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[46] commanded by Capt. Rutledge. Then moved the brigade of Gen. Carroll, consisting of the Tennessee regiments of Colonels Newman, Murray, and Powell, with two guns commanded by Capt. McClung. Then moved the Sixteenth Alabama regiment, Col. Wood, as a reserve, and Branner's and McClellan's battalions of cavalry. In advance of the column moved the independent cavalry companies of Capts. Bledsoe and Saunders.

In the gray dawn, about six o'clock, two miles from their camp, the pickets of the enemy fired upon our advanced cavalry and wounded one in the arm.

Then two companies of the Mississippi regiment were deployed on the right and left of the road as skirmishers, and advanced parallel with the road. On the left, in an open field, was a house near the road, and near by and behind this house was a skirt of woods. While the skirmishers were advancing towards this, the enemy in the house and woods were firing at the head of the column, where Generals Crittenden and Zollicoffer sat upon their horses about five hundred yards distant. When the skirmishers approached within one hundred yards of the house, the enemy ceased to fire upon the column and directed it upon them, but upon its quick return and several rounds, retreated into the woods. The Mississippi regiment then, in line of battle, was advanced, and the head of the column advanced near to the house. From this house the road runs straight for about half a mile, one third of this distance up a hill, one third down, and one third to the crest of another hill. On the right side of the road, up and down the first hill, was an open field, then a narrow strip of woods and again an old uneven field up to the crest. On the left side of the road up the first hill, was woods, and down it open field, and up the next to the crest a thick woods. Up the first hill and down it, on both sides of the road, the enemy was driven back before the impetuous charge of the brigade of Gen. Zollicoffer; and already he was ascending the last hill to the crest, when the heaviest firing told where the battle raged. He sent for reinforcements, and the brigade of Gen. Carroll was ordered up. When, in another moment, it was announced that he was killed, a sudden gloom pervaded the field and depressed the army. He had fallen on the crest of the hill — the stronghold of the enemy, which he had almost driven them from, and which once gained, the day was ours. It is said that the enemy in front of him in the woods, after a few moments' cessation of firing and some movement, was taken by him to be a regiment of his own command, and that he rode up to give them a command when he was coolly shot down, pierced by several balls.

Immediately on the announcement of his death Gen. Crittenden in person rode up to the front of the fight, and directed the movement of the day with perfect coolness, in the very midst of the fire of the enemy, and where several were killed around him. His friends remonstrated against this recklessness, and entreated him to occupy a less exposed position, but he would not leave the front, and sat on his horse unmoved, except when a regiment would fall back under the heavy fire of superior numbers, when he would in person, under fife, speak to and rally the men.

To gain this hill the fight raged for two hours. Charge after charge was made, regiment after regiment advanced, but we could not drive back the heavy forces of the enemy with our few gallant men. At last, when we could not drive., them, and our charges were unsuccessful, time and again, and they began to flank us, our little army began to retire, and checking pursuit by several stands they could not break, moved back to our entrenchments, at Camp Beech Grove. In the return one gun broke down and was left to the enemy. Upon the field we left about three hundred killed and wounded, and they got, perhaps, one hundred prisoners. Their loss in killed and wounded is thought by those in the battle, and is reported to us by those afterwards in their camp, to be about one thousand. We lost a brave and noble general, whose place cannot be easily filled. Lieut. Baillie Peyton, of Battle's regiment, was killed, and Lieut.-Col. Carter and Sergt.-Major Orville Ewing, of same regiment, were wounded and taken prisoners, and Adjutant Battle was wounded in the shoulder. Colonel Stanton was wounded in the arm while leading his regiment in a charge, and so was Col. Powell. The loss in the Mississippi regiment was heaviest. To this regiment is universally accorded the praise of the best fighting and most distinguished gallantry. Colonel Battle's regiment also covered itself with honor. While it is invidious to make separate mention of regiments, the notice of these two, at least, will meet with general approbation in this army.

Major Fogg, Aid to Gen. Zollicoffer, and Lieut. Evan Shields, were dangerously wounded. They behaved in the action with approved gallantry.

Thus with four thousand men we bravely attacked twenty thousand, and after a conflict of three hours and a half, unable to drive them from their position, retired without a hot pursuit to our camps, which we reached at one o'clock P. M. At three o'clock the enemy came and invested the place, and fired from two batteries into our intrenchments.

Then arose the question whether to defend or evacuate the place. Suppose we could have held it against the superior force attacking? In a few days we would have been starved out; and if, with their battery which commanded the landing, they had injured the boat, escape would have been impossible, and surrender inevitable. Again, by taking Mill Spring in our rear, which could have been done with a small force, retreat at any time would have been cut off; and it would have been vain to think of cutting a way out in front, because, without rations, the army would have been precipitated into a barren country, unable to afford any subsistence whatever. To prevent these straits, an immediate crossing of the river during the night was necessary, and as time permitted only to cross the men, baggage, camp equipage, wagons, horses, and artillery had to be

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