At daybreak on February 15, Pillow and Johnson's
divisions, along with Col. Nathan Bedford Forrest's cavalry, attacked Gen. John
A. McClernand's troops on the Union right flank in an attempt to secure an
escape route. The attack succeeded in briefly opening the Forge Road as an
avenue of escape but, due to indecision and confusion among their commanders,
the Confederate troops were ordered to return to their entrenchments. Union
soldiers reoccupied the area the southerners had fought so hard to control.