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[486] toward Iuka, with a small loss in killed and prisoners. At this juncture the whole of the column had arrived at “Barnett's,” and according to the programme, Gen. Rosecrans was waiting for the sound of Grant's artillery, to warn him that it was time to move forward, but after waiting over two hours, he was much chagrined at receiving a despatch from Grant (who was then only seven miles from Iuka) to the effect that he (Grant) was waiting for Gen. Rosecrans to open the battle. Without further ado, our column accordingly moved forward until within two miles of Iuka, when the enemy were discovered posted on a broad ridge commanding the country for some distance around. As soon as our skirmishers advanced in sight, the rebels opened a severe fire of musketry upon them, when they awaited the arrival of Gen. Hamilton's division, which soon came up on the “double-quick,” and formed in line. They were also received by a hot fire of artillery and musketry, when the Eleventh Ohio battery, which had by this time got into position, opened out on the rebels. In a few moments the engagement became general, and lasted for two hours, when darkness precluded the possibility of any further advantage accruing to either side. The night was therefore spent in burying our dead and caring for the wounded, while our men lay on their arms on the battle-field, waiting for the dawn of a new day to continue the work of death.

The hospital was established about a half-mile from the battle-field, and under the direction of Surgeon A. P. Campbell, Medical Director of this army. The wounded were properly attended to. Generals Rosecrans, Stanley, Hamilton, and Sullivan, and Acting Brig.-Generals Sanborn, Fuller, and Mower were on the field during the whole of the battle, at the head of their respective corps, and their presence signally aided the fortunes of the day. Our loss during the two hours battle, according to the reports received at the headquarters of Gen. Rosecrans, foots up at one hundred and forty-eight (148) killed, six hundred and twenty-five (625) wounded, and twenty (20) missing. Among our wounded officers are Col. Eddy, Forty-eighth Indiana, Col. Chambers, Sixteenth Iowa, and Col. Boomer, Twenty-sixth Missouri. The loss of the enemy, according to the most carefully collected accounts, will number over one thousand two hundred (1200) in killed and wounded, while we have taken one thousand prisoners. Among the rebels killed were Gen. Little and Acting General Berry, beside many field-officers. Gen. Whitfield was mortally wounded in the early part of the engagement, but was removed from the field by the enemy.

Several of the officers present pronounced the battle one of the most sanguinary and fiercely contested battles of the war, for the number of men engaged, as during the most severe part of the battle not over three thousand men were engaged on our side at any one time, while, from the statements of many of the prisoners taken, three full brigades of rebels, numbering probably nine thousand men, were pitted against us, and four more brigades were held in reserve in the town.

Most of our troops engaged behaved in the most gallant manner, particularly the Eleventh Missouri and Fifth Iowa. These two regiments stood the brunt of the battle, as their list of killed and wounded testify to. The former lost seventy-six and the latter one hundred and sixteen in killed and wounded; and for over half an hour the Eleventh Missouri held their position against a whole rebel brigade, without having a single round of ammunition in their cartridge-boxes. It is but justice to state here, for the honor of the brave men concerned, that, though this regiment was organized in Missouri, with the exception of about twenty of the men, every member of this regiment hails from Illinois; and but for the fact that they could not be accepted in that State, (it having furnished its quota at the time the Eleventh was organized,) they would be ranked among the Illinois regiments. As it was determined to go into service, they obtained an organization under the laws of Missouri, and to-day refuse to be reorganized, being proud of the title that their bravery has gained for them.

During the early part of the engagement, the Eleventh Ohio battery being unable to obtain a good position on account of the thick underbrush, became exposed to a severe fire of the enemy's musketry, and in less than a half-hour after the battle began, seventy-two of the battery men were placed hors du combat, being either killed or wounded, and every horse was shot from the caissons. The rebels perceiving this, and that it was poorly supported by infantry, made a charge on it, and succeeded in capturing the six guns, two of which they spiked. Later in the evening it had been retaken twice by the Fifth Iowa, at the point of the bayonet, but finally fell into the hands of the rebels. After the evacuation seven guns were found in Iuka, which the rebels had abandoned; among them were the six constituting the Eleventh Ohio battery.

The morning after the battle, at an early hour, Gen. Rosecrans, not perceiving any movement on the part of the enemy toward renewing the conflict, ordered his line of pickets to advance. In doing so they met with no opposition by the rebels, and our whole force was then thrown forward, the artillery occasionally throwing shells in their direction, and every precaution being taken to prevent an ambuscade. In this manner our column had reached a ridge in full view of, and not over a half-mile distant from the town, when a white flag was discovered approaching our line. Capt. Dustan, Assistant Adjutant-Gen. to Acting Gen. Fuller, was sent out to meet it, when the bearer of the flag imparted to the Captain the information that Price had evacuated the town during the night and early morning, and that his rear-guard had left Iuka but a few moments previous.

Without the least delay our column was then pushed forward in pursuit of the flying rebels, they having, however, a fair start of about four miles. The pursuit was kept up until evening,

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W. S. Rosecrans (10)
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1200 AD (2)
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