we changed directions to the right, and throwing forward the left wing, moved in the direction of the firing. We soon reached the railroad, having our line nearly parallel to it, and in crossing, the enemy opened on us a most terrific fire from the brow of a hill not more than seventy-five yards distant. The enemy opposed to us with a heavy force, being formed in two lines, the front lying on the ground and the other firing over them. This awful fire staggered us but for a moment, and as soon as our line was steadied a little, we charged, drove them from the position, and carried their works, capturing a few prisoners, and taking a large camp with their supplies of commissary and quartermaster's stores. On discovering our approach, the enemy removed and saved their guns. This we found to be a strong work in a firm position, and well constructed. From the position, we judged this to be the point from which a cannonading had been kept up during the day. Being now separated from our division, and night approaching (it being between three and four o'clock), we despatched Lieutenant McFarland to report to General Maury our success, and asked for orders. In the course of half an hour General Lovell and staff came up, and, on consultation, we agreed to form a line of battle perpendicular to the railroad, our left resting on the road, and advance towards Corinth. In about an hour his forces came up, and moved to our right. At about dusk, while awaiting for a notification from General Lovell to advance, which he said he would give when ready, we received orders from General Maury to rejoin the division, and take position on Phifer's right, which brought us on the hill in sight of Corinth, about an hour and a half after dark, where we slept on our arms until morning. At early dawn on the morning of the fourth, our batteries having been placed in front of our lines, to open fire on Corinth, the brigade was moved by the left flank and placed in rear of Phifer's, sheltered by timber in front. When the firing from the batteries ceased, we moved forward and took position obliquely to the right and front of Phifer's. Our skirmishers were again thrown forward, and kept up a sharp engagement with the enemy until about ten o'clock. We had been previously notified by General Maury that we would advance when Hebert's division made the attack on our left — our brigade being supported by Cabell's on the right and Phifer's on the left. About ten o'clock the firing on our left became heavy, and we at once gave the command, “forward,” sending Lieutenant McFarland to notify General Maury of our advance movement. We had not gone one hundred yards before the enemy seemed to discover our designs, and at once opened upon us and kept up the severest fire I ever imagined possible to concentrate on one point in front of a fortification. Yet we suffered but little, being protected by the timber, until we reached the fallen timber and open space which extended about one hundred yards in front of their works. On reaching this point we charged and carried the enemy's works, the whole extent of our line, and “penetrated to the very heart of Corinth,” driving the enemy from house to house, and frequently firing in at the windows and driving them out. The enemy were driven from the breastworks in great confusion, leaving their guns, some with their teams still hitched, while others had their horses cut loose and ran off. Our men brought off two or three horses which they found hitched in the streets near the Corinth House, their owners being absent The Forty-second Alabama, from their position in line, were brought in front of a strong bastion, the walls of which they found too high to scale, but rushing to the embrasures they fired three or four volleys, driving the enemy from their guns, and then entering the works mounted the parapet and planted their flag on the walls. After entering the works we found ourselves opposed by an overwhelming force, and being without support and our line being broken and disordered in the assault, we had no alternative but to fall back, which was done. Our loss in this assault was very severe. Three of the five regimental commanders were either killed or wounded. I can bear testimony to the coolness and gallantry with which our men and officers made this assault. I do not believe that any troops ever displayed greater courage in so desperate a charge. This was our last engagement in the vicinity of Corinth. Our division being reformed we fell back on the road to Pocahontas and bivouacked for the night. At an early hour, on the morning of the fifth instant, our brigade was ordered to the front to act as an advance guard; when within two or three miles of Davis' bridge across Hatchie, received orders to push forward, cross the bridge, form a line of battle on the right of the road, and then advance, take and hold the Heights of Matamoras, which commands the crossing at Davis' bridge. We pushed forward with all possible despatch, but the men being greatly exhausted and weak for the want of food, and the previous two days hard marching and service, when we reached the crossing and formed line, we did not have more than two hundred and fifty or three hundred men in ranks. We formed on the right, opposite the battery established by Major Burnett on the left of the road. As we filed off to the right, the enemy's batteries opened on us from the hill at Matamoras. The Second Texas, being in the rear, was cut off by the fire, and did not form in line with the other regiments. Our position was now in a narrow strip of woods, with open fields in front and rear, that in front extending up to the enemy's position. We had been ordered to advance with our left on the road, which would have carried us through the open fields up to the very muzzles of the enemy's guns. Being now satisfied that the hill was occupied
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Doc . 62 .-Hoisting the Black flag — official correspondence and reports.
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