some other troops had come up, and were becoming virtually disorganized, officers, as well as men, leaving the ranks and mixing among the prisoners and scattering the captured camps. While in this position some cavalry rode up from our rear and passed between the Nineteenth Alabama and the Second Texas and took position between the prisoners and Pittsburg landing. Abbot's Battle Fields of ‘61, page 257, says:
After a short delay, Bragg availed himself of the opportunity to attack the “Hornet's Nest” by the flank. The movement was attended with complete success.
Generals Wallace and Prentiss showed themselves worthy of the trust reposed in them by Grant and fought stubbornly until the former was shot down with a mortal wound, and the latter, with 3,000 men, was surrounded and captured by an overwhelming force of Confederates.Generals Bragg and Withers came up and directed me to take the prisoners to Corinth, but, upon my suggestion that the battle was not over, General Bragg allowed me to detail for that purpose one regiment of the brigade (Colonel Shorter's), and I promptly formed the rest of the brigade into line, replenished ammunition and moved forward toward the river. We met a warm fine, mostly from artillery, and when near the river, suffered some from the gunboats. A rapid ascent to the crest of a ridge near the river placed my brigade some 300 yards in advance of our general line, most of which was still at the foot of the ridge. Looking back, I saw the greater part of the troops withdrawing to the rear. Night came on, and General Withers sent an order to retire. On Sunday evening the head of General Buell's army reached the field, and the next morning 21,579 soldiers of that army were in line of battle, side by side with Grant's army, making the total Federal force with which we contended on the 6th and 7th, 70,893. Many Confederate regiments had almost disbanded during the night, and the second day it is doubtful if we had more than 15,000 men on the field, but they were the elite of the army and fought with unsurpassed heroism.