War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0181 Chapter XVIII. NEW MADRID, MO., AND ISLAND Numbers 10, ETC.

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before the requisite number had laid aside their guns and cartridge-boxes and were ready, with neither qualifications for the service they now proposed rendering save their strong arms and resolute hearts, to enter the battery. It was a spectacle worthy of the highest admiration to see men, in the face of such terribly adverse circumstances, with almost certain destruction overshadowing their pathway, resolutely enter where the missiles of death fell as thickly as hail, with no protection against them, to perform a service, too, with which they were totally unacquainted. Such determination pointed unmistakably to the issue of this day's contest.

In this manner the firing was constantly kept up for several hours, until a relief of experienced artillerists, under Lieutenant Finnie, reached us from below.

The engagement continued to rage with unabating fury until after night, when the enemy's fleet drew off, our battery giving the last shot. The victory being ours, wet and worn down be exhaustion we began anxiously to look for relief, which did not reach us until 12 o'clock, when Colonel [John M.] Clark came with his regiment to relieve us.

At this late hour, shivering with cold and almost famished with hunger, we took up our line of march for camp, where we arrived in a short time, after traversing our watery path, with fully as much eagerness as we had the morning before, well satisfied with the issue of the day's work for our side.

It affords me great pleasure to offer my hearty acknowledgments to the officers and men of my command for distinguished bravery and determination which characterized their conduct under these most trying circumstances, and to express the confident hope that they may ever act with the same spirit when similarly situated.

Respectfully submitted.


Colonel, Commanding Fifty-fifth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers.


Assistant Adjutant-General.