pressed forward and participated in the fight, but were forced back and retreated to Camden
This engagement took place in a forest of pines not far from the west bank of the Saline river
, in a spot usually lonely and undisturbed by any sound ruder than the winds in the treetops, when its calm was disturbed and its silence broken by the jar of artillery and the crash of small-arms for five hours. After the firing ceased, the air was still full of the din of the survivors, men and animals, in whom the excitement was not yet allayed.
Steadily the infirmary corps searched for those who needed its offices and bore them silently to the hospital or to burial.
The prisoners, officers and soldiers, ‘refugees,’ men who had proclaimed their ‘loyalty’ when Steele
, and were now running away with fear that he would be driven out; cotton-buyers, negroes and army vultures were collected and guarded.
But it was not long until the non-combatants were released to go away as best they might, and the prisoners of war were started under the escort of Hill
's regiment of Cabell
's brigade on their long tramp to the prisoners' camp at Tyler, Tex.
The wagons and mules were driven off by details in charge of the quartermaster; the captured artillery, a source of some contention, was distributed among the captors; and before midnight the blossom-laden April winds again whispered peacefully through the tall pines which waved over the bivouac of the sleeping victors.
There were rumors of ‘great hauls’ of greenbacks from the headquarters wagons stopped by Shelby
, and of cotton-buyers who were made to distribute their ‘rolls,’ but nothing of this kind was authenticated.
The Confederates resumed the march the next morning in the same weather-stained clothing and upon their ill-groomed steeds, and with the same indomitable spirit.
There were a few new wagons and ambulances in the train, and several pieces of additional artillery, as fruits of their achievement.
They moved up the Saline river
and loitered there in different camps for several