previous next

[215] with their infantry; yet our brave fellows rushed forward with the utmost determination, and after a brief but bloody conflict routed both the opposing lines, took four hundred prisoners and several flags, and drove their artillery and the great body of their infantry across the river. Many were killed at the water's edge. Their artillery took time by the forelock in crossing the stream. A few of our men, in their ardor, actually crossed over before they could be prevented, most of whom subsequently moving up under the west bank recrossed at a ford three quarters of a mile above.

The second line had halted when the first engaged the enemy's infantry and laid down under orders; but very soon the casualties in the first line, the fact that the artillery on the opposite bank was more fatal to the second line than the first, and the eagerness of the troops, impelled them forward, and at the decisive moment, when the opposing infantry was routed, the two lines had mingled into one--the only practical inconvenience of which was that at several points the ranks were deeper than is allowed by a proper military formation.

A strong force of the enemy beyond our extreme right yet remained on the east side of the river. Presently a new line of battle appeared on the west bank directly opposite our troops and opened fire, while at the same time large masses crossed in front of our right and advanced to the attack. We were compelled to fall back.

As soon as our infantry had won the ridge Major Graves advanced the artillery of the division and opened fire. At the same time Captain Robertson threw forward Semple's battery towards our right, which did excellent service. He did not advance his own battery (which was to have taken position on the left), supposing that that part of the field had not been cleared of the enemy's infantry. Although mistaken in this, since the enemy had been driven across the river, yet I regard it as fortunate that the battery was not brought forward. It would have been a vain contest.

It now appeared that the ground we had won was commanded by the enemy's batteries within easy rang3 on better ground upon the other side of the river. I know not how many guns he had. He had enough to sweep the whole position from the front, the left, and the right, and to render it wholly untenable by our force present of artillery and infantry. The infantry, after passing the crest and descending the slope towards the river, were in some measure protected, and suffered less at this period of the action than the artillery. We lost three guns, nearly all the horses being killed, and not having the time or men to draw them off by hand. One was lost because there was but one boy left (Private Wright, of Wright's battery,) to limber the piece, and his strength was unequal to it.

The command fell back in some disorder, but without the slightest appearance of panic, and reformed behind Robertson's battery, in the narrow skirt of timber from which we emerged to the assault. The enemy did not advance beyond the position in which he received — our attack. My skirmishers continued to occupy a part of the field over which we advanced until the army


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Wright (2)
E. W. Robertson (2)
Semple (1)
Graves (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: