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[571] dawn all were on the alert, eager for the coming fray. At this juncture, Major-General McClernand came dashing to the front, asking a thousand questions as to the position and strength of the enemy, the roads, and general topography of the ground; and, with matchless energy, proceeded to verify every statement by a personal investigation. About six o'clock A. M. I was ordered to push four companies down a road turning to the left of Schaeffer's house, and directly in the rear of the one in which the previous engagement occurred. I accordingly sent the gallant Major Potter, of the Thirty-third Illinois, with four companies of that regiment, with orders to feel his way down the road cautiously, and hold it until relieved by General Osterhaus's command, which had been ordered up, and then, without further orders, hasten to rejoin his regiment. In a few minutes his skirmishers engaged the outposts of the enemy, who replied sharply, both with small arms and artillery. Owing to the promptness of General Osterhaus, the Major's fight, though spirited, was of short duration, and he, in turn, promptly rejoined his regiment, and shared with it the dangers and glory of the fight on the extreme right.

General Osterhaus having thus secured our rear, by special direction of General McClernand, I ordered the Thirty-third Illinois, commanded by the cool and fearless Colonel Lippincott, to move forward along the high ridge to the west, and carefully explore the ravines intervening between Schaeffer's house and our intended line of battle. At the same time, Captain Klaus was ordered to change the position of one section of his battery to the high ground on the left of the road, and open fire with his whole battery, while the gallant Major Brady, of the Eighth Indiana, commanding my skirmishers, consisting of one company from each regiment, was pressing forward under orders, and the Eighth and Eighteenth Indiana formed forward into line of battle. The Ninety-ninth Illinois was also ordered forward as the reserve of the brigade. In a very short time the battle raged with great fury. Having driven the stubborn enemy, at the point of the bayonet, several hundred yards, from one ravine to another, and completely turned his left flank, I ordered a change of front forward on the tenth company, which was accomplished most handsomely at a double-quick, over the most difficult ground. So promptly was the movement executed, under a galling fire of shell and musketry, that I was at a loss which most to admire, their valor or the efficiency of their drill. In the mean time, “Old rough and ready number two,” Colonel Bailey, commanding the Ninety-ninth Illinois, was ordered forward, which was executed, with cheer on cheer, at a double-quick. Our new line was formed with the Eighth Indiana, Colonel David Shunk, on the right, the Thirty-third Illinois, Colonel Lippincott, Ninety-ninth Illinois, Colonel Bailey, and the Eighteenth Indiana, Colonel Washburne, whose left was resting near the Magnolia Church, and his whole regiment in front of the enemy's battery. Now came the tug of war in good earnest. I soon found that the odds were largely against us, and that the enemy was making a most desperate effort to turn our left flank, thus cutting us off from our support. I immediately despatched Captain Marshall for reinforcements, and did all in my power to stimulate the men to heroic action, and right nobly did they respond. For at least two hours, single-handed, the First brigade fought three brigades of the enemy, giving him volley for volley, with interest.

Three times did he form to charge us, and as often was he hurled back discomfited by the well-directed aim of the brave lads of Illinois and Indiana. We had already driven the enemy over the hill-top and through a ravine for a full quarter of a mile, never yielding one inch ourselves. At length the long-looked for succor came. We were all, officers and men, glad to know that it was composed of a part of the veteran troops of the gallant General A. P. Hovey's division, and the sequel proved that we were not mistaken in our estimate of their courage. No sooner had they come upon the ground — before I had fully completed my arrangements — than some one, unknown to me, gave the order “Charge!” which was executed with the wildest enthusiasm, the men of my brigade vying with their friends of Hovey's division as to who should first reach the enemy. The result of this splendid charge was the complete rout of the enemy — the capture of two twelve-pounder howitzers, and, at least, one flag. This was not the work, exclusively, of General Carr's division, or General Hovey's — it was the joint work of both, and in my humble judgment, herein is glory enough, and to spare, for both divisions.

Our whole command are at a loss for words to express our admiration for the noble and gallant bearing of the officers and men of General Hovey's division. To borrow the expression of another when speaking of General Hovey, “there is no discount on his pluck,” while the praises of General McGinnis and Colonel Slack, Colonel Cameron, (Thirty-fourth Indiana,) and Colonel Macauley, (Eleventh Indiana,) and in a word, all of them, were upon the tongues of all, at the same time it is due to the truth of history to state that the Eighteenth Indiana, whose mortality list is larger than any regiment engaged, and the Ninety-ninth Illinois, were in the charge, that Captain Charles of company H, of the former regiment, was the first to jump upon one of the cannons and claim it as his trophy. Amos Neagle, private, company K, also captured the color-bearer and colors of the Fifteenth Arkansas, inscribed with the battle-fields of “Oak Hill,” “Elkhorn,” “Corinth,” and “Hatchie bridge.” All this time, from first to last, the indefatigable First Indiana battery, in charge of the brave Klaus, was pouring shot and shell into the enemy, firing in all one thousand and fifty rounds in point-blank range. The entire line of my brigade was now advanced through the woods, and, moving by the right flank, passed up tho road in quick pursuit of the flying rebels.


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