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[81] men ashore, while he set fire to the boat. So, with colors flying, the gallant Arkansas was blown into the air in the face of her expectant foe.

Unaware of this disaster, Breckinridge attacked Williams on August 5th. Sickness had reduced his force to about 2,600 men, and according to the Federal reports the enemy had about the same strength. The battle was successful in driving the enemy from his intrenchments and camp, which was burned; but the loss was heavy, including General Clark, who, severely wounded, was at his request left on the field with Lieutenant Yerger, one of his faithful aides. The Twenty-second regiment, led by Capt. F. Hughes, who fell mortally wounded, and the Thirty-first, Maj. H. E. Topp, took a prominent part in the battle. The Fifteenth, Major Binford, was held in reserve.

Capt. John A. Buckner, assistant adjutant-general, who was assigned to the command of the First brigade, Clark's division, after Gen. B. H. Helm and Col. T. H. Hunt had been wounded, reported that his command (which included the Thirty-first Mississippi), after driving the Federals from one encampment, advanced spiritedly to the second, and was hotly engaged when ordered to retire by General Clark, who fell in the retrograde movement. Continuing his report to General Breckinridge, Captain Buckner said: ‘The Second brigade [which included the Fifteenth and Twenty-second Mississippi] was then ordered by yourself to advance. It went up in good style, Captain Hughes, commanding Twenty-second Mississippi regiment, leading them gallantly. By your presence and assistance the First brigade was rallied and led by yourself in person to the same position from which it had fallen back, when it joined with the Second brigade and they moved conjointly through the second encampment, driving the enemy before them through the third and last of their camps to the river, under cover of their gunboats. This being accomplished, which was all ’

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Charles Clark (3)
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Thomas Williams (1)
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