War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0079 Chapter XXVII. VICKSBURG, MISS., AND BATON ROUGE, LA.

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win, of the Thirty-fifth Alabama, and Lieutenant Terry, of the Eighth Kentucky, on duty with sharpshooters. At this critical moment Major Brown, chief commissary, and Captain Richards, one of my aides, were conspicuous in urging on the troops. In this assault we suffered considerably from the fire of the fleet, until the opposing line approached each other so closely that a regard for their own friends obliged them to suspend. The contest at and around this last encampment was bloody, but at the end of it the enemy were completely routed, some of our men pursuing and firing at them for some distance down the street, running in front of the arsenal and barracks. They did not reappear during the day.

It was now 10 o'clock. We had listened in vain for the guns of the Arkansas. I saw around me not more than 1,000 exhausted men, who had been unable to procure water since we left the Comite River. The enemy had several batteries commanding the approaches to the arsenal and barracks and the gunboats had already reopened upon us with a direct fire. Under these circumstances, although the troops showed the utmost indifference to danger and death, and were even reluctant to retire, I did not deem it prudent to pursue the victory further. Having scarcely any transportation, I ordered all the camps and stores of the enemy to be destroyed, and directing Captain Buckner to place one section of Semmes' battery, supported by the Seventh Kentucky, in a certain position on the field, withdrew the rest of the troops about 1 mile, to Ward's Creek, with the hope of obtaining water. But finding none there fit for man or beast, I moved the command back to the field of battle, and procured a very imperfect supply from some cisterns in the suburbs of the town. This position we occupied for the rest of the day.

The citizens of the surrounding and thinly settled country exhibited the warmest patriotism, and with their assistance conveyances enough were procured to carry off all our wounded who could bear removal. A few, armed with shot-guns and other weapons, had been able to reach the field in time to join in the attack. Having neither picks nor shovels, we were unable to dig graves for the burial of the dead.

I still hoped for the co-operation of the Arkansas, and in that event intended to renew the attack. But late in the afternoon I learned by express that before daylight, and within 4 miles of Baton Rouge, her machinery had become disabled, and she lay helpless on the right bank of the river. Upon receiving this intelligence, I returned with my command to the Comite River, leaving a force of observation near the suburbs of the town. The Hudson Battery, Lieutenant Sweaney, and Cobb's one piece, in charge of Sergt. Frank Peak, played their parts well.

I am unable to give the exact force of the enemy, but by comparing all my information with the number and size of their camps and the extent and weight of their fire I do not think they brought into action less than 4,500 men. We had eleven pieces of field artillery; they brought to bear on us not less than eighteen pieces, exclusive of the guns of the fleet. In one respect the contrast between the opposing forces was very striking. The enemy were well clothed, and their encampments showed the presence of every comfort and even luxury. Our men had little transportation, indifferent food, and no shelter. Half of them had no coats, and hundreds were without either shoes or socks; yet no troops ever behaved with greater gallantry and even reckless audacity. What can make this difference unless it be the sublime courage inspired by a just cause?