fought with all the desperation of that animal under similar circumstances, knowing, moreover, that night with its shield of darkness and ample succor were close at hand.
The character of these last assaults on the part of the Confederates
, and their fruitless results, with the causes which wrought their failure, may be best illustrated by what befell Colonel Mouton
and the 18th Louisiana Infantry.
After 4 P. M. he was ordered to charge ‘a battery on a hill,’ some 600 yards in his front.
Advancing ‘unsupported,’ the regiment soon became uncovered and exposed to a cross fire from the battery and its supports.
Nevertheless, these dauntless Louisianians, well led, pressed up to within seventy yards of the Federal
guns, but were then beaten back, leaving 207 of their numbers either dead or hors-de-combat on the ground.
Another characteristic essay was made on the extreme Confederate right by General James R. Chalmers
, with his own and a part of J. K. Jackson
's Brigade, to press forward to the landing.
But in attempting, as Mouton
had done, ‘to mount the last ridge,’ they were met by a ‘fire from a whole line of batteries, protected by infantry, and assisted by shells from the gunboats.’
The Confederates, however, strongly persisted in storming the steep hillside, despite the impediments with which it bristled, and ‘made charge after charge without success, until night closed hostilities.’
This tells the story of the closing scene—tells how a series of disjointed attacks at that late hour upon a battery of over fifty pieces by fragmentary bodies of men who had already been embattled for ten hours without respite, failed necessarily.
, in the meantime, observing the exhausted, widely-scattered condition of his army, directed it to be brought out of battle, collected and restored to order, as far as practicable, and to occupy for the night the captured encampments of the enemy.
This, however, had already been done in chief part by the officers in immediate command of the troops before the order was generally distributed.
Foremost in the pursuit that followed the defeat of the Federals
at their second line, it remains to be said, were Forrest
and his regiment.
They assisted in the capture of Prentiss