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We were resting and congratulating ourselves on the events of the day, when the news from the centre and left came, and we found that we were defeated; nay, that the enemy already had possession of the ridge, and that we were in danger of being cut off. We were compelled at once to withdraw, and by rapid marching throw ourselves between the enemy and our retreating army.

The humiliating incidents of that rout, I shall never forget. Yet one thing occurred which relieved in part the monotony of our shame. The enemy pursued us closely, and flushed with victory, grew rash. They came after us without even throwing out the necessary skirmishers. A severe check given them at ‘Ringgold Gap,’ by our division, General Cleburne's, then the rear guard of the army, not only taught them caution, but virtually stopped the pursuit. We held the field until evening, then retired about a mile, to a more commanding position, and after waiting for them to come on, leisurely sauntered off under cover of the smoke of our camp fires, which we had ostentatiously built, and which we fed anew just before retiring. The enemy barely made an appearance before this new position and that was all. The extreme, gingerly way in which solitary individuals, one by one, tip-toed towards us and at last showed themselves, was absurdly conclusive of the fact that their rashness was cured. We had fought ourselves into a good humor again, and satisfied that the worst was over, trudged along after the rest of the army.

One little incident in that sharp fight (or rather battle, for I suppose there were twelve or fifteen thousand men engaged, taking both sides) reminds me of General Taylor's ‘a little more grape, Captain Bragg.’ Our regiment was placed right across the gap, and our company right in it (Thirteenth Regiment, Arkansas Volunteers). We were supporting two pieces of a battery, double-shotted with canister, placed there to sweep the railroad which ran through the gap. Down the railroad, right towards us, came a solid body of men, in marching order, column of fours (a part of Osterhaus's division, we understood), unsuspecting, and thoroughly off their guard; on, on, until I suppose those poor creatures got within almost fifty yards of us. Then, General Cleburne, who was in our midst, watching them through field glasses, almost sprang into the air, clapped his knee, and in his broad Irish brogue, shouted, ‘now, Cawptain, give it to 'em. Now’!!

Poor fellows! That was a fearful blast! It went full into the head of the column. Our guns continued for some time, volley after volley.

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Patrick Cleburne (2)
Richard Taylor (1)
P. J. Osterhaus (1)
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