previous next

[562] and murderous fire of the rebels, and cheer after cheer went up, mingled with the almost incessant roll of musketry and roar of cannon.

The forces of the brave General Ransom had been cut up dreadfully, and he himself borne wounded and bleeding from the field; but still they held their position, fighting gallantly. General Cameron's division of the Thirteenth army corps arrived, and hastened to the support of Colonel Landrum's division; but, like bees from a hive, the rebels swarmed upon it, and it was fast melting away under the storm of bullets that was continually rained upon it. Blucher at Waterloo was not more anxiously looked for than was Emory (of Franklin's corps) upon that field. But he came not. We had now engaged less than eight thousand men fighting a force of over twenty thousand men in their chosen position.

Emory was reported to be within two miles with his division and rapidly coming up. The officers encouraged their men to hold the field until his arrival, and bravely indeed did they struggle against the masses that constantly pressed them upon both flanks and in front; but, borne down by numbers, their shattered ranks were pushed over the field and into the woods beyond. The enemy had now driven back our left, and were within sixty yards of Nim's battery, which was firing double charges of grape and canister, sweeping down the rebels in piles at every discharge. General Lee, seeing that Nim's battery, if it were not speedily removed, would be captured, by direction of General Stone ordered Colonel Brisbin to have it taken from the field. The order came too late. Not horses enough were left alive to haul the pieces from the field. The cannoneers lay thick about the guns, and dead and wounded rebels in windrows before them. Two of the guns were dragged off by hand, and Lieutenant Snow was shot down while spiking a third. Four of the guns of this battery could not be got off, and fell into the hands of the enemy.

In the mean time our right was fiercely engaged, and our centre was being pressed back, and finally the right also gave way. Six guns of the Mercantile battery, two guns of Rawles's G battery, Fifth United States artillery, two mountain howitzers of the Sixth Missouri howitzer-battery, four guns of the First Indiana battery, and six guns of Nim's battery were left on the field.

Our forces now retired upon Emory's division, of the Nineteenth army corps, which was rapidly coming up, with bands playing the most patriotic national airs. It immediately went into line of battle in the woods, on the crest of a hill, and received the enemy handsomely, driving him back with great slaughter. Here the conflict ended for the day, it being now quite dark. General Emory, his division and his brigade commanders, Generals Dwight and McMillan and Colonel Benedict, especially distinguished themselves in the closing action, and to that division of the Nineteenth army corps belongs the glory of saving the day.

General Franklin was in the thickest of the battle, and was loudly cheered as he rode, cap in hand, over the field.

General Ransom, while endeavoring to get the guns of the First Indiana battery off the field, received a ball in the knee, and was carried to the rear. He stood by these guns, sabre in hand, until shot down and borne from the field. He will recover, and after a few months be able to return to duty.

Colonel Webb, early in the day, while leading a line of skirmishers in the woods, was shot through the head by a rebel sharp-shooter and died almost instantly.

Colonel Robinson, of the Third cavalry brigade, while defending the train and leading his troops against the enemy, was severely wounded in the thigh. He did not leave the saddle until three hours after.

Colonel Brisbin, of General Lee's staff, was leading a line of rallied men against the enemy, when a shell from the rebel batteries blew off his horse's head, and the animal falling on his leg, held him to the earth. For a time he was in danger of being captured, but was finally extricated and made his escape on a rebel horse which was passing along riderless.

Generals Lee and Cameron displayed great gallantry throughout the action, riding wherever the shot fell thickest, and by their example cheering the men to deeds of heroism.

Among the bravest of the brave was General Banks, who rode through the storm of lead as coolly as if at a holiday review, encouraging the men to stand up to the work of death. The men are full of admiration for their gallant General, and anxious to fight under one who so nobly shares with them the danger as well as the glory.

Many instances of personal bravery might be recorded unsurpassed by any thing in the annals of history; but there is not time to enumerate them now. One sergeant of artillery, however, deserves especial mention. This brave fellow would not leave his gun, though the horses were shot down, the enemy close upon him and the piece hopelessly lost. Still he stood by his gun till pierced through the temple by a ball, and he fell dead across the limber.

General Emory and a portion of his staff were at one time cut off from his command and surrounded by the enemy; but a way was opened for their escape.

Our troops fought well, and only yielded the field when cut to pieces and overpowered by numbers. The generals and their staff-officers deserve much credit. General Banks's staff was in the thickest of the fray, and Colonels Clark and Wilson, sabre in hand, rallied the men and cheered them on.

General Cameron's Third division, of the Thirteenth army corps, lost fifty killed, one hundred and fifty wounded, and two hundred missing. Colonel Landrum's Fourth division, of the same corps, lost twenty-five killed, seventy-five wounded,


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Waterloo, La. (Louisiana, United States) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Emory (5)
Nim (3)
A. L. Lee (3)
Cameron (3)
T. E. G. Ransom (2)
W. J. Landrum (2)
J. S. Brisbin (2)
N. P. Banks (2)
Byron Wilson (1)
Webb (1)
Charles P. Stone (1)
Snow (1)
Harai Robinson (1)
Rawles (1)
McMillan (1)
William B. Franklin (1)
Dwight (1)
Henry Clark (1)
Benedict (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: