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[28] from being destroyed by the overwhelming force against which they were unflinchingly holding their position.

The battalion of regular infantry under Captain Steele, which had been detailed to the support of Lieutenant Du Bois' battery, was during this time brought forward to the support of Captain Totten's battery. Scarcely had these dispositions been made when the enemy again appeared in very large force along our entire front and moving toward each flank. The engagement at once became general, and almost inconceivably fierce along the entire line, the enemy appearing in front often in three or four ranks, lying down, kneeling and standing, the lines often approaching to within 30 or 40 yards, as the enemy would charge upon Captain Totten's battery, and be driven back. Early in this engagement, the First Iowa regiment came into line and relieved the First Kansas, which had been thrown into some disorder and compelled to retire. Every available battalion was now brought into action, and the battle raged with unabated fury for more than an hour, the scale seeming all the time nearly equally balanced, our troops sometimes gaining a little ground, and again giving way a few yards, to rally again.

Early in this engagement, while General Lyon was leading his horse along the line on the left of Captain Totten's battery and endeavoring to rally our troops, which were at this time in considerable disorder, his horse was killed, and he received a wound in the leg and one in the head. He walked slowly a few paces to the rear and said, ‘I fear the day is lost.’ But upon being encouraged that our troops could again be rallied, that the disorder was only temporary, he passed over to the right of the center where our line seemed to be giving way, obtained another horse, and, swinging his hat in the air, led forward the troops, who promptly rallied round him. A few moments later he was carried from the field, dead. His death was known at the time to but very few, and those few seemed to fight with redoubled vigor.

Meanwhile our disordered line on the left was again rallied, and pressed the enemy with great vigor. . . . This hot encounter lasted perhaps half an hour after General Lyon's death, when the enemy fled, and left the field clear as far as we could see, and almost total silence reigned for twenty-five or thirty minutes. [Major Sturgis

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Benjamin C. Totten (3)
Nathaniel Lyon (2)
Sturgis (1)
Frederick Steele (1)
Bois (1)
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