posted, with a view of opening its guns on the enemy, but the want of ammunition prevented this.
At about this moment I was ordered to proceed in all haste to the position assigned me in the morning, near which the battle was now hotly contested. The route we were obliged to take was at times very abrupt, thickly covered with undergrowth, and filled with swampy bottoms. My men were considerably jaded and scattered in the rapid march, but just so soon as they could be formed in line and replenished with ammunition they were hurried into the fight.
Under the inspiration of the presence of our superior officer (General Beauregard and Ruggles), men already sinking with fatigue or wounds rallied again and entered the lines. It was impossible to preserve much order in this movement. Colonel Fagan (First Arkansas) led his regiment to the charge; Major Avegno the Thirteenth Regiment Louisiana Volunteers; Lieutenant-Colonel Hunter (Colonel Allen having been wounded the day previous) rallied the Fourth Regiment Louisiana Volunteers. The regiments were somewhat mixed, but altogether the brigade moved forward.
We continued the conflict until the forces generally retired, and at the last position, near the hospital, it was gratifying to see so many officers and men of the brigade formed in line ready to meet the enemy. Under orders from Major-General Bragg I moved to the rear and encamped at Monterey.
Such was the part, briefly stated, borne by the First Brigade in the engagements of the 6th and 7th instant. It is not my duty to laud either the officers or the men. A report annexed will show the loss it sustained in killed, wounded, and missing. That regiments thrown together for the first time should have moved throughout the battle with precision and celerity was scarcely to be expected; but that their disposition was good cannot be questioned. A loss of nearly one-third of the entire command in killed, wounded, and missing of itself proclaims the steadfast valor of the men. The names of the brave dead will be treasured in the hearts of their countrymen. Their gallant deeds shall immortalize the last scene of Confederate triumph and inspire their surviving comrades with the desire the emulate their examples.
Lieutenant-Colonel Thompson, Captains Gibson, McMahon, and several other officers of the First Arkansas, and Captain Hilliard, of the Fourth Regiment Louisiana Volunteers, fell, at the head of their men on the first day, as patriots fall, for country and fireside. They were noble soldiers.
On the second day the gallant Captain Tooraen was killed while urging forward his men; Major A. P. Avegno was dangerously wounded while rallying his command. Colonels Hodge (Nineteenth), H. W. Allen (Fourth Regiment Louisiana Volunteers), and Fagan (First Arkansas) were everywhere, stimulating officers and men to do their duty to their country. So likewise were Lieutenant Colonel S. E. Hunter (Fourth Regiment Louisiana Volunteers) and Captain Dubroca (Thirteenth Regiment Volunteers), while in command of their respective regiments.
Many of the companies of the different regiments were left without officers. In the capture of the battery on the second day the officers and men discovered the qualities of true and heroic soldiers. It was in the first charge on the 6th that Lieutenant Ben. King was mortally wounded. Although recently promoted to the staff of Brigadier-General Ruggles, he was acting as my aide, and up to the moment that he
31 R R-VOL X