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[311] forced to yield his position to Major W. L. Clarke. This young officer was quite equal to the task. He was intrepid, skilful, and prudent, and brought his men safely out of more than one tight place. The Thirty-fifth Alabama, which had never before been under fire, acted with all the coolness of veterans. Its commander, Col. J. W. Robertson, was as self-possessed as on a dress-parade, and led his brave men into every danger. Falling from the effects of a sunstroke, the command devolved upon Lieut.-Col. Goodwin, a young officer of great promise. The conduct of this brigade (Preston's) was preeminently noble, and I regret that its General could not have been present to have shared its perils and enjoyed its constant succession of triumphs. Unfortunately he is confined to his bed with typhoid fever, at the residence of a friend, near Clinton, Miss. Colonel Thompson, however, as Acting Brigadier, proved a gallant and intrepid commander. Of the members of his staff, Capt. W. P. Wallace, aid-de-camp, was wounded early in the action, having his ribs broken; and Lieut. Charles Semple, ordnance-officer, was shot with grape through the leg, being this heroic officer's second wound in the war, the first having been received at Fort Donelson. Major J. R. Throckmorten, Brigade-Quartermaster, rendered invaluable services in removing the wounded. He courted dangerous positions, and captured a lot of Government horses and mules. But this was nothing for a man who had been under fire in nine severe battles. Dr. J. W. Thompson, Brigade-Surgeon, was remarkably efficient in organizing and conducting his field-hospital arrangements.

While the left was thus forcing the enemy into town, the right wing, under Gen. Charles Clarke, did not lag behind. Gen. Breckinridge was himself with this division, and his presence had a magical effect upon the men. There was no danger he did not share with them. His tall form seemed ubiquitous — here, there, and every where in peril, where there was an enemy to drive or a position to gain. Of the gallantry and noble bearing of his young son Cabell I should not speak, were it not that he is as modest as he is meritorious — a worthy scion of a noble stock. Gen. Breckinridge led personally several charges, and toward the close of the action, coming up to the Fourth and Fifth Kentucky, who had fallen back utterly exhausted, he drew his sword, and with one appealing look said, in his clear, musical tones: “My men, charge!” This charge is described to us by an officer who participated, as one of the most signal and effective acts of the battle.

The men rushed forward in no particular order, firing at and pursuing the enemy, with a determination that could not be thwarted, driving them farther than they had yet been driven. But during the whole engagement the Fourth and Fifth Kentucky displayed the utmost gallantry, worthy of the laurels they had won at Shiloh. Better men never followed a flag or faced an enemy than compose these two regiments. Col. Thomas H. Hunt, of the Fifth, was in command of the brigade, and received a serious shot in the left hip while actively engaged on the field. He is a model soldier and the beau ideal of an officer, and his fall occasioned a pang of regret in the minds of all his men. Lieut.-Col. Caldwell and Capt. Cripps Wickliffe were worthy of their regiment, which exhibits the heaviest loss of any on the field. The Fourth Kentucky was without field-officers, but under Capt. Miller it proved a host, bearing through the heat of the fray its tattered and bullet-riddled banner, now thrice consecrated to glory by baptism of fire and blood. I speak of the Kentucky regiments more in detail, because I know more of their conduct, and for the reason that they bore the brunt of the fight. But this was only in accordance with the promise of Gen. Breckinridge, who, in a brief address a few days before, told his “brave, noble and ragged Kentuckians” that he would lead them wherever there was danger.

During the frequent pauses of the fight, when the roll of musketry and the sharp crack of artillery were hushed, all ears were strained to catch some note of intelligence from the ram Arkansas. Long since she should have been engaging the enemy's gunboats, which had already poured a dreadful rain of shot and shell into our midst. But there was no welcome sound from the guns of our little vessel. Upon all tongues were the queries, “Where can the Arkansas be? Why is she not here?” and there came the unwilling thought, has she failed us, and can all this deadly, terrible struggle have been for naught?

We had already driven the enemy one and a half miles from the position where he was first encountered. We had seized all his camps, and forced him through the suburbs of the town. Then came the last charge, and right nobly did our exhausted soldiers discharge their duty. Wayworn, covered with dust, and consumed by the heat of battle, the gallant boys plunged headlong again into the fight, and before them fled the Yankees. In vain did they bring up their reserve. We drove them all quite to the river, completely under the protection of their gunboats, many of them taking to the water.

It was then that Gen. Breckinridge ordered a recall. He had received a message that it would be impossible for the Arkansas to participate, then, in the engagement, but that by two o'clock she could take a part. Slowly and with reluctance our troops fell back, although exposed to the heavy firing of the gunboats. About one mile and a half from the town they were halted, and the poor, wearied, jaded fellows threw them-selves upon the ground to rest.

It was in this last charge that General Charles Clarke had his hip badly shattered, and at his own request, he was conveyed to a house in town Captain Yerger, his aid, remained with him, and both were afterward made prisoners. Throughout the whole engagement, Gen. Clarke's conduct was notable for its intrepid daring. He could have easily been removed, but he knew that the wound was a fatal one, and preferred remaining behind

Upon the fall back, Gen. Breckinridge ordered the various camps and stores of the enemy to be

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