previous next

[173] the cotton used in the traverses, and it soon took fire from the muzzles of the enemy's rifles. The Texans, lying flat to avoid the stream of minie-balls, were busied for a time in keeping fire from the magazines. One cannon was early disabled and the detachment for the other was depleted. ‘About 2 o'clock,’ said Smith, ‘I ordered it to be run up into battery and fired. As the last remaining corporal raised himself over the tail to aim, a minie-ball, within 15 inches of the platform, passed through his heart and he rolled over dead. . . . In one of the furious assaults the enemy mounted the parapet to near its superior slope. Numbers of them were pouring a murderous fire through our right embrasure, amid the smoke of the burning cotton, which enveloped and almost blinded the men in this angle of the fort, and they were apparently on the eve of rushing in. I shouted, “Volunteers to clear that embrasure!” Four men sprang to the platform, Sergt. William T. Spence of Company B, and Privates T. E. Bagwell, A. S Kittredge and J. A. Stewart of Company C, and discharging their pieces within 5 paces of the muzzles of the assailants, hurled them back headlong into the ditch outside. The repulse was decisive. Bagwell fell dead on the platform; Spence fell by his side, shot through the brain. He lingered a few days.’

At the close of the assault, Colonel Smith said, the Federal dead lay so-thick in front that along the road for more than 200 yards one might have walked upon them without touching the ground. Major Elliott, of the Thirty-third Illinois, subsequently estimated the Federal killed at 600 and their wounded at 1,200 on that day before the Texan line. The Second Texas held the fort until the end. On May 2d they had left their camp on Chickasaw bayou, without a change of clothes and one blanket to a man, and thus provided they fought uncomplainingly, under constant rifle fire and frequent heavy cannonading, and incessant mental strain on account of the enemy's steady approach, from May 17th to July 4th. When it rained,

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Chickasaw Bayou (Mississippi, United States) (1)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
William T. Spence (2)
W. H. Smith (2)
T. E. Bagwell (2)
J. A. Stewart (1)
Kittredge (1)
Elliott (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
July 4th (1)
May 17th (1)
May 2nd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: