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[474] short range by the artillery, double-shotted with cannister. The Confederates insist that both the Federal infantry and cavalry were in this fight. The Federal cavalry officers who censured Sturgis, say they had cavalry alone, and that instead of falling back with his cavalry on to his infantry, prepared in line, he undertook to hold the position with his cavalry, and bring up his infantry five or more miles at double-quick, and that they arrived broken down and unformed just as the cavalry were driven back on them, and all went pell-mell together. Be this as it may, when Forrest captured Bryce's house, the enemy's infantry in column were in full view coming up. He turned loose on them his own eight pieces of artillery and six more just captured, and about that time Barteau's regiment struck them in rear, and the flight commenced.

A more terrific pursuit was never seen. The negroes had been sworn on their knees in line before starting from Memphis to show no quarter to Forrest's men, and on their shirts and banners was inscribed, “Remember Fort Pillow.” This had a double effect: it made the Federals afraid to surrender, and infuriated Forrest's men; and it is said that nineteen hundred were killed in this pursuit, which was continued sixty miles. The exact truth as to this fight will, perhaps, never be known; but taking either the Federal or Confederate accounts of it, it was the most brilliant victory of the war on either side. Forrest reports his force as thirty-two hundred cavalry and eight pieces of artillery. The Federal report places Sturgis' force at thirty-three hundred cavalry, fifty-four hundred infantry and seventeen pieces of artillery. With a superior force of cavalry, he might well have expected to hold, with them alone, his position, well selected at Bryce's cross-roads, until his infantry could come up. Sturgis was as much astonished at his defeat as any one, and was so terribly mortified that when A. J. Smith moved out after Forrest, a confidential spy from Memphis reported that Sturgis was sitting in a hotel soliloquizing, “It can't be done, sir!” and when asked what could not be done, he said, “They c-a-n-‘t whip old Forrest!”

In this battle, two thousand prisoners were taken, all the artillery (seventeen pieces), the whole ordnance train, well supplied with ammunition and many articles of value to us; the ambulance and wagon train, filled with most acceptable supplies, especially coffee, which the hungry Confederates had not tasted for many days.

General Sherman, in a cipher dispatch, dated June 20th, 1864, says: “He whipped Sturgis fair and square, and now I will put him against A. J. Smith and Mower, and let them try their hand.” By this victory Forrest not only saved Columbus and the rich prairie region of Mississippi again, but he saved Mobile also by the withdrawal of A. J. Smith's division, which had been ordered to its attack.

Roemer, speaking of the battle of Arbela, says: “From that great day when in person Alexander led the Macedonian horse, he ranks the first of cavalry generals of all times, and the tactics ”

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