|KY., M. AND E.TENN., N.ALA., AND SW.VA. Chapter XXVIII.
When I arrived at the point designated General Rousseau went forward and reconnoitered the ground. I saw General Gilbert's line, his left skirmishing with the enemy, although no enemy were visible except a few in the woods and along the fence. The enemy were driven from the front. I sent my aide, Lieutenant Hosea, to see whose troops they were. He returned and reported they were Colonel Greusel's. I called General Rousseau's attention to the left of General Gilbert's line, and also Captain Loomis', who was Rousseau's chief of artillery, and marked the line of battle for them. I was a total stranger to the country. Captain B. D. Williams, who was my guide, was called off to General Buell's headquarters at 7 o'clock that a.m. I marked the line of battle of General Rousseau, and Captain Loomis replied they understood it perfectly. I commenced forming it, and selected the position for Loomis' battery myself. The right of my line was not over 350 yards from General Gilbert's left. The line was then being formed-Rousseau's division-the line being marked out for it. General Jackson's division had not yet arrived on the ground. On the march I picketed all the roads leading from Mackville leading to my rear. General Gay in the mean time was making a reconnaissance with cavalry.
Our march that day to Mackville had to be done carefully. I had flankers and skirmishers thrown out. Jackson's division, being composed of raw troops, understood their duties imperfectly, and consequently could not march rapidly. I ordered General Rousseau to reconnoiter my front with skirmishers. He ordered the Tenth Ohio, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Burke. I gave orders to Major Campbell, my assistant adjutant-general, to post General Jackson's division on a high piece of ground to the right of the Mackville road with regiments doubled on the center, with a view to move them in any direction. I then informed General Rousseau that my order was to report to General Buell in person and that I was about to leave the field (11 a.m.), but would return in a short time. I would state that previously I had a conversation with Captain Long, who was stationed in that part of the field as a picket. He told me he had been there and had only seen a little force of the enemy's cavalry; that General Gilbert's troops had been engaged with the enemy, but not in any force. General Buell's written instructions led me to believe he was going to attack the enemy at Perryville.
I left the field and reported to General Buell in person, whose headquarter were 2 1/2 miles from my line. I reached his headquarters about 12.30 o'clock; reported that my line was formed; my right was about 350 yards from Gilbert's left; also reported my men wanted water badly, the water the night before being scarce and bad at that. He ordered me to return to my line and make a reconnaissance down to the Chaplin River and obtain water for my men. I left his tent in company with his chief of staff, Colonel Fry. I asked Colonel Fry who was down in Perryville. He replied Hardee was there with two divisions. I then bade them good-by, and said I was going down to drink at the river and asked him to go. I returned to my line, and found that General Rousseau had placed a couple of batteries in position and replied to three batteries that had opened on him at long range. I rode up to where the batteries were, and not seeing any of the enemy's infantry, I ordered no more ammunition to be wasted. I was then informed by my guide, Captain Williams, and Colonel Harris, commanding Ninth Brigade, that if I would ride off to the left a few hundred yards on the Mackville road I would get a position that would command Chaplin River and could see the water. I went forward in person, examined the ground, and saw the water. Sent for Generals Jackson and Terrill, told them what I was ordered to do, showed them the water, marked out a line for them, which was a continuation of the left of Harris' brigade, Rousseau's division, right resting on a wood and line running along a high commanding ridge, and at the left of the line was a crochet to the rear, in order to hold the high ground. General Jackson replied to me, as did also General Terrill, that they understood the line. They had previously sent for the troops to place in that position, and were then on the march to this position. I also ordered General Terrill, as soon as his line was formed, to advance a line of skirmishers down to the water. He replied to me, "I'll do it, and that's my water." The only enemy in sight at that time was about 400 or 500 cavalry on the other side of Chaplin River (1 o'clock). Water was about 600 yards in front of my line. This cavalry was driven away by Stone's battery, Starkweather's brigade, that was put in position on a high ridge to the left of my line. I had previously ordered two companies Thirty-third Ohio into the woods as skirmishers to reconnoiter the woods. I ordered General Jackson to superintend this reconnaissance, and he replied that he would. I told him I would then ride down into these woods and see what they were about, as I heard nothing from them. General Jackson requested me not to go, saying that Providence had been kind to me, and that some lurking scoundrel might shoot me. I told him I would not go, and rode to the right in the rear of the skirmishers, and in a few minutes the firing commenced between the Second and Thirty-third Ohio skirmishers and the enemy.
About 2 o'clock an assault was made upon my entire line, the heaviest being on my left and center. In about half an hour after I left Jackson Williams reported to me
|KY., M. AND E.TENN., N.ALA., AND SW.VA. Chapter XXVIII.