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[554]

The last grand attack was made on our left and left center, and succeeded in turning our extreme left, held by the 33d Iowa, whose ammunition had, for a second time, become exhausted. Four companies of the 40th Iowa, under Col. Garrett, rushed to its support, and, forming under a withering fire, restored the line; which now advanced along its entire front a full half-mile, driving the enemy steadily for an hour, passing over their dead and wounded. When, at noon, their repulse was complete, our army drew off, by order, and filed across the bridge.

This was a combat of infantry alone. We had one section of a battery on the field, but could not use it. A section of a Rebel battery appeared and fired one round, when the 29th Iowa and 2d Kansas charged across the field, and brought away the guns.

When all was over, and our men had crossed the river, Kirby Smith sent a flag of truce; but, finding only a burial-party, instead of an army, he made haste to capture these and claim a victory.

Our loss in this brilliant struggle was 700 killed and wounded; that of the enemy was said to be 2,300, including three Generals.

Fagan was reported between our army and Little Rock, compelling rapid movements on Steele's part to save our dopots at that city; while the roads were unfathomable. Our soldiers had coffee and whatever else they could pick up; which was not much. Our animals had been starving for days, and were unable to draw our wagons; which, except one for each brigade, Steele ordered to be destroyed. And so, bridging streams, corduroying swamps, and dragging guns and caissons over them, our army plodded its weary, famished way toward the capital it had left so proudly; being met at length by a supply train, which passed down the road, throwing out “hard-tack” in profusion — our men scrambling for it in the mud, and devouring it with keen voracity. Steele entered Little Rock May 2d.

Late June, Shelby crossed the Arkansas eastward of Little Rock, pushing northward to the White, near its mouth; and was met1 near St. Charles by four regiments under Gen. Carr, who worsted him, taking 200 prisoners. Our loss here in killed and wounded was 200; that of the Rebels was estimated by our officers at 500. Marmaduke soon approaching with renforcements for Shelby, Carr fell back on Clarendon, 20 miles below Duvall's bluff, where he also was reenforced; when the enemy retreated southward.

There were, of course, a good many partisan encounters and raids during the Summer; in one of which a Union scouting party, under Capt. Jug, dashed2 into Benton and killed Brig.-Gen. Geo. M Holt; in another, Col. W. S. Brooks 56th U. S. colored, moving out from Helena with 400 men, was attacked3 on Big creek by Gen. Dobbins, with a superior Rebel force, and would have been worsted, had not Maj. Carmichael, who was on a steamboat going down the Mississippi, with 150 of the 15th Illinois cavalry, heard the persistent cannon-firing and resolved to investigate the matter. Brooks had held

1 June 27.

2 July 25.

3 July 26.

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