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Union Forces

3rd Attack Rages

Timeline 11:15 am Union Forces Hold Firm Confederate's Continue Attack


As he (Gratiot) did so his regiment came within range of Totten's guns. The men passed safely, but the rear of the regiment was swept of its field and staff. Gratiot's horse was killed and his orderly's too. The Lieutenant-Colonel was dismounted. The Major's arm was broken. The quarter-master was killed and the regimental commissary severely wounded. But the regiment kept on and took the position that it had been ordered to take...


....were ordered to charge a battery that had been making sad havoc with our other regiments during the whole day, and right gallantly did we charge. For twenty minutes we stood the most galling fire that was ever witnessed.

Spfld Patriot

Totten's battery, in the centre, supported by the First Iowa and the regulars, was the main point of attack. Many times the Confederate infantry were within thirty feet of his guns, and the smoke of the opposing lines was often so blended as to seem but one.


Where one was driven back, another took its place, until human nature could endure it no longer...

Col Evander McNair

4th Arkansas

photo courtesy of SCV camp #197 Little Rock, AR


...as volley after volley was poured against our lines, and our gallant boys were cut down like grass, those who survived seemed to be nerved to greater effort and a determination to win or die.


During the fight Corporal Bill (William j. Fuller) received a minie ball on the crest of the forehead. The ball went over his head, tearing the scalp, sinking the skull at the point of impact about one-eighth of an inch. He bled with a sickening profusion all over his face, neck, and clothing; and as if half-unconscious and half-crazed, he wandered down the line, asking for me; he was my blanket-mate. He said, "Link, have you got any water in your canteen?" I handed him my canteen and sat down by the side of a tree that stood near our line, but he got up and wandered around with that canteen, perfectly oblivious; going now in one direction and then in another.


...men were cussing and some were crying, and some were hollering for Jeff Davis, and some were shouting for Abe Lincoln.

Spfld Patriot

Our troops maintained their ground with firmness; for the first time during the day, there was no disposition to give way manifested at any point,...


Now for the first time during the day our entire line, maintained its position with perfect firmness.

Pvt Nicholas Bouquet

1st Iowa Infantry

photo courtesy "Deeds of Valor" edited by WF Beyer and of Keydel


...company D....along with company E, were detailed by Lieutenant-Colonel Merritt to support Totten's battery. This order brought us into a hand-to-hand contest with the enemy.....We four times repulsed them.

McDonald (interview with WF Steele)

The dead and wounded lay so thickly that their bodies had to be pulled aside to make way for the gun carriages.

"One Who Was There"

The timber is so dense that the artillery horses cannot be used effectually, and they grasp the wheels and turn the howitzers into position.


I rose to my knees to load my gun, and a spent shot struck my canteen, bending it up. I had just finished loading when a no. 6 grape shot lodged in my right thigh 4 inches above the knee joint on the inside, nearly severing the muscle and nerves and breaking the bone 3 inches above the joint...I had no pain at the time. I heard its chug as it buried itself itself in the flesh, felt it strike the bone, but it deadened the flesh for several inches around. I turned to my next neighbor and said, "I am wounded." He said, "Do you feel as happy as you did?"


I had fired three times and was loading again, when a ball struck my thigh on the outside midway between the knee and hip.


I was on the ridge of the hill between the fires of friend and foe. The balls fell thick around. I took the strap from my canteen and, fastening it above the wound, took my ramrod to twist it. The sun was very hot on the wound, and I took my hat from my head and laid it over the place. Here I lay some fifteen minutes listening, fearing the approach of the federals. I could hear their tramp. I could now crawl to a tree near by. The balls, minie and cannon, were not more than a foot over my head. I knew not what moment might be my last.


Soon after receiving my wound I got up and started for the rear but had proceeded but a few paces when I laid down. The bullets now flew thicker than ever. Two passed within inches of my head as I was lying down. Once I thought I would go and sit by a tree near by. But thinking I would wait till cessation of the strife, (I) lay still.


Neither line of battle was more than a thousand yards in length.

New York Tribune

Many were carrying their wounded comrades back to places of comparative safety, others were getting water, and many, very many slept the sleep that know no waking.

Cosmopolite from Letters by Kansas Troops

Lt. James Ketner, of Co. G, was calm as on parade, standing erect and firm amid the terrible shower of iron and lead, all day. Having secured a long double-barreled shot gun dropped by one of the retreating rebels, he used it with taking effect upon the advancing lines of the enemy, until a ball struck the rammer out of his hand and passed through his blouse in rather close proximity to his breast.


We were borne back by the charge of the Louisiana regiment, slowly in the course of the firing, as much as fifty feet.


...the Louisianas came on their flank and poured in two of the prettiest vollies I ever heard.


The louisiana boys showed lots of grit....as the Louisiana troops yielded back we followed them some little distance down the slope,...


....I received a slight cut across my right thigh with a minie ball. One minie ball struck my saddle-bags, and went clear through, cutting eighteen holes in two shirts folded up in them. One passed through my hat brim, and one cut me just across my right breast, not breaking the skin, but making a black place about as large as the palm of the hand.


...the Second Kansas, which had firmly maintained its position on the extreme right from the time it was first sent there, found its ammunition exhausted, and I directed it to withdraw slowly and in good order from the field, which it did, bringing off its wounded. This left our left flank exposed, and the enemy renewed the attack at that point, after it had ceased along the whole line;...


After a short cessation of the volley firing, it was re-commenced by the enemy with great fury and so continued for at least ten minutes...


...It was gallantly met by Captain Steele's Battalion of Regulars, which had just driven the enemy from the right of the center, and after a sharp engagement drove him precipitately from the field.


...a fire so furious that in less than thirty minutes a hundred of its men were either dead or wounded - one hundred out of five hundred.

Pvt Charles King Shannon
Co B, 3rd MO Infantry
Missouri State Guard

photo courtesy of Emmett MacDonald SCV


Captain Granger rushed to the rear and brought up the supports of Du Bois' battery, consisting of two or three companies of the First Missouri, three companies of the First Kansas, and two companies of the First Iowa, in quick time, and fell upon the enemy's right flank, and poured into it a murderous volley, killing and wounding nearly every man within 60 or 70 yards.


...a section of Capt. Totten's battery,...came just in time to save us....Lieut. Sokalski, got the guns in position and opened on them. As the enemy approached nearer, I ordered my men to lie down and load and fire in that position,....The fire upon us was terrific...


The two pieces of artillery did good service; and, had it not been for them, I fear but few, if any, of the 2d would have remained to tell the story of the battle.... part of the boys were down, others standing, all busy pouring a hot volley into the enemy.


...I was a witness to an act of bravery, performed by... Corporal Immell, viz: going between the lines at short range and cutting out the dead lead team of Corporal Writtenberry's caisson, and cutting a sapling where it was lodged, and mounting the swing team and taking it out, for which the line cheered.


I also saw him (Lorenzo Immell) take a mule, put it in a place of one of the wheel horses which had been shot, take an ax and cut a small tree, on which the piece was fast, and save the gun,...


...One of the guns of Totten's battery had been left behind, because one of its horses had been killed. Being this time on the skirmish line, I was called by the gunner of the piece to help catch a riderless horse.....To save the gun from falling into the enemy's hands-...Not heeding the rain of bullets from both lines, we started after the horse, and in a short time had him.....We soon had him hitched to it, and away we went...

For this act, Nicholas Bouquet would be
awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor


William G. Sterling...The bullet entered his right forearm two inched above the wrist and left it just below the wrist and left it just below the elbow, making a troublesome fracture of both bones.


...I am sorry to say, we were very much annoyed, and some of the casualties hereafter mentioned are to be attributed to the fire of our own friends, who formed behind us and lower down upon the hill, and fired through my ranks...


We received a great many shots from our friends in the rear, the 4th and 5th Arkansas Infantry, and this was the cause of our falling back. The engagement lasted about 30 minutes,...


We had the same ground we formed on in the morning in possession seven times during the day;...


It was now half past eleven. Silence had again fallen upon bloody hill, on whose rough surface the dead of both armies lay in great heaps.

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