lost 4 or 5 in killed and wounded, an advance was ordered, and we immediately crossed a deep ravine, driving their skirmishers before us. On reaching the top of a hill we were received with a destructive volley, killing and wounding about 12 of my men. Simultaneously we returned their fire and charged ahead; they fled in confusion. We killed and wounded many. We pursued for 200 or 300 yards and halted.
At this point General Breckinridge came up, whose noble appearance and gallant bearing inspired the men with the utmost enthusiasm. He ordered my regiment to wheel to the left and march upon the enemy. After a march of 400 or 500 yards, to where the ravine was expanded and shallow, upon turning to the right and marching to the brow of the hill we discovered the enemy in very large force, with artillery supported by infantry, his right resting on his encampment. I afterward learned that this was Prentiss' brigade. They poured upon us a most destructive fire, which we returned with coolness, promptness, and destructive effect.
Here fell Captain Davis mortally wounded and Sergeant-Major White shot dead, than whom two nobler, braver spirits never offered up life upon the altar of freedom. Here also Lieutenant-Colonel McGehee, while gallantly encouraging his regiment, without regard to his personal exposure, was severely wounded. Captain Snodgrass and Lieutenants Murray and Patterson were wounded, all acting gallantly.
At this point we lost about 100 men, and would have been annihilated had not the enemy greatly overshot us.
We were supported on the left by the First Missouri and at Louisiana Regiment. After fighting for two hours the enemy fell back in good order. The regiment being entirely out of ammunition, we fell back to the camp of the enemy, which had just been left, and found a bountiful supply. I was here informed by a portion of the Tenth Arkansas Regiment that General Bowen was wounded. This was about 4 p. m.
I immediately assumed command of the brigade, moved to the left and front, and formed the whole brigade in line of battle, and moved toward the river. When within 300 or 400 yards of the river the enemy opened on us with their gunboats and two batteries in position near the river bank, which sounded terribly and looked ugly and hurt but few. Our men began to discover this fact.
Being now nearly night, I fell back, by an order from General Bragg, to the first encampment in the tents farthest from the river, where we staid all night, feasting upon the stores of the enemy, visited occasionally by a shell from their gunboats. Major-General Hardee and General Withers came to our encampment, where they remained all night.
The brigade was aroused in the morning at daylight, and immediately formed in line of battle and marched the road toward the river.
When opposite the last tents in their encampment the skirmishers opened on us. I ordered the brigade to fall back about 50 yards from the road, under cover of the hill and a skirt of woods, where a good line of battle was formed. General Hardee now rode forward, ordered a charge, and most gallantly led, amid a shower of bullets and cannonballs. Our men cheered and rushed forward. The enemy fled in confusion. Our men pursued entirely across an old field, killing and wounding many, leaving five pieces of their artillery in our hands. Major Mangum (to whom I had, with the utmost confidence, from his previous general bearing, turned over the command of the Second Confederate Regiment) gallantly led the charge.