Small parties of the enemy's cavalry and infantry were occasionally seen, and at length a strong line was distinctly visible through the openings of the wood. Lieutenant Livingston was ordered to bring up his battery. It was accordingly placed in position on the rising ground in front of Colonel Fyffe's brigade. Several shells were thrown at the enemy's line, which caused its disappearance; it was supposed that they had lain down. One section, Lieutenant Hubbard commanding, was now moved to the hill on the right, whence, also, one or two shells were thrown at detached parties. Colonel Fyffe's brigade was moved to the left of the battery, where it was covered by a skirt of woods. Our whole force had been constantly concealed by making the men lie down. About one o clock the remaining two regiments of Colonel Grider's brigade, the Nineteenth Ohio and Ninth Kentucky, were ordered to cross the river, which they did, forming near the hospital on the left of the other two regiments of the same brigade, to protect our left flank. The enemy's force was occasionally seen moving to our left, and Generals Crittenden and Palmer were advised of the fact; Colonel Grose was consequently ordered to support me. His brigade formed so as to protect our left, relieving the Nineteenth Ohio and Ninth Kentucky. These two regiments were formed in rear of the right of the second line, as a reserve, being posted in the hollow near the ford. No other disturbance occurred during the day, except the occasional filing of the skirmishers; so Colonel Grose's brigade and Livingston's battery recrossed the river. About midnight we were alarmed by sharp firing from the skirmishers; they reported that it was caused by the enemy's skirmishers advancing and firing upon us. One of our men was killed and one wounded. Nothing else occurred during the night. On the morning of Friday, January second, Livingston's battery came across the river again, and was posted as before. There was light skirmishing during the earlier part of the day. The Seventy-ninth Indiana, Colonel Knifler, was ordered to take place in the first line, to close the gap between Colonel Fyffe's brigade and the others. Nothing of note occurred until about eleven o'clock, when the firing of the enemy's skirmishers became very constant and heavy, as they slowly crept up toward us. The skirmishers now reported a battery being planted in our front, and shortly afterward, that fifteen regiments of infantry and three pieces of artillery were moving to our left. Notice of all these movements was given to Generals Crittenden and Palmer, and Colonel Grose's brigade again came over to our support. About noon the enemy's battery opened with occasional shells, directed at Lieutenant Hubbard's section of artillery on the hill. The enemy's artillery were now seen moving to our left, and soon another battery opened fire upon Lieutenant Hubbard's section. As the enemy's skirmishers were so near that their firing was annoying and dangerous to the artillery, I ordered Lieutenant Livingston to retire and take a position on the hill near the hospital. A few shells were still thrown by the enemy's battery on our left, and occasional ones from an apparently heavy battery across the river. As the enemy's skirmishers pressed ours very closely, our lines were strengthened by throwing out two more companies. The firing was .very sharp, and many of our men as well as theirs, were wounded. At about half-past 2 o'clock it was reported that four more of the enemy's guns were moving toward our left. Word was sent of this, as in case of all other movements, to General Crittenden. At about three o'clock our skirmishers reported that the enemy's skirmishers were throwing down the fence in front of our line. Orders were sent to Colonel Price to — let his first line fall back behind the crest of the hill, but before he could receive them the enemy were advancing across the field to the charge. They were formed in column, with a front of apparently two regiments. The first column was three regiments, or six ranks deep; this was succeeded by a second of the same depth, and a third apparently greater. At the same moment their artillery opened from three or four different points, throwing shot, shell and canister directly into us. As the enemy's columns approached to within a hundred yards or so, the first line rose up and delivered a heavy fire upon their column, which checked it for a moment; they soon pressed on, however. The regiments of the first line, the Fifty-first Ohio, Eighth Kentucky, and Thirty-fifth and Seventy-ninth Indiana, fought gallantly until the enemy were within a few yards of them, when, overpowered by numbers, they were compelled to retire. This movement confused and disorganized the second line, which also was ordered to fall back. The reserve, consisting of the Nineteenth Ohio, Ninth Kentucky, and Eleventh Kentucky, was now ordered up. They advanced most gallantly toward the crest of the hill, and poured a destructive fire upon the enemy, whose first column was by this time almost annihilated. Their supporting columns soon came up, however, and at the same time a force advanced along the river bank upon our right flank. Our men fought with most desperate courage, as will appear from their severe loss, until forced back by the actual pressure of the enemy. Even then they broke back from the right, file by file, stubbornly contesting their ground. At last, however, the right being forced back, the left was ordered to retire, which it slowly did until the bank of the river was reached. Attempts were made to rally the men at several points, but it was impossible from the heavy fire and the close proximity of the enemy; most of them were, therefore, forced across the river, where many of them rallied and returned with the first supporting troops; and I am proud to say that the colors of the Nineteenth
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Doc . 62 .-Hoisting the Black flag — official correspondence and reports.
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