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[223] about 10 o'clock; and just about the same time Polk's Corps, coming up from the rear, on the Confederate side, entered the battle in splendid order and spirit.

Grant's shattered forces on Sunday night had been reorganized into three divisions, of a decidely composite character, under Sherman, McClernand and Hurlbut. Four or five thousand of these men were brought up under McClernand, as we have said, between Crittenden and McCook, and about 10 o'clock several thousand more that hitherto had been collected and held near the river were also added under Hurlbut, who, however, fusing them with McClernand's command, repaired rearward again, at McClernand's request, to seek further support.

Lew Wallace, it will be remembered, bivouacked near the river and Snake Creek bridge, and so did Sherman. No considerable portion of Confederates had slept in that quarter of the field, so Wallace and Sherman, advancing for a while without difficulty, took up a strong position on a wooded ridge, affording shelter for Wallace's two batteries, with its right protected by the swamps of Owl Creek. However, by the time Nelson was well at work on the Federal left, the Confederates opened a light fire upon Wallace and Sherman, who, encouraged by its feebleness, adventured the offensive. But their speedy greeting was a sheet of flame, lead and canister from the woods in their front, when portions of Ruggles' and Breckinridge's Divisions stood in wait. The Federals reeled and rushed rearward, followed nearly a mile by the Confederates; but here, re-enforced by McCook, Sherman attempted to resume the advance.

Now the fight waxed obstinate, and the firing, says Sherman, was the ‘severest musketry’ he had ever heard. Rousseau's Federal Brigade here was pitted against Trabue's Kentuckians. Both fought with uncommon determination to win, but the Federals were repulsed, and Wallace was so pressed that his situation became extremely critical.

McCook's other brigade had joined in the action meanwhile, and in that part of the field, including Grant's forces under Sherman and McClernand, there were fully 20,000 Federals opposed by not half that number of battle-battered Confederates.

The impetus of the Confederate attack was, therefore, slackened in the face of such odds. Yet several brilliant charges were

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Tecumseh Sherman (7)
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