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[40] the rugged spurs of the hills ensued a fearful combat. In the crisis of the struggle McCulloch, dashing forward to reconnoiter, fell a victim to a sharpshooter. Almost at the same moment McIntosh, his second in command, fell while charging a battery of the enemy with a regiment of Texas cavalry. Without direction or leader, the shattered lines of our forces left the field to rally, after a wide circuit, on Price's division. When Van Dorn heard of this misfortune he urged his attack, pressing back the enemy until night closed the bloody combat. Van Dorn's headquarters were then at Elkhorn Tavern, where the enemy's headquarters had been in the morning. Each army was now on its opponent's line of communication. Van Dorn found his troops much disorganized and exhausted, short of ammunition, and without food, and made his arrangements to retreat. The wagon trains and all the men not effective for the coming battle were started by a circuitous route for Van Buren. The effectives remained to cover the retreat. The battle was renewed at 7 A. M., and raged until 10 A. M. The gallant General Henry Little had the covering line with his own and Rives' Missouri brigades; this stout rear guard held off the whole army of the enemy. The trains, artillery, and most of the army were by that time well on the road. The order was given to the Missourians to withdraw, and ‘the gallant fellows faced about with cheers,’ retired steadily, and encamped ten miles from the battlefield at three o'clock. There was no real pursuit. The attack had failed. Van Dorn put his loss at six hundred killed and wounded, and two hundred prisoners. Curtis reported his loss at two hundred three killed, nine hundred seventy-two wounded, and one hundred seventysix missing—total, thirteen hundred fifty-one.1

The object of Van Dorn had been to effect a diversion in behalf of General Johnston. Though this failed, the enemy was badly crippled and soon fell back to Missouri, of which he still retained possession.

General Van Dorn was now ordered to join General Johnston by the quickest route. Yet only one of his regiments arrived in time to be present at the battle of Shiloh. As has been already stated, General Beauregard left Nashville on February 14th to take charge in West Tennessee, and made his headquarters at Jackson, Tennessee, on February 17th. He was somewhat prostrated by sickness, which partially disabled him through the campaign. The two grand divisions of his army were commanded by the able Generals Bragg and Polk. On March 26th he permanently removed to Corinth. Under his orders the evacuation of Columbus by General Polk, and the establishment of a new line resting

1 The Life of General Albert Sidney Johnston, by his son.

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