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COOLNESS OF GENERAL SIGEL.

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cheer greeted and encouraged us. We moved up a wooded slope, while on galloped the batteries to the top of the ascent; then wheeling to the north we entered the field, and advancing in line over the rough ground a hundred yards or more, the guns were unlimbered and added their thunders to the volcano of noise, causing the very earth to tremble.

Our line was formed on the left of those already on the ground; regiment after regiment arrived and were added to the blue line of infantry stretching away to the left, while at frequent intervals batteries were planted, and at once it seemed as if a mile of sheeted lightning was leaping from black-mouthed cannon and a murderous rush of hissing missiles hurled into the dense masses of the enemy who were now in plain sight before us.

Never were guns more admirably handled than those which all along the line were shaking the earth with one continuous and tremendous peal that seemed the prolonged howl of a hundred thunder storms mingled into one

There were moments when the firing would slacken, when, perhaps, a single gun away off to the right or left would be heard ; then the roar of half a dozen in succession, so quick that each succeeding wave of sound lapped on the preceding one. Then the lapping would become indistinguishable, and the whole forty guns would be wreathed in volumes of smoke and flame, the thunders of each merged in one terrific volume.

In this sulphurous atmosphere Sigel was perfectly at home, and utterly regardless of the balls which were hailing around him, he rode from battery to battery, encouraging the men and giving his directions as coolly as if on parade. Dismounting from his horse, he personally sighted the pieces, directed where to fire, and by his example induced the gunners to redouble their efforts, thus sweeping the ground with such an incessant

storm of iron that the enemy dared not advance in a decisive charge across the open fields.

But our batteries had not an entire monopoly of the awful thunders of the day. The fatal precision with which the enemy's shot came tearing through our ranks told us that the opposing batteries were not handled by novices in the art of war. The infantry were ordered to lie down on their arms a few yards in rear of the artillery; and while lying thus upon their faces, closely hugging the ground in vain endeavors to escape the storm of shot which was raining around, a solid shot ricochets over the field and through the dry corn stalks, and passing within a few inches of Col. Greusel's head, for a moment paralyzed and forced him half way to the earth; then with a dull thud it plunged in the midst of Company E, and was buried a foot beneath the surface, in its passage killing private Ray instantly.

It soon became evident that the rebel lines were shaken by the superior accuracy of our fire, and save an occasional shot, one after another of their batteries were silenced. One, however, situated in front of a belt of timber near the Elk-Horn, persistently kept up the cannonade, with scarcely a moment's intermission for three hours, directing its fire upon the right of our line, firing shell and round shot with immense rapidity and such good aim that most of the casualties in this part of the field were caused by this, Woodworth's Arkansas battery.

As the enemy's fire began to slacken, skirmishers were sent out, and the whole line advanced until the now wavering ranks of the enemy were within close range, when the batteries again opened upon them with terrible effect. They abandoned the fields and swarmed up the heights to the rear of the first position, which was fairly blackened with their batallions, pouring a heavy fire of musketry down upon the unprotected heads of our

FLIGHT OF THE CONFEDERATE ARMY.

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skirmishers as they advanced gallantly to the foot of the rocky battlements in splendid order, their long ranged, rifled minnies doing fearful execution at a distance which the squirrel-rifles and double-barreled shot-guns of the enemy could not reach. At 10 o'clock A. M. the Confederate forces seemed to be breaking up and scattering in every direction, and whenever a flying squadron could be detected within range, a few shells launched in their midst would give an additional impetus to their flight, while cheer upon cheer went up from our ranks as we saw them wildly scatter on receipt of a message from the guns.

A rocky and almost inaccessible point three-fourths of a mile in front was persistently held against all efforts of the skirmishers to dislodge them. Then the guns were elevated and screaming shells bursting in their midst scattered masses of earth and rock mingled with the shattered remains of men and horses which were tossed in the air and lodged in the branches of the trees. Not long could they stand the storm which swept them as with the besom of destruction, and those who survived the wholesale massacre sought shelter from the deadly effect of the guns by retreating into the woods and down the opposite slopes. We were told that at this point two shells bursting in the center of a compact mass of human beings, killed and wounded sixty of their number. The line then rapidly advanced, cheering as they went, the whole army wild with a delirium of joy.

Our right encountered a scattering fire of musketry which rather accelerated than impeded the charge, and then the last remains of the rebel army were put to flight. Battle flags, guns and prisoners were taken, but not a hostile shot broke in upon the shouting which rent the air.

The 36th Illinois reached the foot of the rocky parapet, •the last strong-hold occupied by the enemy, its precipitous sides presenting an impassible barrier. But to the left a narrow passage was found by which the cliffs were scaled and their summits reached. Great God! what a scene was there presented! The mangled trunks of men lay thickly scattered around, and so close as to require the utmost care to avoid stepping on their cold remains. From each tree or sheltering nook the groans of the wounded arose, while muskets, saddles, horses, blankets, hats and clothes, hung in shreds from every bush or in gory masses cumbered the ground. Then ten thousand wild cheers from valley and hill-top, from field and wood-land, proclaimed the victory.

ours.

As we moved down the northern slopes of the ridge we found the smouldering camp-fires, remains of half eaten breakfasts, sacks of flour, sides of bacon, blankets, old hats, guns, and other paraphernalia pertaining to soldiers, scattered about the woods in wild confusion. What remained of the evening's repast was devoured by our hungry men, who, seizing upon everything eatable, greedily crammed it down their throats as they marched along. Reaching the telegraph road, the two wings of the army met at the head of Cross Hollows, and officers and men shouted themselves hoarse. Gladness beamed from every countenance; all were feeling well. Sigel's eye had a less nervous and more joyous twinkle than when, an hour ago, he was sighting the guns which had caused the wrecks lying all around us. Asboth's stoic face for once was wreathed with smiles; and Osterhaus, never more jolly or at home than on the battlefield, was overflowing with encomiums upon “ der prave poys," and expressions of entire satisfaction with the result; while towering over all was the massive brow and stalwart form of noble Curtis, who, in stentorian tones, congratulated the army upon the glorious victory it had achieved, and ordered a swift pursuit of the flying enemy.

THE PURSUIT AND BATTLE FIELD.

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In the gladness which ruled the hour, the wrecks of humanity thickly scattered in field and wood were not neglected; and Federal soldiers shared the contents of their canteens with thirsty wounded Confederates. The fierce passions which animated them an hour before, while panting for each other's blood, had subsided, and pity for the maimed supplanted the feelings of hate and fury.

CHAPTER XIII.

THE PURSUIT AND BATTLE-FIELD.

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HORT were the moments allowed for congratula

tion, for Sigel was ordered to continue the pursuit on the Keitsville road, up which a considerable force, with that portion of their artillery which the enemy had succeeded in saving, were

in full retreat. At every side ravine and forest path little detachments filtered away from the demoralized rabble surging in terror through Cross Timbers Hollow, leaving by the wayside muskets, blankets, and every possible article which could encumber their flight, so that on their arrival and passage through Keitsville scarcely enough men remained to drive the horses attached to the guns.

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