The worm fence that the 2nd. had dismantled as they formed their battle line continued on up the road and disappeared from sight as it went over the ridge where the Rebel Army was now forming, leaving the entire field open in front of them. The field itself had lain fallow for at least a year, with dried cornstalks and weeds among the furrows. It sloped gently towards the south east and there was a low ravine to the right and rear of their line. About 300 yards in front of their line was an imperceptible depression which could hide a man from view, although the men from the 2nd. didn't know it.
As the men from the 2nd. talked impatiently among themselves, someone said, "They may be some of our own men." To which Colonel Veale answered, "They are not, they are Rebels - don't you see the Rebel flag?" Most of the men hadn't noticed the Rebel Guidon, with its triangular shape and swallow-tail, which served as the Rebel battle-flag.
Colonel Veale and Captain Huntoon now rode out on the field alone to ascertain the strength and position of the enemy. When they were about 100 yards out there came two or three jets of blue smoke in quick succession from the fence along the road, followed by the sharp report of rifles. Rebel sharp-shooters had fired upon the men, leaving many to wonder how they were not hit. One of their horses reared and plunged but they quickly returned safely to their line of battle, where Colonel Veale called out the order, "Give them grape, Captain Burns!" The battle was now begun.