The gallant divisions from Missouri and Arkansas, unfortunately absent on the 8th instant, marched 45 miles in two days, to share the glories of Pleasant Hill. This was emphatically the soldiers' victory. In spite of the strength of the enemy's position, held by fresh troops of the 16th corps, your valor and devotion triumphed over all. Darkness closed one of the hottest fights of the war. The morning of the 10th instant dawned upon a flying foe, with our cavalry in pursuit, capturing prisoners at every step.No prisoners [we took at least 500]; no guns [we took several]; no colors; no trophies of any kind — nothing but the fact that Banks retreated after the battle, is cited to give color to a Rebel claim of triumph
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1 The New York Herald's correspondent says:
At twenty minutes past 5, the enemy appeared on the plain at the edge of the woods, and the battle commenced: our batteries opening upon him with case-shell as he marched at double-quick across the field to the attack. Our left, Col. Benedict's brigade, came into action first; and our right and center were engaged soon after. The battle now raged fiercely: the air was full of lead and iron, and the roar of musketry and artillery incessant. The carnage on both sides was fearful: the men fighting almost hand to hand, and with great desperation. Nothing could exceed the determined bravery of our troops; but it was evident Emory's division was fighting the whole Rebel army. Pressed at all points by overwhelming numbers, our line fell back up the hill to the 16th corps, which was concealed just behind the crest. Taylor's battery for a time fell into the hands of the enemy. General Smith made all preparations to receive the advancing foe; and, as the human tide came rolling up the hill, he looked quietly on until the enemy were almost up to the muzzles of his guns; when a sheet of flame flashed along his lines, and, with the crash of ten thousand thunders, musket-balls, mingled with grape and canister, swept the plain like a besom of destruction. Hundreds fell dead and dying before that awful fire. Scarcely had the seething lead left the guns when the word “ Charge!” was given, and 7,000 brave men precipitated themselves upon the shattered ranks of the enemy. Emory's division, which had only yielded to superior numbers, and remained unbroken, now rushed forward and joined the 16th corps, driving the Rebels rapidly down the hill to the woods, where they broke and fled in the greatest confusion and dismay. Col. Benedict, while gallantly leading his brigade in the charge, fell dead, pierced by five balls. The battle was fought, and the victory won. Our troops followed the Rebels until night put an end to the pursuit. In the last charge, we recaptured Taylor's battery, which had been lost in the earlier pa<*>t of the action, and retook two guns of Nim's battery, which had been lost in the battle of the preceding day. The 10-pounder Parrott gun, which the Rebels captured last fall at Carrion Crow, was also retaken. Five hundred prisoners, all the dead and wounded, three battle-standards, and a large number of small arms, fell into our hands. Our victorious army slept upon the battle-field, which was one of the bloodiest of tile war.
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