previous next

[62] of flanking General Herron's division, and overwhelming it by superior number, had been massed upon their left, was suddenly confronted by the troops of the First division, when the engagement soon became general along their entire line.

At about two o'clock, the fire from the artillery of the First division was commenced by Rabb's battery, which opened a cross-fire upon two rebel batteries and a heavy body of infantry, that was fronting and engaged with Gen. Herron's division. A few moments later, and Tenny's battery of Parrott guns came into position on the right, and Hopkins's battery on the left of Captain Rabb's. The fire of all three of these batteries was first directed to the enemy's right, where two batteries of the rebels and a heavy body of their infantry were engaged with the Second and Third divisions. Shell and case-shot from these eighteen pieces were hurled upon the enemy's right with terrible effect.

The rebel artillery and infantry being driven from this position under cover of the woods, the three batteries above named ceased firing, when the infantry of the Second and Third divisions advanced upon the enemy's right, and the fire of musketry was opened on both sides with great vigor. The Twentieth Wisconsin and Nineteenth Iowa gallantly charged the rebel batteries and drove the enemy from their guns, but were unable to hold them in consequence of being over-whelmed by a superior force. The Twenty-sixth Indiana and Thirty-seventh Illinois subsequently charged the same batteries with the same result.

Observing that the enemy had now thrown a large force upon my centre and right, I directed the infantry of the First division to enter the woods and engage them, which order was executed with promptness, Colonel Weer leading the Tenth and Thirteenth Kansas regiments of his brigade upon the right, a portion of the Kansas Second, (dismounted,) under command of Capt. S. J. Crawford; the right wing of the Kansas Eleventh, under Col. Ewing, and the First Indian, under Col. Wattles, upon the left, the Twentieth Iowa regiment advancing upon the left of the Indians; the left wing of the Kansas Eleventh, under Lieut.-Col. Moonlight, supporting Rabb's and Hopkins's batteries. The First Iowa, Tenth Illinois, Eighth Missouri, and the first battalion of the Second Wisconsin cavalry, under Colonel Wickersham, and the Third Wisconsin cavalry, under Major Calkins, were directed to proceed on my extreme right, to watch any flank movement of the enemy that might be attempted in that direction, and also to guard the road leading to Rhea's Mills, and prevent communication being cut off with the First brigade, Gen. Salomon's.

The contest by this time (about three o'clock P. M.) had become vigorous and determined. The entire infantry of three divisions, and also a portion of the Kansas Second, (dismounted,) were engaged in the woods with the rebel infantry, three times their number. The rattling of musketry, uninterrupted for fully three hours, was terrific. The contending armies swayed to and fro, each alternately advancing and retiring. Some rebel sharp-shooters firing from the windows of a house, situated in the edge of the woods and a little to my left, were evidently directing their compliments specially to myself and staff. I directed Captain Rabb to open upon it with shell, and in a few moments the house was in flames.

While the infantry was vigorously contesting every inch of ground, I directed Lieut. Stover, with two twelve-pound mountain howitzers to advance into the woods, which he promptly did, taking position on a little knoll on the right of the Eleventh Kansas, and directing his guns across a small field where a heavy force of rebels were massed. He poured into them his canister and shell, until his ammunition was exhausted and his horses shot down, being compelled to bring away his guns by hand.

I then directed Lieut. Tenny to advance his battery to the edge of the woods, on the left of the Kansas Eleventh, taking position about two hundred yards in front of the rebel ranks. From his six ten-pound Parrott guns he opened on them with terrible effect, driving them back with great slaughter.

Learning that a heavy force was massing on my right, with a view of turning my flank, I immediately withdrew Tenny's battery, and proceeded with it to an open field on the right, at the same time directing the infantry to withdraw from the woods, in order to draw the enemy from under cover and within range of my artillery. On reaching the open field on their right, just alluded to, I discovered the entire division of Gen. Frost advanced to the edge of the timber, and about two hundred yards distant. They opened on us a fierce fire from Enfield rifles, and were in the act of throwing down the fence to make an assault on the battery, which had no support except my own staff and body-guard; but Lieut. Tenny, with commendable promptness, wheeled his guns into position, when their destructive tire of canister and shell soon sent the rebel hordes back under cover of the woods. At the same time, a fire from the two mountain howitzers attached to the Third Wisconsin cavalry, was directed upon them further on my right, with good effect. It was here that the rebel General Stein fell. A few minutes after this last repulse of the enemy by Lieut. Tenny, a rebel battery of ten guns, supported by a heavy body of infantry, opened from their extreme left, when bringing his guns to bear in that direction, he in less than ten minutes silenced their battery, dismounting two of their guns and driving them from their position with severe loss.

While this attempt was being made to charge my artillery on the right, the same demonstration was made upon Rabb's and Hopkins's batteries; the enemy following up my infantry as they retired from the woods, and with a shout rushed out from under cover of the trees, when the two batteries, supported by the infantry of the Eleventh regiment, belched forth a perfect storm of canister, producing immense slaughter


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.
Rhea's Mills (Arkansas, 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.
Marcus D. Tenny (5)
Rabb (5)
Hopkins (3)
F. J. Herron (2)
Wickersham (1)
William Weer (1)
Wattles (1)
E. S. Stover (1)
Stein (1)
Edward Salomon (1)
T. Moonlight (1)
Albert Frost (1)
Thomas Ewing (1)
S. J. Crawford (1)
Calkins (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: