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‘ [272] impregnable against any dismounted cavalry, but believed we might use our artillery so as to induce a surrender. Captain Bennett was sent to the right to a point where he could enfilade the earthworks, and I sent Cluke with his regiment and a part of Owen's Regiment to cross the river at a ford below the bridge, and make a demonstration in the rear. Bennett's enfilading fire soon drove the enemy from the earthworks in front of the abbattis, and I was moving my artillery with the intention of opening fire upon the fortifications, when General Morgan joined me in the Federal earthworks, and gave orders not to use the artillery, and sent in a summons to surrender. The reply soon came back from Colonel Moore: “The 4th of July is a bad day for a Federal officer to surrender.” Morgan immediately ordered me to take the remnant of my brigade left on that side of the river, about 400 strong, and storm the stronghold. I begged the General not to attempt it, as I had but seven rounds of ammunition, and we could easily flank the place, but he insisted, and I led the charge. By the time we reached the abattis our ammunition was exhausted, and about fifty of my men were killed and wounded, including the brave Colonel Chenault. Duke's charge on my right met a similar fate, he losing the gallant Brent, and other valuable officers and men.’

General Duke says (History of Morgan's Calvary):—‘Colonel Chenault was killed in the midst of the abattis—his brains blown out as he was firing his pistol into the earthwork and calling on his men to follow. He was an officer who had no superior in bravery and devotion to the cause for which he fought.’

It is said that Private E. Waller Combs, of Company A, killed the soldier who killed Colonel Chenault. Combs shot him just as he was in the act of shooting the colonel, and both men fell dead at practically the same instant. Major McCreary assumed command of the regiment after Colonel Chenault was killed.

Colonel Moore, the gallant defender of the stockade, states in his official report of the affair that the battle raged for three and a half hours, and that the Confederate loss was fifty killed and 200 wounded, among the killed being one colonel, two majors, five captains and six lieutenants. He probably did not overstate the loss, especially of the killed. He concludes his report as follows: ‘The conflict was fierce and bloody. At times ’

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D. W. Chenault (4)
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