to retain the position he had taken for the time being.
's formation was, Marmaduke
on the right, Fagan
in the center, and Parsons
on the left.
For three or four hours the army remained in position without firing a gun. Off to the southwest the glint of the sunlight on the bayonets and musket barrels of Blunt
's soldiers could occasionally be seen, as they wound their way over hill and vale in their line of march of twelve miles around Hindman
's left to form a junction with Herron
Then the attack came from the combined Federal forces.
was much stronger in artillery than Hindman
, and shelled his lines furiously before assaulting them with his infantry.
's battery, under Lieutenant Collins
, was forced to change its position repeatedly.
The infantry attack was directed chiefly against the center and right wing, and was gallantly met and successfully repulsed by Fagan
The battle was stubbornly contested by both sides, but the Confederates
steadily gained ground, and never yielded a foot they had gained.
On the left Blunt
was fiercely assaulting Parsons
, who was barely able to hold his own, but after an hour or more of fighting, gathered all his strength and forced Blunt
back to a line of timber, when he in turn was checked by a fire of thirty pieces of artillery massed in the edge of the woods.
reformed his broken ranks and charged the center and right again, but with less vigor and determination than the first time, and was driven back in greater confusion.
A little open field of not more than fifteen or twenty acres, near the right center of the line, was fought over several times, and a Federal battery was taken, retaken and taken again, the last time by a regiment of Shelby
's cavalry, dismounted, remaining in the hands of the Confederates
After the battle one might have walked over this field and never stepped on the ground, the dead and the wounded covered it so thickly.
Night closed the fight with the Confederates