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[263] temporary stand and force the enemy to display his force. At the request of Major-General Wharton, I made a reconnoissance of the country near Mansura and recommended to him, as suitable for the employment of artillery, the beautiful position at Mansura. He then ordered all the artillery to be put in position, and the following dispositions were made: Major Semmes, Chief of Artillery of Wharton's corps, having command on our right, placed in position H. C. West's and Winchester's batteries, of Squires's battalion, Major Squires commanding; McMahon, Mosely's and J. A. A. West's of his, Lennies battalion of horse artillery; and Major Faries, Chief of Artillery of Polignac's division, commanding on the left, was ordered to place in position Cornay's and Barnes's light batteries, and Lieutenant Bennett, with his two thirty-pound Parrott's. Lieutenant Tarleton was in command of Cornay's battery.

On the 16th, before sunrise, the engagement commenced, and soon swelled into the proportions of the most considerable artillery combat ever witnessed west of the Mississippi. Eighty pieces of artillery were engaged. The fire of our artillery was precise and effective, and whenever the dense masses of the enemy's infantry, which could be clearly discovered in the broad prairie, approached in range, it was immediately broken and driven back. The fire of the enemy was accurate but not effective, owing to the use of spherical case, at long range and defective shells.

As the enemy discovered the strength of our position, he began to mancoeuvre to turn it on our exposed left, concentrating on Barnes's and Cornay's batteries a very heavy fire, which was received with coolness and courage; and General Wharton, satisfied with the results that he had obtained, determined to withdraw, which was done without the least confusion. Major Semmes with great deliberation withdrew his batteries en echelon from our right; and on the left, Lieutenant Bennett with his heavy Parrotts, was first withdrawn, followed by Barnes, who had exhausted all his long range ammunition; Lieutenant Tarleton, commanding Cornay's battery, was the last to retire, and from his Napoleon section poured a heavy fire into the enemy at 300 yards range. Notwithstanding the heavy fire of artillery and infantry playing on it, this superb and veteran battery limbered to the rear, with the precision and coolness of parade and moved off at a walk, and only retired more rapidly in obedience to a positive order to that effect. The cavalry and infantry supports of the artillery in this engagement exhibited a solidity and steadiness indicative of admirable courage and resolution.

On the 17th instant, McMahon's battery, the rifle section of Winchester's,

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