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[167] Eighteenth1 drove the battery off the crest when, reinforcements coming up, it was compelled to withdraw. It was in this general movement that General Wallace fell mortally wounded. His division, after Wallace's death, began a fierce struggle to retire to the river, a struggle which, for a time, seemed doubtful.

Towards 5:30 the Crescents, under Colonel Smith, made a gallant double-quick across a field, into another field, through a wood, crossing the Pittsburg Landing road, with a rush, to charge Prentiss' division. Prentiss, having been fighting hard since the dawn, was now posted in the camp nearest the Tennessee and its two gunboats. Just as the Crescents got to the road and were making ready to charge they noticed on the other side of the road a flutter of white handkerchiefs from the bayonets of several men standing in an open field. The capture of Prentiss' division, following immediately, formed a brilliant termination to Sunday's heavy fighting. Prentiss' division, 2,500 rank and file, surrendered to the Crescents, with a Tennessee command moving on parallel lines. General Prentiss was seen coolly seated on horseback, in the center of a mob of excited men. He yielded his sword, by right the prize of Col. Marshall Smith, to a young lieutenant of the regiment who asked for it.

After this capture, General Bragg's2 corps was deployed to the right of the ridge road. Elated with the victory, Ruggles' Louisianians were eagerly listening for the order to advance upon Pittsburg Landing. Dusk was melting into night. The word, so eagerly expected, had not yet come. Beauregard had charged them to drive the enemy into the Tennessee; Beauregard remained ominously silent. A shot shrieked its noisy way

1 The loss of the Eighteenth was ‘207 officers and men killed and wounded who could not be removed from the field. The Orleans Guard battalion, Major Queyrouse, lost about 80 men immediately afterward.’—Beauregard's report.

2 General Ruggles, in his report of the closing scenes of the fight, calls this particular moment ‘one of the controlling conflicts of that eventful day.’

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Pittsburg Landing (Tennessee, United States) (2)

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Prentiss (5)
Wallace (2)
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Marshall Smith (1)
Leon Queyrouse (1)
Braxton Bragg (1)
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