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 of his dilapidated, musty, and worm-eaten patriotism. Finding here a good supply of excellent water, we “rested and refreshed” ourselves till eight o'clock in the evening, when our march was resumed. The night was calm and beautiful. The moon, at her full, rose high in the heavens, and her soft light, filtered through the thick foliage of the forest, lay in patches on the hill-sides and in the ravines. The whole scene was wild and romantic, and was fully appreciated by many in our gallant little army, although we knew we were moving in the face of the foe. We would have felt rebuked by the sweet quiet of the scenery, had we not felt and known in our very hearts the justice of our cause. At half-past 2 o'clock in the morning of the sixth we halted at Blue Springs, and bivouacked for the residue of the night. Here we ascertained that parties of guerrillas were hovering round, some fifty or more having approached within a half-mile of our pickets. During Saturday we moved slowly forward to a good position called Free Stone Springs, within ten miles of the town, where a beautiful supply of excellent water was found. Here we remained during the residue of the day and the following night. Information was received from time to time, giving positive assurance that the enemy, one thousand one hundred or one thousand two hundred strong, were in a good position about four miles this side of the town, awaiting our approach, having determined to give us battle. During the afternoon a small reconnoitring party, under Lieutenant Moreing, of the Fifth Iowa cavalry, came upon their pickets, who fled precipitately, and were closely pursued by our men. The chased continued more than a mile when the cavalry were fired upon by fifty or more of the rebels lying in ambush. Not a man was injured by the volley; and but one horse killed and three wounded, though the concealed force was not more than fifteen yards from the road with guns at a rest. Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick, of the Fifth Iowa cavalry, was immediately ordered forward, with four companies of cavalry, three of infantry, and one piece of artillery, for the purpose of driving in their pickets and creating the impression that our main force was advancing upon them. During Saturday night a negro man fell into the hands of our cavalry picket under command of Captain Croft. From him a pretty correct knowledge of the position of the rebels was obtained. But the Captain not being fully satisfied, resolved that he would feel of them. He called for ten volunteers from his company, who would be willing not only to drive in their pickets, but ride into their lines and draw their fire, that he might know their exact position. The requisite number was promptly offered, and at dawn of Sabbath morning he made a dash at their pickets, chased them in, riding to within two hundred and fifty yards of their barricades, drawing their fire and retiring without sustaining any injury. Early on Sabbath morning (seventh) our forces moved in the direction of the town, driving the enemy's pickets before them for more than two hours. About eleven o'clock our advance came in full view of their position. For a defence against cavalry and infantry they had made a good choice, as there would have been no chance of taking it but by storm or by flanking, either of which would have no doubt cost us many lives. But as a defence against artillery, they could have selected few worse ones. They occupied a ridge of land dipping towards the west into a valley entirely cleared and divided into fields. Their entire line of battle was covered by fences against which they had leaned rails closely together, and at an angle of about forty-five degrees, and on the side in the direction of our approach. Their centre and right were further protected by a large farm house, barn and other out-buildings. Their left was further shielded by a tobacco-house and orchard; while their skirmishers guarding both flanks were protected by heavy woods. In their rear, and nearly the whole length of their line, there were thick forest and dense undergrowth, into which they could easily fall back, if necessary, and which would give an excellent cover to bushwhackers. Our line of battle was formed in open fields, and along a ridge of about equal elevation to the one held by the rebels, and separated from it by the valley, to which I have referred, about one half-mile in width. The two sections of the batteries, before mentioned, held the centre; the right was composed of the Seventy-first Ohio and Eleventh Illinois--under command of Colonel Ransom and Major Hart--the Seventy-first occupying the extreme right; the left was held by the Thirteenth Wisconsin, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Chapman. The cavalry--Fifth Iowa--under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick, supported the entire line. At five minutes past eleven o'clock, by my time, the cannonading commenced, and continued from thirty-five to forty minutes. The guns were admirably served and did excellent execution, Colonel Lowe at times sighting them himself. The firing was rapid, and between the explosions of shells and the reports of the guns, there was quite a roar of battle. True, there was comparatively little of the sharp cracking of the rifled muskets, as none of the infantry were in good range, except company D, of the Eleventh Illinois, skirmishing on our extreme left, who exchanged about four rounds with the rebs, and company A, of the Seventy-first skirmishing on our right. When the enemy gave way and commenced retreating, the line of battle was ordered to move forward rapidly, and nearly in the same order in which it was drawn up. This command was obeyed in the most prompt and gallant style. The whole line moved rapidly and steadily forward, crossing fields, mounting fences, and finally scaling the enemy's barricades, hoping to find them in the dense woods just beyond. But no; they had fled and were in full retreat towards Clarksville. It was impossible to overtake
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