which was falling back fighting, in the hope of holding the enemy in check until his infantry and artillery could come up. These were forming, and they came up the hill with a rush.
First came Slack
, with Hughes
' regiment and Thornton
's battalion, and formed on the left of Cawthorn
; then Clark
, with Burbridge
's regiment, and formed on the left of Slack
; then Parsons
, with Kelly
's regiment and Guibor
's battery, and formed on the left of Clark
, and on the extreme left of the line McBride
took position with his two regiments.
Shortly after Rives
, with some dismounted men, reinforced Slack
; and Weightman
, with Clarkson
's and Hurst
's regiments which had been encamped a mile or more away, came up at a double-quick and formed between Slack
In the meantime Woodruff
had taken position with his Arkansas battery on an elevated point of land overlooking the field from the east, and at the first sound of Totten
's guns had opened a fire on Lyon
which retarded his advance and greatly aided the Missourians in getting into position.
The battle was now fairly set. The opposing forces were nearly equal.
had about 3,500 men, and Lyon
, deducting the 1,500 under Sigel
, had about 3,500.
The lines were not more than three hundred yards apart, but a heavy undergrowth of timber separated and concealed them from each other.
's men were armed mostly with hunting rifles and shotguns, and to make them effective it was necessary that the lines should be close together.
Instead of advancing, Price
waited for Lyon
He did not have to wait long.
In a little while the order to move forward was heard, and through the brush the enemy came.
When they were within close range there rang out the sharp report of a thousand rifles, the heavier report of a thousand shotguns, and crack of innumerable pistols, the roar of Guibor
's guns—and the day in the field Missourians
had looked forward to longingly amid the disappointments and delays of months was before them, and they resolved to die or conquer