The combat began at 05:30 on 24 July 1904, with a long artillery duel. As temperatures soared past 34 °C, the Russians began to suffer from the effects of the heat, many collapsing from heat stroke due to their thick winter uniforms. A nervous Stakelberg repeatedly asked Zarubaiev about withdrawing; however, Zarubaiev advised that he preferred to withdraw under cover of darkness and not during the middle of an artillery barrage. Japanese infantry began probing attacks by noon.
However, by 15:30, the Japanese had suffered heavy casualties due to unexpectedly strong Russian artillery fire, and had only been successful in dislodging the Russians from some entrenched forward positions. Although outnumbered, the Russian guns had a longer range and higher rate of fire. Both side committed their reserves by 16:00, with combat continuing until 19:30. By the end of the day, the Japanese had only a single regiment remaining in reserve, whereas the Russians still had six battalions. The failure of the Japanese offensive in face of superior Russian artillery boosted the morale of the defenders. However, even as the Japanese were preparing to renew their offensive the following day, the Russian were preparing to retreat.
After nightfall on 24 July, Lieutenant General Ueda Arisawa, the commander of the Japanese 5th Division expressed his shame at the performance of his division, and asked General Oku that he be allowed to carry out a night attack. Permission was granted, and after the moon provided enough light at 22:00, the 5th Division moved on the Russian left flank, quickly overrunning the Russian second and third defensive lines. At 03:00, the Japanese 3rd Division also made a night attack, and soon captured key hills which had formed the most important point on the Russian defensive line the previous day. Japanese artillery opened fire at 06:40, but the artillery fire was not returned. The Japanese Sixth Division began moving forward, followed by the Japanese Fourth Division at 08:00 hours. By 13:00, the Japanese had occupied the remaining Russian positions and the town of Tashihchiao was in Japanese hands. Stakelberg had decided to withdraw immediately as soon as the initial Japanese night attack had begun, and he again conducted a brilliant retreat under fire.