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[33] creek, from Skegg's branch northward to the ford. These conditions gave him command of the crossing of Skegg's branch, over which Sigel would have to advance if he should undertake to attack Price in rear. He then posted McRae's battalion, the Third Louisiana, and McIntosh's regiment of his own brigade, north of Gratiot and on the same bluff. It was upon this bluff that Woodruff had taken position and gone into action.

While McCulloch was still making these dispositions, Woodruff perceived that a part of Lyon's column, constituting the extreme left of his line, had crossed to the eastern side of the creek and was moving down its left bank toward the position at which his battery was then engaged. As soon as this fact was made known to McCulloch, he ordered Gratiot to the support of Woodruff, and sent McIntosh, with his regiment dismounted, the Third Louisiana and McRae's battalion, to meet the advancing Federals. McIntosh moved rapidly to the front, keeping on the eastern side of the creek. Though covered somewhat by Woodruff's guns he was greatly harassed by Du Bois, who hurled grapeshot and shell against him from the eastern brow of Bloody hill. McIntosh, finding the enemy's fire was playing havoc with his men, ordered them to charge. This they did, driving the enemy back across the creek to Lyon's main body. In the ardor of the pursuit the Confederates came within range of Du Bois' battery and Osterhaus' battalion, and were themselves driven back in some confusion. In this engagement, which began at 7 o'clock and lasted nearly an hour, about 300 Federal regulars lost 80 officers and men. McIntosh's loss was about 100 out of 1,000 men.

While this fight was going on, Sigel had advanced leisurely through the camps out of which he had driven the Confederates at sunrise, and had taken position with his entire force, some 1,200 men and six pieces of artillery, near Sharp's house, on the bluff south of Skegg's branch. His battery occupied a high plateau, and his infantry were drawn up on both sides of the Fayetteville road, with a company of United States cavalry on each flank. It was his purpose to hold this position so as to cut off the retreat of the rebels when they had been put to flight by Lyon.

McCulloch, after sending McIntosh to meet Plummer, had returned to Skegg's branch to look after Sigel.

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Skeggs Branch (Virginia, United States) (4)
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