deep ravine, and reached its abrupt terminus, where he found his farther progress arrested by a large force of infantry occupying a cornfield in the valley in his front. At this moment an artillery fire was opened from a high point about two miles nearly in our front, from which Colonel Sigel was to have commenced his attack. This fire was answered from the opposite side of the valley, and at a little greater distance from us, the line of fire of the two batteries being nearly perpendicular to our own. After about ten or twelve shots on either side, the firing ceased, and we neither heard nor saw anything more of Colonel Sigel's brigade till about 8:30 o'clock, when a brisk cannonading was heard for a few minutes about a mile to the right of that heard before, and from two to three miles distant. This was the last during the battle. Our whole line now advanced with much energy upon the enemy's position, the firing, which had been spirited for the last half hour, now increasing to a continuous roar. During this time Captain Totten's battery came into action by section and by piece, as the nature of the ground would permit (it being wooded with much undergrowth), and played upon the enemy's lines with great effect. After a fierce engagement, lasting perhaps half an hour, and in which our troops retired two or three times in more or less of disorder, but never more than a few yards, again to rally and press forward with increased vigor, the enemy gave way in the utmost confusion, and left us in possession of the position. Meanwhile Captain Plummer was ordered to move forward on our left, but meeting with overpowering resistance from the large mass of infantry in the cornfield in his front and in the woods beyond, was compelled to fall back; but at this moment Lieutenant Du Bois' battery, which had taken position on our left flank, supported by Major Osterhaus' battalion, opened upon the enemy in the cornfield a fire of shells with such marked effect as to drive him in the utmost disorder from the field. There was now a momentary cessation of firing along nearly the whole line, except the extreme right, where the First Missouri was still hotly engaged with a superior force of the enemy attempting to turn our right. The general, having been informed of this movement, sent the Second Kansas regiment to the support of the First Missouri. It came up in time to prevent the Missourians
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.