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      Captain Peter J. Welschbillig quickly deployed his Company G into a defensive hollow square allowing the retreating skirmishers to form another line to the rear. The horsemen, now numbering over 200, emboldened with resolute certainty that they could ride down 50 Yankees huddled together on the field, attempted to slam through at the front and left flank of the square but were thrown back by the disciplined volley fire of the company. The Rebels regrouped, wheeled about, and, determined to overrun the bothersome knot of resistance, smashed into the front and both flanks of the Union phalanx. The men in blue stood their ground and administered hot lead, and even the cold steel of their sabre bayonets, to several surprised Southerners.

      As the Texans drove in closer, fighting became a lethal hand-to-hand duel. A dismounted Ranger jammed a pistol into the chest of Private Henry Haeffer. Before the revolver could be discharged, Private Andreas Gallmann shot the Rebel dead. First Lieutenant William N. Bruckner was spared certain death from a shotgun blast to the head by the quick response of Private Stephen Roth. Roth cleared the Rebel saddle with a .58 caliber punch just before the Texan, aiming his weapon at Bruckner's head, could deliver the fatal shot. But the Texans took a toll on the men of G Company. Corporal John Reis fell with a mortal pistol wound to the right shoulder and Corporal August Taufer barely stood having been shot through the thigh. Six more lay on the ground killed or seriously wounded.

      A stirring description of the Rangers' daring methods of attack, and subsequent defeat, asserted that, "when at length, after the Rangers had gone through this exact programme several times, three or four hundred of them made one grand rush, with the evident intention of breaking the German carrere, or square. They came up with the same dash, and fired their shots with the same apparent neglect of life--some were literally lifted from their horses on the point of the bayonet--some were knocked off with butts of the guns. It became a hand-to-hand fight--Rangers retreating and Germans following up." [31]

      A last feeble, uncoordinated charge was attempted but only resulted in more empty Rebel saddles. The cavalry withdrew as three companies of Colonel John S. Marmaduke's 1st Arkansas Infantry, with band blaring, advanced on the Union line. Captain Welschbillig pulled Company G back, carrying as many of the wounded as could be found, to form on line with Companies B, F, and K just as Colonel Willich arrived on the scene and took command of the right wing.

      Fearing that the approaching Rebel infantry would turn his extreme right and force him back onto the pike, Willich began an orderly withdrawal to a more favorable defensive position. Confederate Brigadier General Thomas C. Hindman, from his vantage point, viewed the arrival of Northern reinforcements and ordered a general retreat. Witnessing the Rebel departure, Captain Erdelmeyer advanced Company A to a forward position, supported by newly arrived elements of the 39th Indiana and 49th Ohio, to prevent further attacks while the wounded and dead were attended. [32]

      In less than two hours the Battle of Rowlett's Station had spent its fury on those who participated. Control of the field fell in Union hands with the casualties of both sides scattered over a wide expanse making recovery and accountability difficult. Compared with the terrible engagements soon to follow in the Western Theater, this "battle", like so many other brief clashes, would quickly be forgotten. The cost was high for both adversaries and predicted the losses to come in the later conflicts.

      General Buell later reported the Rebels suffered 33 dead and at least 50 wounded. Counted among those dead lay Kentucky-born Colonel Benjamin F. Terry, killed just west of the railroad while leading the last charge against the Union right. General Hindman, admitting to the loss of Terry, proclaimed a stunning Confederate victory with minimal losses, but resulting in as many as 75 Yankee dead. Colonel Willich reported his losses as one officer and ten men killed in action, 22 wounded and five missing.

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 [31] Moore, 252.
 [32] Official Records (1898), Vol. VII (S/N #7), Chap. XVIL, 14-21. Includes Confederate Brig. Gen. Thomas C. Hindman's conflicting report; Confederate Veteran, Vol. V (June, 1897), 252-254, "Terry's Texas Rangers" and Vol. XIII (Feb., 1905), 61-62, "A Woman's Memories of the Sixties," Maria Evans Claiborne, St. Louis, Missouri. These articles provide entertaining, though unsubstantiated, accounts of the battle from the Confederate prospective; Fritsch, 34-35; Conner, Vol. 8 "Roll of Honor", 501-504. Roll contains the names of those who died as a result of combat at Rowlett's Station.