could not have been intrusted to better men. The remainder of the divisions were put in position to give such immediate support to the brigades as circumstances might require, while the whole of the right wing that was in front acted as the principal reserve. Generals Logan and Morgan L. Smith were in front, busy along the line. It being very difficult to cross the creek, the troops were passed over singly to the opposite bank on logs, and in any way they best could, under the cover of a heavy fire from the batteries. The brigade of General Giles A. Smith consisted at the time of the Sixth Missouri, Colonel Van Duzen, One Hundred and Eleventh Illinois, Colonel Martin, One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Illinois, Colonel Curtis, Fifty-seventh Ohio, Colonel Rice, and One Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois, Colonel Froman. At six the line of skirmishers was advanced to the foot of the hill, driving the rebels. At the order the brigades sprang up from the bank under which they were covered, deployed and marched forward at double-quick. The rebel main line occupied a rifle-pit along the crest of the hill, at the foot of which ran a sluggish creek some three or four feet in depth. Across this creek and up the hill into the rifle-pit they had been driven by the skirmishers. The distance from the lines where the two brigades deployed to the rifle-pit of the enemy was two hundred and fifty yards. Across this space, exposed to a severe fire of musketry, our line advanced with trailed arms, forded the creek, and reached and carried the rebel rifle-pit without a shot from their main line. It was well and magnificently done. The shouts of the men were answered by the cheers of their comrades of the corps that were heard for miles. The position had been carried; the problem now was to hold it. General Wood's brigade was on the left and General Giles A. Smith on the right. Under a heavy fire from the redoubts the rebels formed a column to retake the hill. Very soon a strong force, displaying seven regimental colors, was discovered moving to the attack in column, by regiments. From the hill, where Generals McPherson and Logan stood, the attacking column looked formidable. The whole force of the two brigades was deployed in front. The rebel column would strike in a few minutes. If it broke our line the position was gone and the brigades lost. Logan hurried along the front. It seemed but an instant when the whole rebel force made its assault upon the right of Giles A. Smith's brigade. The One Hundred and Sixteeenth Illinois, which was deployed as skirmishers, fell back, forming on the right and left of the Fifty-seventh Ohio. Colonel Froman had been wounded in crossing the creek. The rebel column, a portion of Hardee's corps, came boldly and steadily on. Colonel Rice reserved his fire until the rebels were within sixty yards, when he delivered a terrible fire straight in their faces. At the same time the One Hundred and Eleventh Illinois and the right of General Wood's brigade changed front a little towards the right, and the One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Illinois on the extreme right, changed direction to the left, and both wings poured in a terrific oblique fire on both sides of the rebel column. It staggered and fell back, but instantly re-formed and renewed the assault and was again repulsed. They massed and assaulted Wood's brigade on the left, and were terribly repulsed. Failing in their direct assaults, they attempted to turn the right of our line. In their last assault the oblique fire on the One Hundred and Twenty-seventh was increased by a part of our Lightburn's brigade. The assaults were rapidly and boldly made. Reinforcements were on their way to the front before the aids asking them ever reached General Logan. But still the main heavy blows of the rebel assaults were received and repulsed by Wood's and Giles A. Smith's brigades before they reached them. The last effort of the enemy was an attempt to turn each flank. In this they were met by the supporting brigades, and repulsed with severe loss; our loss was less than three hundred. The rebel loss of course was very much greater. They admitted a loss of two thousand during the day, on their left. This charge and the engagement which ensued lasted until after dark, and was one of the best fights ever made within my experience by Federal troops. They were led by Generals Wood and Giles A. Smith, two of the ablest brigade commanders in the field. The men behaved with the greatest coolness and courage while receiving the assaults of the rebel columns. The Fifty-seventh Ohio, against which the attack was directed, fired and loaded by front and rear rank at the command. The One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Illinois loaded and fired at the word. The rebel Colonel Stanton was killed, an Aidede-Camp to Hardee was killed, and General Hardee's horse killed under him. I have seen an Atlanta Intelligencer of the eighteenth, which claims a victory in the battle on the centre, and states that the battle in the evening with Logan was terribly severe — their losses heavy, but-claims that they finally repulsed the “Yankee charge.” It would be unjust to omit to make record of the universal testimony of officers and men to the conduct of Colonel Rice. With the utmost intrepidity and coolness he remained assisting the assault and handling his men as steadily and with the precision of a dress parade. During the afternoon a force with a pontoon train had been moved to the ferry across the Oostenaula on the Calhoun road, for the purpose of crossing and making lodgment on the south side of the river. The enemy was found there in force and intrenched. The position of the Federal army after a hard day's work was this: The left and centre was substantially as in the morning. They had fought against positions and a superior force, and had suffered severely. A portion of the right, two divisions of the
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Table of Contents:
Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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