with skill, maintained a stubborn resistance to the attack.
Consisting mostly of troops who had served at Donelson
, they gallantly formed their lines, notwithstanding the surprise and disorder through which they had been ushered into the conflict.
Shortly after ten o'clock, the enemy being reported very strong in the centre—that is, along Wallace
's front—General Beauregard
reinforced that point by Trabue
of General Breckinridge
's division, which he had held near his headquarters.
A little before that time Stuart
's forces had also been reached.2
This officer, when warned, at half-past 7, by General Prentiss
, of the presence of the Confederates
, had formed his three regiments in line of battle on a ridge faced by a ravine and watercourse emptying into Lick Creek
, and awaited developments, until, seeing the Confederates
penetrating on Prentiss
's rear, he called for support from Hurlbut
, who despatched him an Illinois regiment and a battery, which took position on his right.
It was scarcely ten o'clock when his skirmish line, thrown out on another ridge, in front, was driven in by the attacking forces, who planted a battery there and shelled his lines, Jackson
's brigade opening the conflict under General Johnston
's personal order.3 Stuart
, upon going to the right, found that the 71st Ohio regiment, together with Hurlbut
's Illinois battalion and battery, had taken flight.4
A similar fate had overtaken the 52d Tennessee, of Chalmers
's brigade, when, shortly before, it had received the fire of Stuart
's skirmishers; and, excepting two companies of soldierly behavior, it was ordered out of the lines.5 Stuart
's other two regiments, after being forced back some distance, were still farther withdrawn, and formed along the brow of a hill, numbering now a force of eight hundred men. His position was protected by a fence and thick undergrowth, with an open field in front and a ravine on the left; and here, without artillery, he maintained a creditable resistance against greatly superior numbers.6