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[159] and horses, by the fire of a division of infantry hidden among a thick growth of young pines, and protected by a deep gully. In the words of General Taylor: ‘That gallant charge was premature, and cost valuable lives, but was of use in moral effect.’ Captain Peck, of Company F, was killed; Major Menard and Captain Hare, of Company K, were wounded, both severely. Captain Fulton, of Company G, was also wounded, his horse being killed under him. Colonel Debray's right leg was caught under his horse killed in the charge close to the enemy's line. In his efforts to release himself, his foot slipped out of his boot which remained under the horse. When enabled to stand up, he felt that his ankle was sprained, and, leaning on his sabre, was limping to reach a ravine where he might find shelter from the enemy's fire, when comrades came to assist him and helped him along until they reached our line, just where General Taylor sat on his horse. ‘Why! Colonel.’ the General enquired, ‘are you wounded?’ ‘No, General,’ was the answer, ‘I am slightly hurt; but, as you may see, I was sent on a bootless errand.’ ‘Never mind your boot,’ said the General, ‘you have won your spurs.’

Upon returning within our lines, Debray's regiment was ordered to dismount and support Walker's divison of Texas infantry, hotly engaged in the woods in our left front. There a severe conflict was kept up, without advantage on either side, but with considerable mutual loss, until night brought it to a close.

This was, at best, a drawn battle. Both armies held the ground which they occupied in the morning, but General Taylor, apprehending a renewal of the contest on the next day, knowing that water was not accessible where his troops stood, determined to fall back to a creek five miles distant, there to select a position. Debray's and Bushel's regiments were left on the battle-field, with instructions to observe the enemy, and, if necessary, to retire slowly before his advance. Pickets exchanged shots till nearly daybreak, when a reconnoisance was pushed up, without opposition, to the town of Pleasant Hill, which was found evacuated by the enemy, who, behind a thin curtain of outposts, had decamped, early at night, in the direction of Natchitoches, leaving in our hands his wounded and unburied dead.

A part of the cavalry started in pursuit, while another part proceeded, with artillery, to Blair's Landing, on Red River, to attack gunboats. There the gallant Major-General Tom Green fell—an irreparable loss to our army. General Taylor, relying on his troops,

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