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[299] Prentiss himself.1 They were sent to the rear under escort of cavalry and a detachment from Wood's brigade.2

This closing in of the Confederate lines had brought the extreme right and the left centre of the line of battle unexpectedly face to face, as the last wooded ridge was crossed which had sepaated them as they pressed on both flanks of the Federal divisions. Much confusion ensued, as well as delay for the replenishment of ammunition, before the commands were extricated and directed anew against the enemy.

Meanwhile, since four o'clock, Colonel J. D. Webster, an able officer of General Grant's staff, had been collecting the reserve artillery and other batteries, till he had massed about sixty guns (some of them 24-pounder siege guns) along a ridge covering Pittsburg Landing, and reaching out to the camps of Wallace, a portion of which was still held by the remainder of that division, with some of McClernand's regiments, and fragments of Sherman's, on their right. In rear of Webster's guns was also Hurlbut's division,3 with Veatch's brigade now reattached, and two of Stuart's regiments, all of these reinforced by numbers rallied from the broken commands. General Grant having arrived on the field at one o'clock P. M.,4 or about that time, had been busy at this work since three o'clock. The line of bluffs masked all view of the river; but, in fact, General Buell's Army of the Ohio was also now arriving from Savannah, on the opposite bank, below Pittsburg Landing, and Ammen's brigade, of Nelson's advance division, had been thrown across and placed in support of Webster's battery, at five o'clock. Generals Buell and Nelson were both present on the field.5 Behind these forces and below the bluff was the remainder

1 General Prentiss, in his report of the battle, written after his return from captivity, thus alludes to this memorable incident: ‘. . . I determined to assail the enemy, which had passed between me and the river, charging upon him with my entire force. I found him advancing in mass, completely encircling my command, and nothing was left but to harass him and retard his progress so long as might be possible. This I did until 5.30 P. M., when finding that further resistance must result in the slaughter of every man in the command, I had to yield the fight. The enemy succeeded in capturing myself and twenty-two hundred rank and file, many of them wounded.’

2 General Hardee's Report.

3 General Hurlbut's Report, ‘Record of the Rebellion,’ vol. IV. p. 401.

4 General Badeau says, eight o'clock A. M.

5 General Nelson's Report, ‘Record of the Rebellion,’ vol. IV. p. 413.

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