of the Federal
Dismounting his men a volley was received and returned, and then the Confederates
made a daring charge.
The enemy in their stronghold gave way before such dauntless bravery and in a few minutes Dickison
held the road.
The fight then became general, our artillery shelling them at a furious rate.
They would give way, but rally again and again and renew the attack.
brought word that the Federals
had been reinforced and were crossing the railroad trestle to flank him on the right.
Our left being well protected by Lieutenants Haile
, our center bravely holding their position, Lieutenant Bruton
was ordered with his howitzer and 10 men to the trestle that crosses over to the island.
They were soon at the place.
Never was artillery better handled; never more effective service rendered.
At every attempt of the enemy to cross, a distance of 300 yards, our heroic Bruton
would throw a shell into their lines and they would fall back.
He would then turn his gun and shell the enemy where the rest of the command were fighting.
Unfortunately our ammunition was soon expended.
reported only four more shells.
He was ordered to the center, leaving Lieutenant McEaddy
with 10 men to hold the trestle as long as possible.
As the gallant Bruton
dashed up with his gun, making a desperate charge, he allowed the Federals
to come within a short distance, then opened fire upon them with a storm of grape-shot which drove them back in the wildest confusion.
There stood the invincible Bruton
, calm and undaunted, until his last round was fired, when he turned and coolly said, ‘Captain
, I have fired my-last shell; what shall I do?’
‘Remove your gun.’
, riding along the line, learned that many of his men had shot their last cartridges, and having 200, in the thickest of the fight he distributed them.
In a few minutes every round was fired.
The command then fell back in good order about 600 yards, in view of the enemy