Lockridge called my attention to the gun, which had been partly disabled and silenced, on our left, at the foot of the mesa, where it had been placed in an endeavor to disable the enemy's battery on the west bank of the river. I ordered Company B, Fourth Regiment, Captain Scarborough, to the rescue, and with part of that company, under their captain and Sergeant Nelson, of Company H, Fourth Regiment, Captain Alexander, and some of that company, I succeeded in drawing the gun by hand from its perilous position amid the hottest cannonading on that part of the field, losing only 1 man killed and a few wounded.
The horses of this gun had nearly all been killed by the enemy's artillery. This gun was then used by three of Lieutenant Riley's company, assisted by a few others, until I ordered the fire discontinued for want of gunners, leaving it double-shotted, to await an anticipated charge of the enemy. The enemy threatened us in such great numbers messengers to Colonel Green for re-enforcements; failing to get which, Major Lockridge deemed it prudent to fall back to a sand bank, about 100 yards in our rear, which was done by companies, after the artillery and the wounded had been removed. This gave us a better position, as the ground was somewhat broken in front.
The section of Teel's artillery was now withdrawn to the right, leaving only one howitzer, under Lieutenant Woods, who had arrived at our new position. Lieutenant-Colonel Sutton now arrived on the field, approaching in our rear, when a messenger was dispatched asking that he be ordered to remain by us.
He soon marched up to the right and then returned. Major Lockridge now told me that we were to move up and join the forces on the right for a charge; that he would cover any movement to get my horses, which were on the left and rear. Ordering the companies of the Fourth Regiment to horse, I soon marched up on the right in the rear of the rest of the command, dismounted, and ordering the companies then with me, under Captains Buckholts, Heuvel, and Alexander, of the Fourth, and Captain Ragsdale, of the Fifth, into line to advance.
Colonel Green rode up and ordered me to reserve my command for a charge as cavalry. No sooner were we mounted than an order came by Major Pyron to move down on the left and menace the enemy, now flanking us in large force. Marching down to within 600 yards I dismounted my command under cover, when I was joined by Captain Scarborough, of the Fourth, and received an order through Captain Dwyer to charge the enemy.
Aligning in single rank, I charged to within about 100 yards of the enemy's lines, composed of infantry, supported by cavalry on each flank and in the rear and by artillery on their right, when, looking back, I saw great confusion from the wounded and fallen horses, for we had aligned and advanced under the heavy fire of their infantry and artillery. I thought we could not break their lines, and ordered my command to fall back and rally at the sand bank which we had left on our rear and left. When I had arrived at the sand bank I found that most of my command had passed it for some others still on their left, and that the position was untenable, as the enemy's artillery now raked it. I ordered those there to follow those yet in advance, and, rallying, we could return.
Finding Lieutenant Woods, with one howitzer, uselessly exposed under the enemy's fire, I ordered him to a position between the enemy and the train, to protect it as well as he could, and ordering such of my command as I met in the action on the right, I galloped down,