previous next

[528] so well that it scarcely seems just to make special mention of any one, although it is impossible not to admire the behavior of Colonel Moore of the Eighty-fifth Illinois.

Colonel Dan. McCook bore himself throughout the action with bravery and skill.

The Second Missouri, which so greatly distinguished itself, forms, with the Fifteenth Missouri, a portion of the Thirty-fifth brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel Barnard Laiboldt of the Second, commanding. The other regiments of this brigade are the Forty-fourth and Seventy-third Illinois. Colonel Laiboldt is a man who will always maintain the credit of any corps to which he may be attached. After the preliminary battle was over, he seemed restless and uneasy, repeatedly declaring that he “could not rest that night without another bout with the enemy.”

A portion of the Ninth Pennsylvania cavalry was also engaged in this action, and Colonel James, commanding it, is, as well as his regiment, highly spoken of. From the close of this combat, our cavalry took no further part in the affairs of the day, being posted in order of battle to the rear, waiting for an opportunity which never occurred.

This preliminary battle, as I have said, confirmed us in the impression that here the enemy was about to make a grand effort to drive back our army. But as a division or two only had arrived, we felt it highly imprudent to assail him at once, and hence resolved to remain in order of battle with what forces we had, and wait for the remainder to come up.

But the enemy could not wait. The head of our column had not rushed into the trap which he had set for it; he had already lost time in his retreat without accomplishing any thing, and in his exasperation he determined to assail and overwhelm that portion of our forces which had arrived, even though they were drawn up and ready to receive him.

At about eleven o'clock A. M., artillery-firing commenced. Upon the left where Jackson's division was stationed, was one of our batteries feeling for the enemy. No response was elicited, however, nor did a battery connected with Mitchell's division, which came up about this time and took position upon the right of Sheridan's, meet with any better success.

Captain Loomis's Michigan battery, posted on a hill which overlooked the whole space between our advance bodies and the wooded hills where the enemy's legions lay massed, also threw a few shells toward these heights, and Captain Simonson (Fifth Indiana battery) did the same. But the enemy gave no sign. The position occupied by these two batteries was peculiarly favorable for operating against the enemy should he endeavor to cross the open space in front of them, but it was at the same time exposed and dangerous if the enemy should, previous to charging, open fire with his artillery from his position upon the hills.

I was talking with Captain Loomis, who stood beside his guns, just previous to the commencement of the terrible struggle which was to drench the ground on which I stood with blood. Personally acquainted with every officer, and almost every man in both these batteries, having gone with them through General O. M. Mitchel's long campaign in Tennessee and Alabama, I could not avoid a feeling of sadness as I looked around upon them, and reflected that, perhaps, ere the setting of the sun, the mangled corpses of some of them would be stretched beside their guns. Yet no sadness was visible upon their countenances. No! They had long ardently wished the time to come when they might measure strength with the rebel hordes, and now, as there seemed an immediate prospect that their wishes might be gratified, their hearts leaped joyfully in their bosoms, and their countenances beamed with animation.

Both Simonson and Loomis were cool as though no enemy were within a hundred miles, although they both confidently expected, each passing minute, that before its expiration the thunder of the rebel artillery would open fiercely upon them.

Captain Simonson was in the very midst of a vivid description which he was giving me of the operations about Stevenson, Alabama, in which his battery bore a distinguished part, when a spherical shot buried itself deep in the side of the hill, just below where we were standing, and a half dozen more whistled fiercely over our heads, and raised great clouds of dust as they struck in the dried — up fields beyond. At this time but two pieces of Loomis's battery were in position upon the hill, the remainder being stationed upon another eminence some distance in the rear.

These were at once ordered up, the shot and shell of the enemy's guns meantime continuing to plough up the ground in our vicinity and to crash through the branches of some half-dozen trees, which were grouped together on the hill immediately to the right of Loomis's position.

Captain Loomis,” said I, as he was riding back toward the main portion of his battery upon the hill behind, “don't you intend to reply to that fire?” “Yes,” said he, “I'll fetch 'em!” Simonson's battery had opened in the mean time, and another away off to the right of the road.

All Loomis's pieces were now in position and thundering away with the sharp, quick, deadly report which rifled Parrotts always make.

To the extreme left, another battery immediately opened, and the enemy replied from at least half a dozen different positions, and shot and shell of every description flew in all directions. The enemy's artillery seemed very badly managed. Their missiles struck everywhere except where they intended them to strike, and it actually seemed that the safest points which could be selected for a circuit of two or three miles were in the very midst of our batteries.

At the foot of the hill just behind the batteries, was stationed Rousseau's division, the Seventeenth brigade, Colonel Lytle, to the right, and most of it upon the east of the right of our whole line, being to the east of a narrow lane which ran


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Tennessee (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Stevenson (Alabama, United States) (1)
Jackson (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Alabama (Alabama, United States) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Loomis (7)
Simonson (4)
Barnard Laiboldt (2)
P. H. Sheridan (1)
Lovell H. Rousseau (1)
O. F. Moore (1)
R. B. Mitchell (1)
O. M. Mitchel (1)
Daniel McCook (1)
W. H. Lytle (1)
L. L. James (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: