kept up a steady fire on the enemy until they finally crossed the river and escaped.
Along .one side of the road leading down to the river was a creek, sometimes without water, but now bank full.
This creek protected the Federals
' right flank.
In their front was a large open field.
On their left was a heavy wood.
Through this open field, with the enemy protected by the timber on the other side, Churchill
's division was ordered to charge.
They went in with a rush, but the mud was deep, and as soon as they got in the field the enemy opened a terrific fire of musketry from the timber line on their front and right flank After a short and desperate struggle they were driven back.
' division was sent in, and it too, after a bloody struggle, was repulsed.
After a pause Walker
's strong Texas
division was ordered in, and after a tremendous struggle was beaten back.
The fight was made by the divisions separately.
They were not at any time within supporting distance of each other, and did not support each other.
By deflecting a little to the right the woods could have been cleared of the enemy and a charging line have had only the enemy in front to contend with.
A section of Ruffner
's battery was ordered to take position in this field, but before it had fired two rounds the men and horses were shot down and the guns captured.
It was a useless sacrifice.
When the Missouri division made its charge and was shaken by the terrible cross-fire of the enemy, General Marmaduke
and his aide-de-camp, Capt. William M. Price
, rode among the men, and, each taking a battleflag in his hand, led them forward, but only eventually to be forced to retire.
was in command on the field, General Smith
being a mile and a half back on the bluff.
When the infantry had been beaten in detail, and the fighting had ceased, with the exception of the firing of the skirmishers, General Marmaduke
galloped back and explained