carried a battery of the enemy.
With his usual fearless energy, he returned to the assault in a second charge, and was shot dead at the head of his men. The consequence of the loss of these leaders, to whom the entire command looked for direction in the disposition of their forces in the action, caused a paralysis of this wing of the army.
Officers rode about trying to learn the position of commands, what movement next should be made, and who was to take the place of the dead commanders, while the men stood or rested in their lines, in a state of inaction, until after 2 o'clock. Then, after correspondence with the commanding general
, several miles distant, they were ordered to his assistance.
Meanwhile, on the field near Elkhorn tavern
, before 2 o'clock, it was evident, Van Dorn
reported afterward, that if McCulloch
could advance or even maintain his ground, Price
's left could be thrown forward, the whole line advanced, and victory won. A dispatch to this effect was sent to McCulloch
, but was never received by him. ‘Before it was penned his brave spirit had winged its flight, and one of the most gallant leaders of the Confederacy
had fought his last battle.’
It was getting late in the day, and General Price
sent instructions to his subordinate commanders that they would press the enemy at once, and drive him from the field, or be driven, and to prepare for a general advance.
The brunt of the action had fallen during the early part of the day on the brigades of Slack
and Little, and they were everywhere victorious, though Slack
fell mortally wounded.
Toward evening the enemy were found in great force, supported by artillery, and the whole line was advanced.
‘Forward! for Missouri
, for Arkansas
, for the States which stood for manhood and equality, in good faith, as the symbols of a lasting Union.’
The foe resists; he delivers deadly volleys of musketry and hurls screaming shells, which bursting scatter death among the Confederates
But on they press, as the