the river. History records few instances of more reckless inhumanity than this.
Soon after daylight on Monday morning I received notice that the enemy were pushing forward and driving in our cavalry pickets. It now became plain Buell had arrived and we had a fresh army to fight. In a few moments I received orders from General Hardee to advance on the Bark road. I reformed my brigade and fired off my wet guns.
My brigade was sadly reduced. From near 2,700 I now numbered about 800. Two regiments, the Second Tennessee and Sixth Mississippi, were absent altogether. Hundreds of my best men were dead or in the hospitals, and, I blush to add, hundreds of others had run off early in the fight of the day before-some through cowardice and some loaded with plunder from the Yankee encampments.
With the gallant few still with me I advanced about a mile to a place where I found a line of battle. It was halted, and, I was informed, was a part of General Breckinridge's command. I formed on the left of this line, halted, and ordered my men to lie down. I could plainly see the enemy's line in my front and that it stretched beyond my left as far as the eye could see.
At this time a battery of six guns came up in my rear and offered its assistance. I think it was the Washington Battery.
About half a mile to my left, in a neck of woods, I could see troops moving from the direction of the enemy and passing far in rear of my line. Soon a heavy fight commenced in this direction. I endeavored to discover the character of these troops, but could not. Finally Colonel Kelly, of your division, rode up, and informed me they were enemies. The battery immediately opened on their flanks and soon cleared them out of the woods.
An officer now bore me an order from General Breckinridge to move forward with his line and attack the force in our front. I sent back word that I was be destroyed if I advanced. I received for answer that the order was from General Bragg, that it was positive, and I must immediately advance. I did so, but had not gotten far before a battery on the left of General Breckinridge's line commenced firing across my front, obliging me to halt.
The enemy soon replied with rifled guns. This duel was carried on diagonally across the line of my proposed advance. I moved my line forward into a valley that separated me from the enemy, so as to permit the Washington Battery to take part in the fight by firing over my line. The enemy brought up another battery, and for half an hour an artillery fight was carried on over my line the fiercest I saw during the day. The whole line of infantry on my right had halted and were merely spectators of the fight.
Here I had some men killed by limbs cut from the trees by our own artillery. It soon became apparent that our artillery was overmatched. It ceased firing, and the whole line of infantry charged the enemy. There was a very thick undergrowth here of young trees, which prevented my men from seeing any distance, yet offered them no protection from the storm of bullets and grape shot that swept through it. I could not see what was going on to my right or left, but my men were dropping all around before the fire of an unseen foe.
Here Captain Cowley, acting major of the Fifteenth Arkansas, a true and tried officer, was shot in the head, and Lieutenant-Colonel Neill, of the Twenty-third Tennessee, was shot through the body.
My brigade was repulsed and almost completely routed in this un