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The Battle of Perryville


October 1862

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, October 15, 1862.


Great Conflict Between McCook’s Division and Bragg’s Army.




[Special Correspondence of the Cincinnati Gazette.]

October 9, 1862.


I wish to speak in terms of moderation, but I confidently believe, from the opinions of those who have been at Pittsburg Landing, Fort Donelson and Pea Ridge, that the severest action of the war (in proportion to the numbers engaged) has just taken place, and that, all things considered, our arms have achieved a victory—not a brilliant triumph; not even a complete success, but still a victory, and one, too, which, had it not been for our habitual failure to follow up our advantages, might have been final, so far as it concerned the rebel army under Bragg.



On Tuesday afternoon, General Sheridan’s division had the advance of General Gilbert’s corps, Rousseau’s and Jackson’s divisions having previously advanced by way of Taylorsville, and formed in order of battle; Jackson’s division somewhat to the rear of Rousseau’s, and forming the extreme left of our line.  During the night, the 35th brigade, commanded by Col. Dan. McCook, of the 52d Ohio, and forming a portion of General Sheridan’s division, was also ordered up by General Buell, and was directed to occupy some high ground, the highest perhaps upon the whole field.  This ground is situated to the right of the turnpike, (Gilbert’s corps being upon the left) and when occupied, placed Col. McCook’s brigade immediately to the right of the 17th brigade—Col. Lytle’s—which formed the right wing of General Rousseau’s division.  The 36th brigade is composed of the 52d Ohio and 85th, 86th and 125th Illinois.  All are new troops, but General Buell is said to have expressed the greatest confidence in them—confidence which their subsequent conduct fully justified.

At two o’clock on Wednesday morning, Col. McCook began to move forward with his brigade, accompanied by Barnet’s battery from Illinois.  It was nearly dawn when they arrived within sight of the position they were to occupy, but the moon was still shining brightly, and as they approached the bottom of the hill they could distinctly see the rebel pickets upon the crest.

The 85th Illinois, Col. Moore, was immediately deployed upon the right of the road, the front and flank covered by skirmishers, and the 52d Ohio, Lieut. Col. Cowan commanding, was similarly deployed upon the left.  The 125th Illinois, Col. Harmon, was posted as a reserve 150 paces in the rear.  (The 89th Illinois had previously been detailed on picket duty.)



Our skirmishers had hardly taken intervals before the enemy’s pickets opened a sharp fire, especially upon the 85th Illinois.  Although the first fight in which they had ever been engaged, the troops moved forward at the word of command, and continued to advance firmly and steadily up the hill until they had driven the rebels from the crest, inflicting upon them a loss so severe that in their irritation they determined at all hazards to recover the position.

The peaceful moonlight was still slumbering upon the hill when the rebels appeared both upon the right and left in great numbers, planted a battery in front, and commenced pouring a shower of schrapnel [sic] upon the 36th.  For an hour the shot went whizzing over head and crashing through the trees, but not a man flinched from his post.

As soon as the position of the rebel battery was ascertained, a section of Captain Barnet’s artillery, consisting of two 10-pounder Parrotts, was brought to the top of the hill, and by a few well directed shots the rebel battery was silenced.  But the rebel artillerymen were again rallied around their guns, again opened fire, and again were driven off by the two formidable Parrotts.  A second time they returned to their pieces, only to meet with the same fate, and then the firing from the rebel battery ceased entirely.

Meanwhile the right wing of the 125th Illinois had been ordered up to support the battery, and performed their duty handsomely.  The silencing of the rebel battery seemed to check the ardor of the butternuts, and they retired into the woods fronting the position, the 36th remaining in undisputed possession of the contested ground.

Brigadier General Gay, Inspector of Cavalry upon Gen. Buell’s staff, came up after the enemy had ceased their efforts to dislodge the 30th brigade, and advancing with a cavalry force in the direction of the enemy had taken, was soon furiously attacked.  A battalion of the 2d Michigan cavalry, Col. A. P. Campbell, was at once dismounted, while the other two were thrown under cover of the woods.  The dismounted battalion advanced upon the enemy, assisted by the skirmishers of the 52d Ohio, and after a sharp skirmish, drove them from the woods.  They soon rallied, however, and, receiving some reinforcements, they forced our skirmishers and cavalry to retire, contesting every inch of ground.

The fight now became deeply interesting.  On came the enemy, pouring heavy volleys into the ranks of the 2d Michigan and other cavalry, and pushing it gradually back until it occupied the position from which it first advanced towards the woods.  The situation was critical.  If the enemy was not immediately checked, he would advance with his fresh forces and renewed courage up the hill, assaulting once more the gallant 36th brigade, which had been under arms ever since 2 o’clock in the morning, engaged during the greater portion of the time.  General R. B. Mitchell with his division, was about getting into line of battle on the right of the hill, and it was now of more importance than ever that the hill itself should be held.  As it was in the very center of our intended line, and commanded the ground for a great distance upon both sides of the road, its possession by the enemy might be attended with the most serious consequences.

It was just then that the 2d Missouri, Captain Walter Hoppe commanding, a regiment which distinguished itself at Pea Ridge, came gallantly up to the rescue, and with deafening cheers advanced upon the enemy.  The 2d Michigan cavalrymen, reanimated by this assistance, advanced as skirmishers before the 2d Missouri, and the 15th Missouri came after as a support.  In vain the enemy opened upon the advancing line, a murderous fire.  A continual storm of leaden hail raged round their ears; the 2d Missouri steadily moved forward until the dismayed and conquered rebels broke and ran like sheep.  For more than a mile the conquerors pursued, and only gave over when they were ordered back to their first position.  The 2d Minnesota battery, Captain Hotchkiss, came up nearly at the same time with the 2d Missouri infantry, and by delivering a well directed fire upon the flank of the rebels, assisted materially in driving them from the woods.



Thus ended, at about 10 A. M., the preliminary battle of this eventful day, and even at that early hour many a brave and noble spirit had taken its departure to another world.  The 36th Brigade had more than a hundred killed and wounded, while the 2d Missouri alone had lost nearly a hundred more.  The 2d Michigan cavalry had also suffered considerably, and the batteries engaged had met with some slight loss.

But at least three hundred rebels had bit the dust, and we remained masters of the field.

The conduct of Gen. Gay and his staff is spoken of with much praise by all who witnessed it.

All the officers of the 36th Brigade behaved so well, that it scarcely seems just to make special mention of any one, although it is impossible not to admire the behavior of Col. Moore, of the 85th Illinois.

Col. Dan. McCook bore himself throughout the action with bravery and ability.

The 2d Missouri, which so greatly distinguished itself, forms, with the 15th Missouri, a portion of the 35th Brigade, Lieut. Col. Barnard Laibold, of the 2d, commanding.  The other regiments of this brigade are the 44th and 73d Illinois.  Col. Laibold is a man who will always maintain the credit of any corps to which he may be attached.  After the preliminary battle was over, he seemed restless and uneasy, repeatedly declaring that he “could not rest that night without another bout with the enemy.”

A portion of the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry was also engaged in this action, and Colonel James, commanding it, is, as well as his regiment, highly spoken of.

From the close of this combat, our cavalry took no further part in the affairs of the day, being posted in order of battle to the rear, waiting for an opportunity which never occurred.

This preliminary battle, as I have said confirmed us in the impression that here the enemy was about to make a grand effort to drive back our army.  But as a division or two only had arrived, we felt it highly imprudent to assail him at once, and hence resolved to remain in order of battle with what forces we had, and wait for the remainder to come up

But the enemy could not wait.  The head of our column had not rushed into the trap which he had set for it; he had already lost time in his retreat without accomplishing anything, and in his exasperation he determined to assail and overwhelm that portion of our forces which had arrived, even though they were drawn up and ready to receive him.

At about 11 o’clock A. M., artillery firing commenced.



Upon the left where Jackson’s division was stationed, was one of our batteries feeling for the enemy.  No response was elicited, however, nor did a battery connected with Mitchell’s division, which came up about this time and took position upon the right of Sheridan’s, meet with my better success.

Captain Loomis’s Michigan battery, posted on a hill which overlooked the whole space between our advance bodies and the wooded hills where the enemy’s legions lay massed, also threw a few shells toward these h[e]ights, and Captain Simonson (5th Indiana Battery) did the same.  But the enemy gave no sign.  The position occupied by these two batteries was peculiarly favorable for operating against the enemy should he endeavor to cross the open space in front of them, but it was at the same time exposed and dangerous if the enemy should, previous to charging, open with his artillery from his position on the hills.

I was talking with Captain Loomis, who stood beside his guns, just previous to the commencement of the fearful struggle which was to drench the ground on which I stood with blood.  Personally acquainted with every officer, and almost every man in both these batteries, having gone with them though General O. M. Mitchell’s long campaign in Tennessee and Alabama, I could not avoid a feeling of sadness as I looked around upon them, and reflected that, perhaps, ere the setting of the sun, the mangled corpses of some of them would be stretched beside their guns.  Yet no sadness was visible upon their countenances.  No!  They had long ardently wished the time to come when they might measure strength with the rebel hordes, and now, as there seemed an immediate prospect that their wishes might be gratified, their hearts leaped joyfully in their bosoms, and their countenances beamed with animation.

Both Simonson and Loomis were as cool as though no enemy were within a hundred miles, although they both confidently expected, each passing minute, that before its expiration the thunder of the rebel artillery would open fiercely upon them.

Captain Simonson was in the very midst of a vivid description which he was giving me of the operations about Stevenson, Alabama, in which his battery bore a distinguished part, when a spherical shot buried itself deep in the side of the hill, just below where we were standing, and a half dozen more whistled fiercely over our heads, and raised great clouds of dust as they struck in the dried-up fields beyond.  At this time but two pieces of Loomis’s battery were in position upon the hill, the remainder being stationed upon another eminence some distance in the rear.

These were at once ordered up, the shot and shell of the enemy’s guns meantime continuing to plow the ground in our vicinity and to crash through the branches of some half dozen trees, which were grouped together on the hill immediately to the right of Loomis’s position.

“Captain Loomis,” said I, as he was riding back toward the main portion of his battery upon the hill behind, “don’t you intend to reply to that fire?”  “Yes,” said he, “I’ll fetch ‘em!”  Simonson’s battery had opened in the meantime, and another away off to the right of the road.

All Loomis’s pieces were now in position and thundering away with the sharp, quick, deadly report which rifled Parrotts always make.

To the extreme left, another battery immediately opened, and the enemy replied from at least a half dozen different positions, and shot and shell of every description flew in all directions.  The enemy’s artillery seemed very badly managed.  Their missiles struck everywhere except where they intended them to strike, and it actually seemed that the safest points which could be selected for a circuit of two or three miles were in the very midst of our batteries.



At the foot of the hill just behind the batteries was stationed.  Rousseau’s division, the Seventeenth Brigade, Col. Lytle, to the right, and most of it upon the east of the right of our whole line, being to the east of the right of our whole line, being to the east of a narrow lane which ran north and south, and opened out into the field where Loomis was posted, just where stood the group of trees I have mentioned.  The Ninth Brigade, Colonel Harris, of the 2d Ohio, commanding, was on the left of the lane on somewhat higher ground, partly in the open field and partly in a neck of the woods, which extended into the cleared ground and further to the left was the Twenty-Eighth Brigade, Colonel Starkweather of the 1st Wisconsin, commanding.

This brigade was formed at Nashville about five weeks since, and had taken the place of the 8th brigade when the 3d division was reorganized at that city.

I missed the gallant and patriotic 8th.  Falsehood, misrepresentation, envy and malignity had driven it from the 3d division, where it had previously won immortal renown and had scattered it abroad over the South.  One of its regiments, the 24th Illinois, was in this battle, however, and gloriously maintained its honor.

The 29th brigade supported Captain Harris’s 19th Indiana battery.

A few of the men belonging to these brigades were killed and wounded by the fire from the rebel cannon, but generally the shot passed harmlessly over their heads.  I was near one of the men who was killed at the time he was struck, and could not but regard it as a singular fatality.  His name is—Robb—probably well known in Cincinnati, as he belonged to the 10th Ohio, and was Colonel Lytle’s Orderly.

He was not with his regiment at the time of his death, but with the 3d Ohio, and was lying amon[g]st the other men on the ground.

While in this position a spherical shot struck him in the side, passed entirely through his body, and buried itself in the ground beyond.

He died instantly, and almost without a gasp.  Not a man of the regiment he was with was, in this stage of the battle, either killed or wounded.

A shell burst very near General Rousseau and his staff to the imminent danger of the General himself, and it was this that probably gave rise to the report that he was wounded.  I do not think he was hurt at all, for the next morning I saw him riding over the field in fine health and spirits, his countenance only exhibiting an expression of sadness when he came in view of those of his brave boys who were lying stiff and cold in death.

While I was watching with intense interest the effect of our fire on the enemy a shell came hurtling through the air and exploded in the very midst of Captain Simonson’s battery, killing two of his horses and wounding two of his men.  The next moment a case shot tore away the head of another horse, entered his foreshoulder, and ranged through the entire length of his body.

Not a man flinched, however, until the enemy’s batteries opposite Loomis’s and Simonson’s ceased firing entirely.

In fact there was a lull in the battle about this time all over the field, but it was the lull which follows the first blast of a tempest and indicates that it is gathering its forces for a more terrible onset.  Capt. Loomis’s battery was now moved down the lane and took position upon the hill which lay immediately behind the one from which he had just been fighting.  At the same time the infantry was moved nearer the crest of the latter and there lay down, awaiting the onset which the enemy were evidently about to make.

It was nearly two o’clock when the cannonade commenced with terrific fury along the entire line.

Several of the enemy’s batteries had evidently been moved much nearer, although still under cover of certain necks of wood which extended into the open ground toward our position.  Strange discharges of musketry began to be heard, and the enemy’s legions, hitherto concealed, emerged in long and formidable lines from the cover of the woods.

In half an hour afterward, the discharges of musketry were sharp, quick and terrific from our right to our left, where Jackson’s division, now fully in position, was gallantly sustaining the battle.

It was three o’clock when the rebels, hitherto unable to cause even a wavering in any portion of our line of battle, collected his chosen bands, and, under the leadership of Bragg himself, advanced determinedly toward our center, or rather to the left of our center, in order to break, if possible, the line which our gallant soldiers everywhere so stubbornly maintained.  In vain their artillery thundered within a hundred yards of us; in vain their infantry poured volley after volley into our ranks; in vain their cavalry came forward with loud shouts and in magnificent order.  Their artillery was silenced by the murderous fire of our own batteries, and their cavalry advanced only to strew the ground with their corpses, and then retire in confusion.



But the attack which began upon Jackson’s division, about twenty minutes after that upon Rousseau’s, was more successful.

Here the infamous Buckner brought an immense force to bear against the two brigades of which Jackson’s division is composed—the 33d, commanded by Gen. Terrell, and the 34th, by Col. Webster of the 96th Ohio.  A strip of woods lay between the open ground in front of this division and that in front of Gen. Rousseau’s, and extends very nearly back to the woods upon the left of Perryville, where the rebels had their forces posted in the morning.  This strip of timber formed a covered way by which the rebels stealthily advanced until they were near our lines, when, suddenly deploying to the left, they occupied the whole space in front of Jackson’s division, and rushed upon it with demoniac yells.

The soldiers of the Union fought with courage never surpassed, and again and again were the advancing rebels checked and thrown into confusion.  Regiment vied with regiment and man with man, to see who should longest sustain the repeated terrible assaults of the foe.  Occasionally portions of the line would waver a little under the murderous fire which the enemy in overwhelming numbers poured upon it; but even while their comrades were falling thickly around them, the men would rally, re-form, and again drive their bullets in the faces of their desperate enemies.

Harris’s, Stone’s and Parson’s batteries ceased firing shell and round shot, and hurled into the very bosom of the advancing host a storm of grape and canister, until the ground was literally covered with dead and mangled rebels.

But with ever-increasing strength the enemy continued the assault.  He placed several lines upon sloping ground, in such a way that the whole could fire at once, and although this arrangement enabled our batteries to operate with more deadly effect, it created such havoc in our single line of battle as no soldiers could endure.  A portion of the 21st Wisconsin, supporting Stone’s battery, broke and fled.  The greatly superior numbers of the assailants enabled them to outflank our line; and from both front and flank they rushed upon us, delivering their fire within a few feet of our lines, and charging up to the very muzzles of our guns.

The 80th Illinois and 105th Ohio gave way before this mad onset, leaving Capt. Parson’s battery exposed.  The artillery-men at once abandoned their hitherto nobly defended pieces, and all but a single gun fell into the hands of the enemy.  Four of Capt. Harris’s guns were also left upon the field, but the rebels had not time to carry them off, and I think they were all recovered to-day.

Our line being thus broken, the entire division retreated, perhaps a quarter of a mile, where it halted, and held its ground until the battle ceased.  But it retreated only after its division commander, Gen. Jackson, and one brigade commander, Gen. Terrell, were killed, and the other, Col. Webster, was mortally wounded.  Not a suspicion will ever be cast upon the valor of these noble men; and if it be not true, as some declare, that two companies of the 21st Wisconsin, posted near Stone’s battery, broke and ran away with unseemly haste, then all the troops of Gen. Jackson’s division will hereafter be classed among the veterans of the Union army.

The partial success of the rebels upon this division, encouraged them to re-commence the attack upon Rousseau, and now began one of the bloodiest passages at arms which has occurred during the war.  I witnessed it from beginning to end, and gazed upon it with an indescribable horror which took away all sense of danger.  Those whom I have longest known and best loved in the whole Union army, here fought and fell in scores before my eyes, and died in every terrible form of death.  I may behold great battles hereafter, and my heart may become somewhat callous to their bloody scenes, but never shall I forget what I saw at that time, nor will the impression made thereby ever pass away.



The 17th Brigade, Col. W. H. Lytle, of the 10th Ohio, commanding, formed, as I have said, the right of Rousseau’s Division, and it was against this that the rebel leaders directed their fiercest assault.  Emerging from the shelter to which they had retired after their first repulse from this portion of the line, they advanced in heavy masses toward our position.  Their appearance, as regiment after regiment, and mass after mass, came forth from beneath the woods and advanced down the slopes of the hills, was imposing in the extreme.  Distance concealed the rage composing their uniform; and the blue flag with a single star waved all along their lines, as proudly as though it were not the emblem of treason, slavery and death.  At their head advanced a General mounted upon a white horse, and surrounded by a numerous staff, all having horses of the same color.  However one might hate these traitors, he could not but admire this conspicuousness and daring valor, for each one of these “pale horse” riders instantly became a mark for a shower of bullets, several of which sped not upon their way in vain.

Near the foot of the slope of hills, the wooded crests of which had formed their original position, they had planted a dozen pieces of artillery, raking the 3d Ohio and 42d Indiana, which now advanced to the summit of the hill (upon which Loomis and Simonson’s batteries were posted at the beginning of the action,) in order that they might meet the dense masses of the enemy’s infantry, which were advancing under cover of fire from their artillery.  As soon as these two gallant regiments appeared upon the crest, they were saluted with a tempest of bullets from the muskets of at least four thousand muskets, at the same time that the cannon of the enemy thundered upon their front and flank.  The 3rd Ohio, Col. John Beatty, sustained the heaviest fire, and as long as it remained upon the hill its ranks were continually plowed by the terrible discharges from the enemy’s artillery.

But while it remained there, (and it remained until a third of its number strewed the field,) it never for an instant ceased to belch forth a volley of flame into the face of the foe, nor could the rebel legions, with all their desperation, summon the courage to charge it.  Every officer stood like a rock to his post, and the gallant Colonel Beatty, dismounting from his unmanageable horse, placed himself coolly and calmly in the center of his regiment, cheered both by voice and example his dauntless men, and seemed totally unconscious that death was everywhere around and about him.

At last a shell from the rebel cannon set fire to a pile of straw, the flame of which instantly communicated to a large barn upon which the right wing of the 3d Ohio rested.  In a moment the whole was in a blaze; the heat became intense and unendurable; and though some of the heroes stood until their faces were blistered, rather than break their ranks, they were compelled at length to retire in confusion upon the center and left of the regiment, which they also threw into disorder.  Slowly and reluctantly the officers began to follow their men down the hill, at the foot of which they immediately re-formed the torn and bleeding ranks.

During this time the 15th Kentucky, (Colonel Curran Pope,) which was in the rear of the 3d Ohio, and under shelter of the hill, became intensely anxious to advance, and more than once sent up to ask the 3d Ohio to retire and allow them for a time to face the foe.  As soon as the disaster of the burning barn threw the 3d into disorder, Colonel Pope shouted “forward” to his regiment, and with the utmost alacrity, it rushed up the eminence.  No matter that the muskets, rifles, cannons hurled immediately against it every deadly missile of war; no matter that the roar of musketry and artillery which greeted its appearance, sounded not like successive volleys, but like the continued rattle of ten thousand drums.  No matter that its ranks were decimated ere it had been there a single minute; it stood like a wall until Lieutenant-Colonel Jouett and Major Campbell were both killed, and Colonel Pope was wounded and his horse shot from under him.  Then it retired, and rallied at the foot of the hill.

All this time the 10th Ohio were lying upon their faces to the left of the 3d, and upon the other side of the lane, as I have before mentioned.  And now occurred the most terrible disaster of the day.

The retreat of the 3d Ohio and 15th Kentucky had left the right wing of the 10th uncovered, and a whole brigade of the enemy, forming in mass, advanced toward them over ground of such a nature that if the 10th did not receive warning from some source, the rebel column would be upon them and annihilate them before they could rise from their faces and change front.  Colonel Lytle was expecting the enemy to appear in his front, over the crest of the hill, and had intended to have the gallant 10th charge them with the bayonet.

And they still lay upon their faces, while the enemy was advancing upon their flank, stealthily as a cat steals upon her prey.  Nearer and nearer they come!  Great heavens! will no one tell the 10th of their fearful peril?  Where is the eagle eye which ought to overlook the field, and send swift-footed couriers to save this illustrious band from destruction?  Alas!  there is none!  The heroes of Carnifex are doomed!  The mass of rebels, which a rising ground just to the right of the 10th has hitherto concealed from view, rush upon the hapless regiment, and from the distance of a hundred yards pour into it an annihilating fire, even while the men are still upon their faces!  Overwhelmed and confounded, they leap to their feet and vainly endeavor to change front and meet the enemy.  It is impossible to do it beneath that withering, murderous fire; and for the first time in its history the 10th regiment turns its back upon the enemy.  They will not run; they only walk away, and they are mo[w]ed down by scores as they do so.

The noble, gifted, generous Lytle, the Chevalier Bayard of the Ohio troops, was pierced with bullets and fell where the storm was fiercest.  One of his sergeants lifted him in his arms and was endeavoring to bear him from the field.  “You may do some good yet,” said the hero; “I can do no more; let me die here.”  He was left there, and fell into the hands of the enemy.  It is fervently hoped that his wounds were not mortal, and that he may yet again be restored to us to fight for the cause he loved so well.  The brave Major Moore was badly wounded while doing all in his power to retrieve the terrible blunder which some one had made.  Lieutenant Colonel Burke, with almost superhuman courage, endeavored to rally his men, succeeding at last, and forming the shattered remains of the 10th in line of battle a considerable distanced to the left.

During all these bloody conflicts, Gen. Rousseau seemed everywhere present, and as if he possessed a charmed life, rode fearlessly amidst the iron hail, directing and encouraging his men.  If the “dark and bloody ground” had furnished for the Union army only two such men as Pope and Rousseau, the patriot might cry exultingly.  “Well done, Kentucky!”



While the 10th Ohio was being so terribly cut up, another immense body of rebels filed off to the left, disappeared behind the woods fronting Gen. Sheridan’s division, and soon after commenced a desperate assault upon our right and right center.  But Mitchell and Sheridan were ready to receive them, and the high hill to the right of the road, occupied by the latter in the morning, instantly became a huge volcano, belching forth from every quarter volumes of fire and smoke, and flinging into the midst of the dismayed and staggering traitors, ten thousand projectiles, deadly as a volley shot from the crater of Etna.  After vainly endeavoring to storm the hill, the shattered masses of the enemy gave way, and were pursued by General Mitchell beyond Perryville.

And now while the 17th brigade was still struggling gloriously, and even after its frightful losses, was actually holding the rebels in check, the 9th and 28th brigades, both of which had borne a distinguished part so far, come to the rescue.  A half dozen regiments rushed up along the crest of an eminence situated to the left, and with loud shouts bore down upon the enemy.  Around a farm house to the left of the 17th brigade and in a woods in front of it (the same under cover of which the rebels had advanced in their assault upon Jackson’s division,) the combat raged with unintermitted fury for more than half an hour.  But when the attack upon our right was repulsed, the enemy retired from this portion of the field.

Just about sundown a last despairing effort of the baffled foe was made upon the right of Rousseau’s division.  Our line of battle in all this part of the field, had now completely changed direction, ranging from north to south, instead of from east to west as in the beginning of the day.  A battery, which I believe was Captain Loomis’s, repulsed this last assault.  But the firing of artillery continued half an hour into the night, forming a scene awfully sublime.  At last its thunder ceased as by mutual consent, and the Union army lay down upon its arms while the rebel hordes silently and rapidly resumed their retreat, leaving us in possession of the field of battle, and large numbers of their dead and wounded in our hands.

I visited the various hospitals the next morning, and rode over the field of battle, where numbers of the slain and too many of the wounded were still lying; and I estimate our loss at five hundred killed and twelve hundred wounded, although I am, perhaps, the only person that has yet made an estimate who puts its so low.

I do not believe the enemy’s loss was greater, but I think it was equally severe.  A few hundred prisoners were taken by each side.  We lost seven pieces of cannon, and captured a number of wagons and ambulances.  Several of the rebel guns were disabled, and may now be in our possession.

When the writer of this left the field, our forces were still in line of battle, expecting a renewal of the rebel attack, and consequently he could obtain only a few names of the killed and wounded.  From those presented here, nothing can be inferred as to the fate of those not named.