under Gen. Pillow
, to the immediate relief of his routed and sorely pressed fugitives; while three others, under Gen. Cheatham
, had been landed between our soldiers and their boats, with intent to cut off their retreat; and, finally, as his fears of a direct attack on Columbus
were dispelled, Polk
himself crossed over with two additional regiments, making eight in all, or not less than 5,000 men, who were sent as reenforcements to the three regiments, under Col. Tappan
, who originally held the place.
Of course, our exhausted and largely outnumbered soldiers could do nothing better than to cut their way through tile fresh troops obstructing their return to their boats, which they did with great gallantry and success, bringing off all their own guns, with the two best of those they had captured from the Rebels
, and gaining their boats about 5 P. M., with a loss of two caissons, some ammunition and baggage, and of about 400