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[256] the limber-chest showed the rebels that their shots were well directed, and they appeared in large numbers, and poured in a terrific fire. Ten minutes after the blowing up of the limber-chest, another, belonging to the same battery, was exploded in like manner, badly burning Frank Thompson, one of the cannoniers. This explosion was the signal for a rush by the rebels upon the Union battery, and they succeeded in capturing one of the guns before they were driven back by the infantry. The enemy fell back to their cover, leaving the ground strewn with their dead and wounded, who had fallen before the rifles of the Iowa Ninth.

At the time of these occurrences, your correspondent and a fellow-journalist were standing in the road in front of the Elkhorn hotel, where a good view was afforded. Shells which were thrown too high for effect upon Col. Vandever's brigade were just the elevation for the Elkhorn, and a rifled cannon projectile passing within a few feet, and bursting twenty yards beyond me, rendered my notes of that moment somewhat difficult to decipher. Two companies of infantry were drawn up near the house, awaiting moving orders. A shell burst in their midst, killing two men and wounding five others. Another struck in the yard, in the rear of the house, in its explosion shattering the leg of an old regular soldier in Quartermaster's Carr's employ. Still another fell among some horse-teams, frightening one into running away, directly up the road and over into the enemy's lines, where it was lost. In its flight several of our soldiers were run over, one being seriously and three or four slightly wounded. The drivers of some twenty or more wagons took fright, and started for the camp at full speed. Had it not been for the determined course of Quartermaster Carr, who, pistol in hand, brought them to a halt, a serious stampede would have been the result. A solid shot struck the house and passed completely through, injuring no one, as the family had taken shelter in the cellar. Long ago, at Wilson's Creek, I learned sufficient of the sound and substance of military projectiles to remove everything like novelty from the present scene, and accordingly sought a locality affording a fine view, but further removed from “the perilous edge of battle.”

One hour's fighting in position on the slope accomplished nothing for Col. Carr's division, except to reveal the presence of an immense force of the enemy preparing to charge upon the Union troops. As such a movement, with the rebels' overwhelming numbers, would be likely to lose us a battery, Col. Carr withdrew to a better point, about a hundred yards to his rear. Here the fight was kept up for some time, the rebels repeatedly attempted to charge, but as often being driven back by the well-directed volleys from the Iowa infantry and the Missouri regiment. Col. Phelps and Lieut.-Col. Galligan, of the Fourth Iowa, and Major Coyle and Adjutant Scott, of the Ninth Iowa, were wounded by a fire of musketry, and carried to the hospitals at the camp. Another charge was made by the rebels, in which they captured a second piece of artillery and a caisson-limber. The ground after each of these charges was thickly strewn with their dead and dying, mingled, too often, with the bodies of the brave men who opposed them. The charges of the rebels were not made with the bayonet, but with double-barreled shot-guns, loaded with ball and ten buckshot. They discharged their pieces as they advanced, retaining most of their fire until within short range. The shot-gun thus used is a terrific weapon, as the scattering of the charge renders it pretty certain to do execution without much regard to accuracy of aim. It was again necessary to fall back, and this time a stand was made near the hotel, and along the road leading to the east.

The day had opened clear and still, and before the battle commenced the purity of the atmosphere rendered every object on the hills and slopes distinctly visible. The smoke from the guns settled like a cloud upon the field, and an hour after the beginning of the engagement the position of the enemy's cannon was oftentimes only to be ascertained by the dull red flash at the moment of discharge. As the day advanced this cloud grew more and more dense, and long before nightfall the contending masses of infantry were unable to discern each other, except at very short range. Hour after hour passed away, and still that one division was coping with a rebel force nearly quadruple its strength. They were driven back inch by inch, until they were only a mile and a half from the camp of the enemy. Messengers had been constantly going to headquarters, bearing appeals for assistance, but none could be sent them. Sigel and Davis had not returned from the forces they had been pursuing, and there had been nothing left in camp for its protection. “Two batteries and three regiments, or sunset and darkness, are the only alternatives for our safety,” was the remark of Col. Carr after his division for the third time fell back. About four P. M. Gen. Asboth returned from his pursuit of the rebels to the westward, and immediately went with two infantry regiments and a battery to the aid of Col. Carr. The latter by that time had fallen back to an open field, little more than a mile from camp. The reinforcements thus received enabled him to hold his ground, and when night closed upon the conflict, and ended the carnage, the little division was still in position at that field. The lines of the contending armies during the night were not more than three hundred yards apart, and each party rested on its arms and passed the long hours till dawn without lighting fires. The air was still, and conversation was carried on in low voices and whispers, through fear that ordinary tones would be overheard.

In the main camp of the army everything was bustle and commotion. Coffee, bread, and meat were prepared and sent out, with blankets and overcoats, for the comfort of those who had so nobly fought during the day and were intending to renew the conflict at dawn. Gen. Sigel and Col. Davis had returned, and were making all preparation to throw their whole force to the aid

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