“O, give 'em time, general; they'll do it.”
And they did it. Mounting persistently up the steep ascent, they at last reached the summit, and drove the rebel centre in disorder from the field, capturing artillery and many prisoners.
But as the brave troops reached the summit, Grant
mounted their horses and rode forward to the front.
When they reached the ridge, the victory had been achieved, and the soldiers, wild with joy, greeted their commanders with enthusiastic cheers.
Crowding around Grant
, they grasped his hand and embraced his legs, and caressed his horse, till he was compelled to order them away.
His eye was still upon the field, and he saw that some of the rebel troops which had gone to resist Sherman
were turning to attack the victors at the centre.
The “boys in blue” were in disorder from very joy for their victory, and there was danger that they would not soon enough rally to resist the threatened attack.
Seeing this, Grant
ordered up a brigade yet fresh and under discipline, and this being placed in position, the others also formed.
The enemy, instead of attacking, retreated.
The rebel left as well as centre had been utterly routed, nearly their whole force was flying panic-stricken, and the brilliant victory was won.
was not one to sit down and exult over what he had done while there was anything more to do. He immediately ordered pursuit, and himself followed to direct it. Bragg
's defeated army retreated in all haste, or rather fled, much of it utterly demoralized, though a portion, at one or two points, offered a vigorous resistance to the pursuers.