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 withdrawing the troops, going into camp, and sending for Smith, getting all our troops together, and then advance on the enemy and whip him soundly. But Franklin and Banks overruled him. Ransom formed his line. While this was taking place, a lieutenant of the Second Illinois cavalry came to Generals Stone and Lee and reported the enemy massing his force on our right and preparing to attack us, which they soon did with a vengeance; but just before the attack, General Banks ordered General Ransom to move his forces to the right. General Ransom then exclaimed: “That beats us.” Too true! for the move on the right was only a feint; but with the practised eye of an old soldier, he detected the movement, but obeyed the order of his superior officer. Nim's Second Massachusetts battery was at the extreme front, (and here let me say there was no better battery in the United States service,) supported by the Twenty-second Wisconsin regiment. On the left of that regiment was a portion of Lee's cavalry; on the right of Nim's battery was the Sixty-seventh Indiana; next, the Seventy-seventh and the One Hundred and Thirtieth Illinois; next, the Nineteenth Kentucky, Forty-eighth Ohio, and the Third division, which came in just as the enemy and our skirmishers met. We drove their skirmishers back on their main body, which was advancing four deep in three lines, one after the other, at a “right shoulder shift arms” in the form of a half-circle massed in the centre. Our main lines soon met. The Nineteenth Kentucky and the One Hundred and Thirtieth Illinois were first engaged, then Nim's battery, the Sixty-seventh Indiana, and the Seventy-seventh Illinois, and then the whole line, including the Chicago Mercantile and the First Indiana batteries. The enemy soon pressed back our cavalry, which was on the flanks, and came at double-quick on the infantry. The cavalry giving way exposed the flank of the infantry, both right and left, but they held their front manfully until they were compelled to fall back or be captured. They then fell back, slowly at first, dropping by hundreds on the wayside, bleeding and exhausted. But what at first was an orderly retreat soon became almost a rout. Nim's battery worked manfully — the veteran battery, the hero of seventeen engagements, always successful, but this time doomed to defeat — they double-charged their guns with canister, and adding a bag of bullets, mowed the enemy down, only to have their places filled again by the advancing hordes. But the battery support were forced back, and the enemy made a dash and took the guns. The cavalry by this time were in a panic, our infantry were driven out of the woods to the Chicago Mercantile battery, where they made a desperate effort to check the enemy. The battery, in connection with the First Indiana, did good work, but all to no purpose, as far as checking the enemy was concerned. The troops fell back to the woods on this side of the field, the enemy in close pursuit. Now all will ask: “Where was the Nineteenth army corps?” Let me tell you; back in the woods, some six miles distant, by order of General Franklin. They were sent for, as were the Ninety-sixth and Eighty-third Ohio, of the Fourth division, who were guarding a train. These two regiments soon came up and went at it desperately. They held the enemy in our front, but their flanks advanced and they were compelled to give way. Now comes the most painful part of this sad affair. General Ransom is wounded in the knee whilst trying to rally his men, and his assistant Adjutant-General killed, shot through the head. Our artillery retreated to the woods, and to the one road leading to the rear, and that was blocked full of wagons containing ammunition and supplies belonging to the cavalry, (all there by order of Generals Banks and Franklin,) so the batteries had to be abandoned. We lost here seventeen pieces of artillery, but the fight did not end yet, for the two regiments at the wood soon gave way, and on they came. Oh! may I never see the like again. Horses, men, wagons, all going to the rear — all saying: “Lost! Lost!” At about half an hour before sundown, and after the day was lost, and a large train captured, up came the Nineteenth army corps on the doublequick, having run the entire distance of some five miles. They soon formed in the woods and went at it. The roar of musketry was awful, but they soon checked the enemy, who had, by this time, been severely punished. Here the hard-fought battle of Mansfield ceased. Now let me sum up our position: In a dense wood, in front of a victorious enemy, at least twenty-five thousand strong, we only six thousand troops to oppose them; many wounded, and over four hundred wagons to be moved, a distance of more than nineteen miles, to Pleasant Hill, by only one road, and that bad, and lined with heavy pine forests on each side. Do you wonder at our feeling dispirited, knowing that the enemy would attack us in the morning? But we fell back, building huge fires all along the road to dispel the darkness, and arrived at Pleasant Hill at about four o'clock A. M., on the ninth instant, where we found General A. J. Smith, with his column, ready to dispute with the enemy for the final mastery of the field. On the ninth, at twelve o'clock M., our wagon-train filed into the road for this place. I came at the same time. General Smith had formed his line of battle, and was skirmishing when I left. The Thirteenth army corps also came here, they being worn out and cut to pieces. Now let me estimate our losses. First, in the Thirteenth army corps alone, I put it at one thousand, killed and wounded, and one thousand two hundred taken prisoners; and this out of four thousand men. We lost seventeen pieces of artillery, and about seventy-five wagons, loaded with ammunition, supplies, and forage; also sixteen ambulances, and nearly all our wounded. Poor boys! to be wounded and also prisoners — my heart bleeds for them. On the afternoon of the ninth, General Smith had one of the severest engagements of the war; but he, being something of a general, succeeded
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