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But this brought Stuart's isolated brigade little help. They were soon forced to fall back to another ridge, then to another, and finally, about twelve o'clock, badly shattered and disordered, they retreated to the right and rear, falling in behind Gen. McArthur's brigade to reorganize. Colonel Stuart was himself wounded by a ball through his right shoulder, and the loss of field and company-officers was sufficient to greatly discourage the troops.

Desperate condition of the National troops.

This clears our entire front line of divisions. The enemy has full possession of all Sherman's, Prentiss's, and McClernand's camps. By ten o'clock our whole front, except Stuart's brigade, had given way, and the burden of the fight was resting on Hurlbut and W. H. L. Wallace. Before twelve Stuart, too, had come back, and for the time absolutely only those two divisions stood between our army and destruction or surrender.

Still all was not lost. Hurlbut and Wallace began making a most gallant stand; and meantime most of the troops from the three driven divisions were still to some extent available. Many of them had wandered down the river — some as far as Crump's Landing, and some even to Savannah. These were brought back again on transports. Lines of guards were extended to prevent skulkers from getting back to the Landing, and especially to stop the shrewd dodge among the cravens of taking six or eight ablebodied soldiers to assist some slightly-wounded fellow into the hospital; and between this cordon and the rear of the fighting divisions the fragments of regiments were reorganized after a fashion, and sent back to the field. Brigades could not be got together again, much less divisions, but the regiments pieced together from the loose squads that could be gathered and officered, often by men who could find scarcely a soldier of their own commands, were hurried to the front, and many of them did good service.

It was fortunate for us that the accidental circumstance that Prentiss's portion of our line had been completely broken sooner than any of the rest, had caused the enemy's onset to veer chiefly to our left. There we were tolerably safe; and at worst, if the rebels drove us to the river on the left flank, the gunboats could come into play. Our weakest point was the right, and to turning this the rebels do not seem to have paid so much attention on Sunday.

According to general understanding, in the event of an attack at Pittsburgh Landing, Major-Gen. Lew. Wallace was to come in on our right and flank the rebels by marching across from Crump's Landing below. Yet strangely enough, Wallace, though with his division all drawn up and ready to march anywhere at a moment's notice, was not ordered to Pittsburgh Landing till nearly if not quite twelve o'clock. Then through misdirection as to the way to come in on the flank, four miles of marching were lost, and the circuitous route made it twelve miles more, before they could reach the scene of battle. Meantime our right was almost wholly unprotected. Fortunately, as I said, however, the rebels do not seem to have discovered the full extent of this weakness, and their heaviest fighting was done on the centre and left, where we still preserved our line.

Hurlbut's division.

Hurlbut's division, it will be remembered, stretched across the Corinth road, facing rather to our left. W. H. L. Wallace's other brigades had gone over to assist McArthur, and the division, thus reunited, steadily closed the line, where Prentiss's division and Stuart's brigade, in their retreat, had left it open. To Hurlbut's right the lines were patched out with the reorganized regiments that had been re-sent to the field. McClernand and Sherman were both there.

Hurlbut had been encamped in the edge nearest the river of a stretch of open fields, backed with heavy timber. Among his troops were the Seventeenth and Twenty-fifth Kentucky, Forty-fourth and Thirty-first Indiana, constituting Lauman's brigade; Third Iowa, Forty-first Illinois, and some others, forming Col. Williams's brigade.

As Prentiss fell back, Hurlbut's left aided Wallace in sustaining the rebel onset, and when McClernand gave way, the remainder of the division was thrown forward. The position beyond the camps, however, was not a good one, and the division was compelled to fall back, through its camps to the thick woods behind. Here, with open fields before them, they could rake the rebel approach. Nobly did they now stand their ground. From ten to half-past 3 they held the enemy in check, and through nearly that whole time were actively engaged. Hurlbut himself displayed the most daring and brilliant gallantry, and his example, with that of the brave officers under him, nerved the men to the sternest endurance.

Three times during those long hours the heavy rebel masses on the left charged upon the division, and three times were they repulsed, with terrible slaughter. Close, sharp, continuous musketry, whole lines belching fire on the rebels as the leaden storm swept the helds over which they attempted to advance, were too much for rebel discipline, though the bodies left scattered over the fields, even on Monday evening, bore ghastly testimony to the daring with which they had been precipitated toward our lines.

But there is still much in the Napoleonic theory that Providence has a tendency at least to go with the heaviest battalions. The battalions were against us. The rebel generals, too, handled their forces with a skill that extorted admiration in the midst of our sufferings. Repulse was nothing to them. A rush on our lines failed; they took their disordered troops to the rear, and sent up fresh troops, who unknowing the fearful reception awaiting them, were ready to try it again. The jaded division was compelled to yield, and after six hours magnificent fighting, it fell back out of sight of its camps, and to a point within half a mile of the Landing.

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