, under a less brave and skilful commander than Gen. Smith, might have proved a disastrous failure.

The hills at this point are among the most precipitous of those upon which the enemy were posted. Selecting the Second and Seventh Iowa, and the Fifty-second Indiana for the storming party, Gen. Smith deflected the main portion of his division to the right, and having succeeded in engaging the attention of the enemy at this point, himself headed the storming party and advanced upon the works from his extreme left. It was a most magnificent sight. Unappalled by the perfect storm of bullets which rained about him, the General on horseback, and with his hat on the point of his sword, preceded his troops, and inspired them with a furore there was no with-standing.

Steadily, with unbroken line, the gallant Hawkeyes and Indianians advanced. The enemy's grape and canister came ploughing through their ranks, but not a shot was fired in return. Closing up the ranks as one after another of the brave fellows dropped to the earth, and animated by the fearless example of their undaunted leader, they pressed steadily on. The works gained, one tremendous volley was poured into the astonished enemy, and, with fixed bayonets, a charge was made into their ranks which there was no withstanding. They fled in confusion over the hills, and at last we had penetrated the rebel Sebastopol, and the misfortunes of the morning were retrieved. Capt. Stone's battery, which, in the mean time, had been doing tremendous execution in the rebel ranks, was promptly advanced to the position gained, and instantly, supported by the remainder of his division, the point was secured against any force the enemy could bring to bear against it.

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