horse, surrounded by his staff, more like an equestrian statue than a living man, except the fiery gleam in his dark eyes as he received the order.
In front was to be seen a Federal camp in the open woods, apparently quiet and without an inmate.
Indeed, the stillness seemed omnious, and just ahead was an open field bordered by a dense thicket.
Through the camp pressed the Kentuckians, and into the open field, and still there was silence; but not long, for a few steps beyond a hissing stream and a flame of musketry burst at their breasts, mowing their ranks fearfully and heaping the ground with the dead and wounded.
There was a momentary check, and they gave back to the woods, while a storm of bullets rattled through the trees far behind, reaching in profusion even a battery posted in another encampment a half of a mile to the rear.
But only for a little while did the Kentuckians recede.
Closing their thinned ranks and animated by their officers, they retook the advance, and their adversaries were forced back, yet with not a little stubbornness and desperate fighting, on favorable ground.
By this time Wither
's Division of Bragg
's Corps, as well as Breckinridge
's reserves, mingled with portions of Hardee
's men, were all massed on the Confederate
right in the quarter of Lick Creek
. General Bragg
also, as he tells us, was there in person and assumed command.
Giving, he says, ‘a common head and a common purpose to the whole,’ he launched them with a resistless weight at the enemy, who now gave way, and on all sides were forced from the line of Wallace
's and Hurlbut
's encampments, leaving behind more of their artillery and 3,000 prisoners, chiefly of Prentiss
' Division, in the hands of their assailants.
At the same time, on the center and left, Polk
's Divisions, with Ruggle
's Divisions of Bragg
, and some of Hardee
's also, made no less strenuous efforts to close the battle.
Those of the routed Federals who were not killed or captured dropped back in great confusion toward the landing.
Some were rallied upon the ridge immediately overhanging the landing, but large masses were added to the already dense mob of fugitives huddled below the bank.
But, meanwhile, Colonel Webster
, chief of the Federal
staff, an officer of the regulars, who knew his profession, observing