Starkweather, commanding the Twenty-eighth announced his arrival on the left, his brigade having been unfortunately cut off and separated from my division by General Jackson's column that morning at Maxville, but he had the good sense, when he heard firing in front, to abandon the road, move around Jackson's column, and by going through the fields to fall in on the left; and I found his brigade on the very spot where it was most needed — a large body of the enemy's cavalry appearing that moment a mile and a half to the front, was admirably shelled and dispersed in great disorder, by Capt. Stone's First Kentucky, artillery. I then directed Col. Starkweather to place Stone's battery and that of Capt. Bush's Fourth Indiana artillery on a high ridge on the extreme left, and extending diagonally to the front, and to support those batteries with the First Wisconsin, Lieut.-Col. Bingham, placed on that ridge, and by the Seventy-ninth Pennsylvania, Col. Hambright, placed on another ridge running at almost right angles to the one on which the batteries were planted. This formation gave a cross-fire, and proved of infinite value in maintaining that all-important position during the day. These formations were made in great haste, and in a few moments, but without the least confusion or disorder, the men moving into line as if on parade. I then returned to Harris's brigade, hearing that the enemy was close upon him, and found that the Thirty-third Ohio had been ordered further to the front by Gen. McCook, and was then engaged with the enemy and needed support. Gen. McCook, in person, ordered the Second Ohio to its support, and sent directions to me to order up the Twenty-fourth Illinois, also, Captain Mauf commanding. I led the Twenty-fourth Illinois in line of battle immediately forward, and it was promptly deployed as skirmishers by its commander, and went gallantly into action on the left of the Thirty-third Ohio. The Second Ohio moving up to support the Thirty-third Ohio, was engaged before it arrived on the ground where the Thirty-third was fighting. The Thirty-eighth Indiana, Colonel B. F. Scribner commanding, then went gallantly into action on the right of the Second Ohio; then followed in support the Ninety-fourth Ohio, Col. Frizell. I wish here to say this regiment, although new and but a few weeks in the service, behaved most gallantly, under the steady lead of its brave Colonel Frizell. Col. Harris's whole brigade, Simonson's battery on its right, was repeatedly assailed by overwhelming numbers, but gallantly held its position. The Thirty-eighth Indiana and Second Ohio, after exhausting their ammunition and that taken from the boxes of the dead and wounded on the field, still held their position, as did also, I believe, the Tenth Wisconsin and Thirty-third Ohio. For this gallant conduct these brave men are entitled to the gratitude of the country, and I thank them here as I did on the field of battle. After the Twenty-fourth Illinois went into action, I saw the undisciplined troops of Gen. Jackson in front, in support of Parsons's battery of Jackson's division, yielding the field in great confusion, under a most terrific fire of the enemy, who was moving in the direction of my extreme left. Gen. Jackson was killed, the support to Parsons's battery giving away, the guns were captured, but the gallant Captain brought off his horses and company. Seeing the enemy moving toward our left in great force, with the apparent view of turning it, driving some broken and disordered regiments before them, I galloped around to Col. Starkweather, on the left, and directed him to open his batteries — Stone and Bush — upon the enemy. The order was promptly and effectively executed. The firing was admirable, and the heavy musketry of the advancing enemy was received by the gallant First Wisconsin with shouts of defiance, then supporting these batteries, placing their caps on their bayonets. I ordered the regiment to lie down under cover and await the nearer approach of the enemy. But the artillery repulsed the enemy again and again, and held him in check for several hours, until finally a fresh and overwhelming force moved toward the guns. I should have stated that the Twenty-first Wisconsin, Col. Sweet, was to the front of these batteries, in a corn-field, lying down, awaiting the approach of the enemy, and when he approached with his overwhelming force, this new regiment poured into his ranks a most withering fire. The steady advance and heavy fire of the enemy, however, caused a portion of this regiment to break in confusion; but the most of it, under its gallant officers, stood manfully to its work until forced to retire, which it did in pretty good order. The enemy were then in reach of the First Wisconsin and Seventy-ninth Pennsylvania. I had great confidence in the gallantry of these two regiments, and was not disappointed when their time of trial came. They drove back the enemy several times with great loss, and, until their ammunition was exhausted, bravely maintained their position, and then quietly (not under fire) returned under orders to the line of battle originally selected by Gen. McCook and myself, when they got a supply of ammunition, and were again ready for action. Their loss was very heavy. The fire of musketry on them and the batteries was terrific, Capt. Bush, at that place, losing thirty-five horses, but he and Stone, taking all their pieces, fell back with their support, and at once renewed the conflict, and continued it until after dark. At the time this retrograde movement was ordered, I sent an order to Col. Harris to fall back also. The right, Col. Lytle's brigade, had an hour before been drawn in, thus contracting and rendering more compact the lines so thinned and depleted by our loss in killed and wounded. Before this final struggle on the left, I had heard that Lytle's brigade was outflanked on the right by an overwhelming force of the enemy, and was falling back. During the day I was so hard pressed on the left and centre by the continuous and persistent assaults of the enemy, and knowing if our left was turned our position was lost, and a total rout of the army corps would follow, i felt the importance of my presence there, and could not look after the interests
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