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[307] 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, Middle 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. Hardie 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

1 General Bragg's estimate of Colonel Smith may be seen from the following letter:

Superintendent's office, water works Department commercial bank, New Orleans, Jan'y 22, 1868.
Dear Sir:—It affords me great pleasure to receive your note of the 4th inst., enclosing the carte de visite of my late friend and fellow-soldier, Colonel Robert A. Smith, Tenth Mississippi volunteers. Entering the service at an early age, without military experience or education, the Colonel fell in the gallant discharge of an almost desperate assault, in less than eighteen months, esteemed and honored for his acquirements and heroic deportment. To me his loss was severe, for I had looked to him for support, in a much higher and extended command.

Please convey my thanks to the Colonel's brother for this mark of kind remembrance, and believe me, truly,


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