successful defence of Pensacola
and the Navy Yard
, until February or early in March, when the disasters of Fort Donaldson on the Cumberland
, and Henry on the Tennessee rivers
, together with the evacuation by our forces, and the occupation by the enemy of Southern Kentucky
and West Tennessee
, and North Alabama
, resulted in a concentration of all our available force under Albert Sidney Johnston
, along the line of the Memphis and Charleston railroad, with Corinth
as its center and base.
Having organized his splendid troops, General Johnston
, with General Beauregard
as second in command, put in motion on the morning of the 3d of April, 1862, the ‘Army of the Mississippi,’ to offer battle to the invaders of our soil.
The attack was to have been made on the 6th, before Buell
, who was marching to the assistance of Grant
, at Pittsburg Landing
, could possibly reach him, but owing to the bad roads, the Confederates
were unable to reach the destined point in time.
Resting for the night in order of battle, a short distance from the enemy's camp, with only now and then a picket shot to relieve the suspense, we commenced to advance at early dawn, and by sunrise came fairly upon them.
commanded the front line, with Gladden
's and Chalmers
's brigades of Bragg
's corps on his right, Bragg
's corps, less the two brigades above-mentioned, constituting the second line, followed about four hundred yards distant. The corps of General Polk
, following the second line at the distance of about eight hundred yards, in lines of brigades, deployed with their batteries in rear of each, protected by cavalry on their right.
The reserves under General Breckenridge
followed closely the third line in the same order, its right wing supported by cavalry.
Well do I remember, being then Adjutant
of the Tenth Mississippi infantry, of Chalmers
's brigade, how all were spoiling for their maiden fight, in which, before they were through, they were willing to acknowledge that of choice, they would thereafter exhibit less of reckless anxiety, and more of prudent discretion.
As the Tenth Mississippi (Colonel Robt. A. Smith
commanding, and who was subsequently killed in the battle of Mumsfordville, Ky., and than whom no braver spirit or better office gave up his life during the war,1
) descended the last hill, in full view of the enemy's