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[154] point-blank range, and then fire low and keep perfectly cool. It was a terribly beautiful sight to see the columns advance, in despite of a perfect storm of grape and canister, shell, and rifle-ball; still on they marched and fired, though their ranks were perceptibly thinned at every step. The brigade stood firm as a rock, and the men loaded and fired with the coolness and precision of veterans, when all of a sudden the troops on the right of the redan (a brigade of Hamilton's division) gave way and broke. The First Missouri Artillery, in the redan, and the two pieces on the left of the Fifty-second Illinois limbered up and galloped off in wild confusion through our reserves, killing several of our men and scattering the rest. My line remained still unbroken, pouring deadly volleys into the enemy's ranks, who, taking advantage of the panic on the right, moved their columns obliquely in that direction and charged up to the redan. . . .

I now ordered the line to charge on the enemy, who had by this time gained the crest of the hill in our front. With a shout that was heard through our whole lines the men of the First Brigade rushed upon them. Those who had given way a short time before, being evidently ashamed of the momentary panic that had seized them, seemed determined to wipe out the stain upon their courage by their reckless daring. The foe, reluctant to abandon the advantage they had gained, fought stubbornly for a while, but was finally compelled to give way, retreating in great confusion through the swamps and abatis to the woods, hotly pursued by our men.

In spite of the desperate resistance, the center of the Federal line was penetrated, and Price's troops drove the regiments back into the town, scattering the Union soldiers among the houses. The storming Confederates advanced to the north side of the square and posted themselves around a house close to where General Halleck had maintained his headquarters the summer before. Two field-pieces opened upon them, and the daring Southerners were whirled back, leaving seven of their number dead in the dooryard, after one round of grape and canister. Union troops stationed in the town hurried up and General Sullivan immediately supported the shattered center. His men retook Battery Powell while General Hamilton

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