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[247] until about ten o'clock of the seventh, when the firing of artillery was heard a mile or two to our right rear; also, heavy firing heard in the direction of Cassville, immediately in our rear.

The Twenty-second, having in the mean time been ordered by you to reinforce Col. Vandevier, near the village of Leetown, the left wing of the Eighth, under Lieut.-Col. Shunk, and Captain Klaus, with one section and a half of his battery, were ordered to support Col. Carr, whose division, in conjunction with Gen. Asboth's, was then engaged with Price's force near Elkhorn Tavern. About two P. M. I received your order to proceed with the Eighteenth to the scene of action, which order was executed with despatch by Lieut.-Col. Washburn. On arriving I found the Twenty-second in line of battle, on the left and rear of Davidson's Peoria battery, which was in position in the south-east corner of a large open field. We immediately formed on their right. Here I took command of both regiments. Col. White's brigade being warmly engaged with the enemy in the woods, on the right of the clear land, I was ordered to his support. Moving in double-quick time by the right flank, and passing through the timber to a small hill, I found the Fifty-ninth Illinois retiring in disorder, having been overwhelmed by vastly superior numbers and a murderous fire from the Louisiana, Arkansas and Cherokee troops. I closed up my line, as soon as the Fifty-ninth passed through, and advancing through the field, changed my line of battle by wheeling to the left, until I got about parallel with the right side of the large field first named; then pressing forward, I found the enemy rushing up on Davidson's battery, (Col. White, with the Thirty-seventh Illinois, having retired to change his line,) having taken two guns, which they turned on my command, with some effect. Here they received a full volley from us, which threw them into the utmost confusion, when they abandoned the guns taken, and retreated from the field, a part of them passing to our right rear, and a large force taking immediately through the line of the Twenty-second, which gave way by order of Col. Hendricks, and retired from the field, leaving the Eighteenth alone. About this time Col. Hendricks fell, having received two mortal wounds. About the time the enemy found that I had them flanked, Col. White rallied the Thirty-seventh, and nobly seconded my efforts to retake the battery. That portion of the enemy which passed my left flank, poured a desperate volley on the rear of the Eighteenth, which was rendered comparatively harmless by having the men fall flat down. The left wing was promptly faced by the rear rank, and returned the fire, with terrible effect, on the enemy, while the right wing fired to the right front on those who were rapidly retreating in that direction. We then passed through to the open ground in front, having secured a complete victory over a force three times our number, of the best Louisiana and Arkansas troops, assisted by a large body of Cherokee Indians, many of whom paid the penalty of their base ingratitude to the Government that has so bountifully provided for their welfare.

After some little time, the Twenty-second returned and took their position on the right of the Eighteenth, where we bivouacked on the same ground where we first formed. Thus ended the battle near Leetown, in which the enemy lost Generals McCulloch and McIntosh, with many other officers of distinction.

About ten P. M., your orders were received directing me to move my command to the support of Col. Carr's division, who had been warmly engaged all day with Price's forces. At twelve we moved, returning to the main road; thence north to the cleared land south of Elkhorn Tavern, where we took position on the right side of the road, the left of the Eighteenth resting on the road, and the right of the Twenty-second closing up to the right wing of the Eighth, which had rendered gallant service during the day under Lieut.-Colonel Shunk, in conjunction with the right wing of Klaus's battery, which I found in position opposite the centre of my command. Here we bivouacked on the edge of the brush until morning.

At half-past 7 A. M., the fire was opened by Davidson's and Klaus's batteries, which, in a short time, was answered by a tremendous fire of grape and canister, from a masked battery in a point of scrubby timber not over one hundred and fifty yards from my line. Klaus's battery, after firing a few rounds, were forced to retire, the Twenty-second and Eighth likewise falling back in haste. The Eighteenth remained in ambush unobserved, as yet, by the enemy, their fire passing over, until I deemed it advisable to bring them to the mar, which order was executed without loss and in good order. I now re-formed the Twenty-second and Eighth, and direccted my line of battle parallel with, and about three hundred yards from, my first position in the woods; but, on receiving orders from you, I changed my line of battle by throwing the right back a little, in which position we cautiously advanced until my right rested on the clear land adjoining our first position. Here I received a message that the masked battery had retired; that I had to change position to get out of the line of fire of our batteries, which were then moving forward, the enemy having given way. Here we passed to the front by file from the right until we were on the ground pointed out for us near the brush concealing the enemy's batteries, when, to my surprise, I found that there had been a mistake in supposing it withdrawn, as a perfect shower of canister belched forth from the thick brush in front, which, fortunately, was aimed too high. Lieut.-Col. Washburn being forward, promptly gave orders to change front forward and form line along the fence, which was rapidly executed; our own batteries, and that of the enemy, in the meantime, playing over us.

An order to charge and take the battery was now given, which was received with cheers, the line advancing steadily, with fixed bayonets, increasing

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Klaus (4)
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