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[82] conflict had taught them to appreciate. For more than half an hour our greatly-diminished and exhausted troops held their hosts in check. Their intention of turning our flanks by their widely-extended line becoming now clearly evident, we slowly fell back from our advanced position, disputing every inch of ground which we relinquished. It was at this critical juncture that the gallant Rives fell mortally wounded; and as though fortune sought to dispossess our resolution by multiplying disasters, within a few minutes after the fall of Rives, we suffered an irreparable loss in the fall of the young and chivalrous Clark, whose battery kept up a galling fire upon the advancing foe as our lines retired; and as we had now fallen back on a line with his position, being ordered to withdraw his guns, he fell, decapitated by a round shot, while he was executing this maneuver; the last battery in action. Captain MacDonald was now compelled to retire his battery by the intervention of our retiring line between him and the enemy, and it was with regret the order was issued for him to cease firing, so gallant was the conduct of the commander and his men, so terrible was the effect of every round which he delivered against the advancing lines of the enemy, with a coolness and courage unsurpassed. Our latest order from General Van Dorn directed our line to retire by the Huntsville road. . . .

Those that remained of McCulloch's wing, after the battle of the 7th, followed the route taken the previous night by Price; and marching all night, a little before daylight on the morning of the 8th reached Van Dom, and were disposed to the right and left of the line at Elkhorn tavern. Here, upon the renewal of the battle on the 8th, the greater part of the troops remained inactive, while the cannonading on both sides continued, until ordered to fall back on Huntsville. Human endurance could stand no further tax. Some of the cavalry were dispatched to protect the flanks, or, as Colonel Greer expressed it, ‘to keep the cavalry out of the way of the infantry bringing up the rear of the retreating army.’

Col. Evander McNair, who succeeded to the command of Hebert's brigade, said in his report that at about 10:30

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