prevent capsizing. They did not take time to unloose the cable, but cut all loose, and were compelled to run through the fire of sharpshooters lining the bank of more than a mile. I also directed Captain Taylor's company of Lieutenant-Colonel Logwood's battalion (Tennessee volunteers), with whom was Lieutenant-Colonel Miller, to pursue up the river bank the enemy's cavalry and 2,000 of his infantry that could not be taken on board in their distressed condition. These last were so fleet of heel, and had got so good a start, that the cavalry could only overtake the stragglers and slow of foot, many of whom were made prisoners. These fine horsemen and admirable marksmen could not return, however, from such a pursuit without delivering with their rifles volleys of salutes to their Northern brethren, with whom they so much regretted to part, and whose better acquaintance they sought to make.
This ended the day, so glorious to our arms that its refulgence will be seen by the descendants of the gallant men who formed the army long after their remains shall have moldered into dust and all else lost in oblivion except the memory of their glorious deeds. That the small Spartan army which withstood the constant fire of three times their number for nearly four hours (a large portion of them being without ammunition) did its duty gallantly is manifest from the length and character of the conflict, the great inequality of numbers and the result; that the officers were all at their responsibilities, is proven by the fact that the field officers were nearly all dismounted, some of them having had two horses killed under them.
In the case of Colonel Beltzhoover, whose guns were lost, I deem it proper to say that when his ammunition was exhausted I ordered him to take his guns from the field. He brought them (all except one) to the bank of the river under a fire of the enemy, which it was easier to face than to retire from. The gun he had no means of removing was committed to my charge. He fought his guns gallantly until all his ammunition was exhausted, and then removed them with the retiring force as far as it was possible to remove them on the bank of the river. They were then abandoned. He had 45 of his horses killed, and all wounded except 1. This is the highest vindication of his almost unequaled gallantry. I am happy to say, however, that we recaptured all of those guns but two, and captured one of the enemy's guns. We likewise captured arms, ammunition, knapsacks, ambulances, messchests, and portfolios of general officers, surgical instruments, and all the vast paraphernalia of an army, nearly sufficient for the wants of a new army.
In such a conflict of arms, illustrating so fully the superior mettle of the Southern soldier, a conflict in which all did their duty, it is impossible to discriminate. To mention individual officers or men who distinguished themselves would require a catalogue of the whole. I must content myself by referring the major-general to the reports of colonels and brigade commanders. To the noble dead, who have sacrificed their lives in vindication of the honor and rights of their country on the bloody field of Belmont we may be excused for paying a last tribute of respect. They died like heroes. Many of them falling were seen still fighting until overwhelmed by superior numbers. Their noble spirits departed to Him who presided over the bloody field and crowned our arms with a victory scarcely having a parallel in history.
I am reluctant to close this report without special notice of my personal staff, more especially since they have no one else by whom testimony to their good behavior and gallant conduct can be borne. Major Finnie, my division quartermaster, and Captain Jackson (commanding one of