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[461] until the morning of the resurrection. Death snatched the prize from his hand and tore the laurel wreath from his brow. Had he lived to follow up the advantage gained by his valorous troops, the Confederate army would not now be in full retreat, but would be in hot pursuit of the flying foe. Although we captured most of the enemy's artillery and took 6,000 prisoners, the engagement was renewed yesterday morning. The Federals were heavily reinforced by General Buell, who crossed the river during the night with a corps of fresh troops. My musket was the only reinforcement to the Confederate army that I am aware of. I arose early Monday morning and pressed forward in search of my regiment. But not knowing the locality of the different commands, I fell in with the first organized body that came in sight, which proved to be a part of Bowen's division, advancing in line of battle to the support of a battery that seemed to be hard pressed, and was pouring a stream of fire into the enemy at short range. Recognizing my old friend, Cad. Polk, of Columbia, Tenn., who was the Adjutant of an Arkansas regiment, I at once fell into line with his regiment. As we crossed a little ravine and ascended the slope of the hill, the battery retired under a heavy fire of musketry through our ranks and went into position on the opposite side of the ravine. We were ordered to lie down while the battery opened fire over our heads. At the same time a heavy volley of musketry was poured into our line by the enemy, who were plainly visible a few hundred yards in our front. The boys in gray then rose to their feet and delivered their fire with such deadly effect that the advance of the enemy was checked, the blue line staggered under the fire, reeled, broke, and rolled back in confusion, like a wave that breaks upon the rockbound shore and spends its fury in vain. Then, resuming my search for my own regiment, and attracted by heavy firing on the left, I started in that direction, and passed over a part of the woods from which we had just driven the enemy. The ground was dotted with the blue uniforms of the dead and wounded, while canteens and haversacks were scattered here and there in great abundance. Having no water in my plain tin canteen, I picked up a splendid one, well covered and full of water, and threw it hastily over my shoulder. Some Yankee had kindly left it for my accommodation. Soon after coming into possession of this valuable property my heart was touched by a piteous cry for water. I stopped, and kneeling by the side of a Federal soldier, who was badly wounded, placed the canteen to his lips, expressed sympathy for him in his terrible

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Leonidas Polk (1)
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