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[426] ground over which we had marched the previous day, and there were very few shots fired by either side. At half-past 11 A. M., we were again in the immediate vicinity of Tunnel Hill.

Just where you emerge from the woods and enter the open ground around the town, is a house which belongs to, and is inhabited by a member of the numerous and honorable tribe of John Smiths. Here the cavalry halted, there being unmistakable signs that the rebels had been reenforced upon the Tunnel Hill Ridge, and meant to hold the position. A line of log breastworks, begun some time ago, but completed on Tuesday night, could be seen extending all along the crest. Artillery could also be plainly perceived at two different points.

It was half-past 12 before we were ready to move forward, and then our cavalry marched in column along the road, into the open ground, directly toward the point whence the rebel artillery had been fired the day before. Myself and Lieutenant Shaw were riding near the van of the force, and were remarking upon the great advantage which our movement in column would give the enemy, provided they opened upon us with their cannon. They would be enabled to assail us with a raking fire, which could scarcely fail to do us much damage.

On the slope of the ridge, and near the road, which, running over it, leads on to Dalton, is a white frame-house. Behind this the rebels had, during the night, concealed a battery; and just as our column had all passed into the open ground, they ran their cannon out from behind the house, and blazed away at us with vigor and a will. The first shell fell into soft ground, a dozen feet from where I was at the moment. Either it was a fuse-shell and burst when in near proximity to the earth, or it was percussion, and the ground was not soft enough to prevent its explosion. At any rate, it exploded and threw the dirt, with numerous fragments of itself, in every direction around it. A liberal sprinkling of the former sufficed for my share.

The dirt and mud had scarce ceased to fall, when a second shell struck the ground, about twenty feet beyond the first. Bursting, one half of it flew into atoms, slighty wounding several persons. The other half, in one solid mass, struck a very young man, a member of the Twenty-eighth Kentucky, squarely in the stomach, tearing out his bowels. His horse, also wounded, dashed away toward the rear. A hundred yards from the spot where the shell exploded, the hapless rider fell off, stone-dead. A few feet further, and his horse also lay stretched upon the earth.

I did not note the effect of any other individual shell, for, as word was given to the horsemen to seek shelter, I was not slow in obeying the order, and by a rapid and masterly movement soon found myself beneath the friendly shelter of some woods upon our right. Our cavalry stood firm until the order to retire was given. Then they left in good earnest; so that when I turned and looked out from the woods where I had taken refuge upon the open ground, not a man was to be seen. Yes, there was one man. As soon as Colonel Harrison had given orders to his men to retire, he himself descended from his horse, and stood there in full view of the enemy until the storm was over.

For full fifteen minutes the rebels kept up a furious fire, throwing their missiles clear back to John Smith's house, and even disturbing for a moment the equanimity of our infantry. One of the shells burst so near General Whipple, Chief of Staff to General Thomas, that all who saw it wondered how he escaped with life. Not even his clothes, however, were touched.

Would you picture to your mind a view of this somewhat singular battle-field? Imagine yourself, then, at John Smith's house, and looking south. The road passing it runs nearly north and south. Going south a quarter of a mile, you reach the railroad; here the common road turns squarely to the left, and by following a furlong further, you enter the town of Tunnel Hill. To the right of Smith's house is a wooded range, intersected by ravines, behind which Colonel Hambright's brigade was posted, after our cavalry had sought shelter from the rebel artillery. Carlin was in the centre of our line, along the road. Off to the left is a tolerably high range, subsiding about three hundred yards from the road, Between this and Tunnel Hill Ridge, General Crufts's division (Stanley's) was advancing. Looking across some open fields to the south-east, you behold the town. Occupying entire space between south and east, extends Tunnel Hill Range, held by the enemy. One high round peak, lying south-south-east, runs up most ambitiously toward the clouds; the remainder of the range is comparatively low. The rebel battery which had already worked us mischief, was just below the high peak. Around the town the cleared ground is undulating. The high eminences of Rocky Face can be seen at various places, rising up behind Tunnel Hill Ridge.

Such is a picture of what has already been the scene of a combat, and may yet witness a great battle.

While Colonel Hambright was putting his brigade into such a position as to threaten the ene my's left, General Morgan, commanding brigade in General Davis's division, had been sent over to our left to connect with General Crufts's men, and, climbing Tunnel Hill Ridge, where it is quite low, and there was no force of the enemy to oppose, to move along the summit, until he could assail the rebel works upon their right flank.

In the mean time, two pieces of Hotchkiss's battery opened upon the rebel battery from the hill upon the right of the road. An animated duel continued for some time. The rebels threw missiles with much precision. Captain Hotchkiss planted his shells where they would have been very effective, had they not for some unknown reason mostly failed to explode.

Captain Harris moved two guns of his battery (Nineteenth Indiana) over into the fields upon the left, and fired a few effective shots.

Between the two, the rebel battery had too


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