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[389] wounded. Out of five thousand effective men this division had lost more than one thousand by the fire of the enemy. It had seen three of its generals fall, and was completely disorganized. On the extreme left Starkweather found himself isolated, and despite a vigorous resistance was also obliged to fall back.

The Confederates were masters of all the positions occupied by McCook between Chaplin's Creek and Doctor's Creek; but whilst their right, taking advantage of the dominant position it had conquered, was steadily advancing, their left presented its flank to Sheridan, whom they had not yet seriously attacked. The artillery of this general opened an enfilading fire upon them, which compelled them to halt and to turn against him. It was four o'clock. The soldiers who had just fought Rousseau were unable to break the line of Sheridan, who with fresh troops occupied an elevated position easy to defend; they exchanged volleys of musketry with no effect. Polk caused Smith's brigade of Cheatham's division to support Anderson, the other two brigades of that division being already engaged at the extreme right. All the efforts of the assailants were then directed against Sheridan, but he, being posted along the edge of a wood which crowned the summit of the hills, commanded the open fields through which they were coming to attack him, and inflicted terrible losses upon the enemy. The Confederates returned in vain to the charge. Toward four o'clock Gilbert sent Mitchell's division to take part in the battle; two of his brigades drew near Sheridan, covering his right; one of them, under Carlin, joined him in an offensive return, and on that side the enemy was finally thrown back beyond Chaplin's Creek. The Federals passed through the village of Perryville, where they picked up some hundreds of prisoners. Mitchell's third brigade, under Gooding, had gone to the extreme left to McCook's relief, and for nearly two hours it made head almost alone against the attacks of the Confederates, slowly retiring before them, but at the cost of cruel sacrifices, for it left upon the ground its wounded commander and one-third of its effective force. Night came at last to put an end to this combat, one of the most sanguinary of the war, if we take into account the forces really engaged and the short time it lasted. The eleven Federal brigades, numbering about twenty-five thousand men, lost four

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Philip Sheridan (3)
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