Brigadier General John Gregg formed his four Confederate regiments near the far edge of the Tapp Field behind you and advanced them about 400 yards toward the Union battle line, which stood near here. The Southerners moved diagonally across the clearing so that the right half of the brigade crossed the Orange Plank Road as it reached the enemy.
Federal troops under Brigadier General James S. Wadsworth, including the renowned Iron Brigade, unleashed a storm of bullets while the Texans and Arkansans dashed toward them. According to one observer, when Gregg's troops reached Wadsworth's position, near where you are now standing, "there was a terrible crash, mingled with wild yelling which settled down to a steady roar of musketry."
The hand-to-hand combat lasted less than ten minutes before Gregg ordered a retreat. More than half of his 800 men remained where they fell, either killed or wounded. Other brigades repeated the Texans' deadly experience. Together, they halted the Federal offensive.