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[465] pickets, composed of two regiments, dismounted and thrown out in front of the bridge, four miles west of West Point. Forrest soon came up to where I was standing on the causeway leading to the bridge, and as it was the first time I had been with him in a fight, I watched him closely. His manner was nervous, impatient and imperious. He asked me what the enemy were doing, and when I gave him the report just received from Colonel Duff, in command of the pickets, he said, sharply: “I will go and see myself,” and started across the bridge, which was about thirty yards long, and then being raked by the enemy's fire. This struck me at the time as a needless and somewhat braggadocia exposure of himself, and I followed him to see what he would do. When we reached the other bank, the fire of the enemy was very heavy, and our men were falling back--one running without hat or gun. In an instant Forrest seized and threw him on the ground, and while the bullets were whistling thick around him, administered a severe thrashing with a brush of wood. A short time afterward I saw this scene illustrated in Harper's Weekly, as Forrest breaking in a conscript. He stood a few minutes, and when the fire slackened a little, ordered up his escort and McCulloch's brigade; and they soon came. Leaving McCulloch in position, he mounted with his escort, a splendid company of seventy-five young men, who each seemed inspired with the reckless courage of their leader, and dashed off through the woods to the flank and rear of the enemy. He soon discovered that the attacking force was small; and at once suspecting it to be the attack of a rear guard to cover a retreat, he ordered the first division forward, and the enemy fell back rapidly before him until they reached a wood four miles north of West Point, where they made a stand in force. After a heavy fight, in which he lost eighty killed and wounded, and the enemy as many, and where he took seventy-five prisoners, he drove them back again, and continued the pursuit until dark, when he bivouacked on ground prepared by the enemy, and where he found forage and camp fires all ready for his use. Continuing the pursuit early on the morning of the 22d, he overtook the main body of the Federals drawn up in line of battle at Okalona, a town situated in an open prairie. Up to this time he had with him only his first division, not exceeding two thousand men. Before him, in an open prairie, where all the movements of each side could be seen, was Sooy Smith, with seven thousand picked Federal cavalry, selected especially, it is said, to crush the Confederate leader. If Sooy Smith had fallen back from his dangerous position at West Point to draw Forrest from a junction with Lee, he had acted with wisdom and skill; and now the long-looked for opportunity seemed to have arrived, when, with a superior force of well drilled and splendidly armed cavalry, in an open prairie peculiarly fitted for cavalry operations, the cherished object of General Sherman could be accomplished. A less impetuous man than Forrest might have paused before such a situation; but he never hesitated a moment. His

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