made, in one of which, to the left of Shiloh
, General Beauregard
himself led in person, carrying the battle flag of a Louisiana regiment; and Trabue
's Brigade, having carried an eminence near Owl Creek
, repulsing every effort to dislodge him, held the position until the retreat was ordered.
Here, as on the right, the Confederate
troops were animated by the greatest intrepidity on the part of their superior officers.
It was now after I o'clock.
The battle, kindled soon after daylight, had raged furiously from right to left for more than five hours. And notwithstanding the odds of fresh troops brought up against them, despite their long-continued engagament, the Confederates
had not receded from the ground upon which they had been concentrated as soon as it was apparent that the battle was on their hands.
But they were being fearfully depleted meanwhile.
Beginning the combat with not more than 20,000 men exclusive of cavalry, less than 15,000 were now in the Confederate
, seeing the unprofitable nature of the struggle, determined not to prolong it.
Directing his adjutant-general to select a position and post such troops as were available to cover the retreat, he dispatched other staff officers to the corps commanders, with the order to retire simultaneously from their several positions, ready, however, to turn and fight should it become necessary.
And accordingly, about 2 o'clock the retrograde movement of the Confederates
was inaugurated and carried out with a steadiness never exceeded by veterans of a hundred fields.
During the various stages of the conflict General Beauregard
tried to use his cavalry, but so dense and broad spread were the woods that they proved altogether fruitless of results.
, with ever-useful instincts, however, was able to render effective service during the morning in repressing straggling, until about 11 o'clock he was ordered by General Breckinridge
, in whose vicinity he happened to be, to place his regiment on the right flank, where he soon became engaged in a brisk skirmish.
Three times the enemy endeavored to break that part of the Confederate
line, but was repulsed, as we have related, until near 1 o'clock, when on an order from General Beauregard
carried his regiment to the center, where it was dismounted