being thrown forward and on both flanks, to try to ascertain the strength of the enemy, who seemed at first to be confused by our presence, but soon turned against us. At this time three firings were distinctly heard: Bagby
's, the enemy's and Debray
's. After a short time, Bagby
's firing was no longer heard, and the enemy's efforts seemed to be more intensely directed against us. At this juncture, Lieutenant-Colonel Hoffmann
, of Bagby
's regiment, and Captain Corwin
, of the staff of Green
's brigade, came by a circuitous pathway to inform Debray
, having exhausted his ammunition, was compelled to fall back; that the opposing force was a division of cavalry and mounted infantry, and that Debray
, too, must fall back to avoid being cut to pieces or captured.
Order was given to retire slowly, which was done in perfect order, and so as to keep the enemy in check.
The regiment was followed up but a short distance, because, as was subsequently ascertained, the enemy believed it to be the advance of a large force coming from Texas
, which it might be dangerous to meet in the woods.
Such was Debray
's regiment's baptism of fire.
The casualties on our side were five men and several horses wounded.
It is proper to state that the band, who had been ordered to the rear, dismounted, and of their own volition went to the front to pick up the wounded and carry them to the ambulances.
They never afterwards shrank from the performance of that self-imposed duty of devotion which endeared them to the regiment.
The following general order
was issued, the original of which has been preserved by the writer: