early threw forward to the support of Colonel Bagby Captain Beraud and his company, and directed the remainder to the right oft he main line, where the enemy were making a serious demonstration with three regiments, apparently simultaneous with the movement forward on the west bank. While this conflict was progressing it became further necessary to support Colonel Bagby with the entire left wing of the Eighteenth Regiment, under the different line officers, and finally a detachment from Waller's battalion sent to my assistance from the west bank, under the lead of the tried and gallant Major Boone, composed of about 60 men, were advanced into the hottest of the engagement. On the balance of the line an incessant and continuous fire was maintained and the enemy pressed forward with two regiments on the center and three on the right till dark, when they were checked at about 800 yards from the parapet. The enemy threatening to storm our works, our men fixed bayonets and resolutely prepared to meet and dispute with them to the death the possession of the entrancements. They, however, although they could easily have borne us down by superiority of numbers, dared not expose themselves to a hand-to-hand conflict.
At midnight orders were received to evacuate my position and I confided to my adjutant the direction of the retrograde movement, which was executed with all the dispatch nd promptness possible, especially when it is considered that Captain Faries had lost a large number of his horses. Everything was saved except a caisson, which had to be abandoned in a disabled condition form the lack of horses.
It would be invidious, and in fact almost impossible to chronicle individual acts of valor and heroism. Where all behaved so well and merit so much from the country I feel incapable of doing full justice ot every one. When it is remembered that the whole army was aware that we had been flanked by a force of from 8,000 to 10,000, which was marching down on our rear and pressing heavily upon a small column which was facing them and could at any time have been completely crushed, the coolness, resolution, and determination of our troops, evinced, too, when they were exhausted and almost prostrated by excessive fatigue and want of rest, are remarkable, and deserve the highest praise which can be conferred upon meritorious soldiers.
I would particularly mention Col. A. P. Bagby, his regiment, and the re-enforcements sent him during the action. Troops never acted with more gallantry,n or was ever such an overwhelming force, at least 3,000 men, with all the appliances of war to support them, longer held in check by a handful of heroes. Here it was that Colonel Bagby was slightly wounded, and I sincerely hope he will soon be in a condition to report for duty.
The Pelican Battery covered itself with glory. Too much praise cannot be awarded to Captain Faries, Lieuts. Felix Winchester, Richard Winchester, Garrett, and Gaudet. Ever at their post, they did their duty nobly, arresting the advance of the enemy at every strop and giving important assistance to the forces on the west bank by effectually opening on the advancing columns of the enemy. This battery may be equaled but cannot be surpassed by any in the Confederate service. The remainder of the troops behaved with equal valor and deserve the highest commendation.
I reached Franklin, 10 miles distant, at 8 a. m., Tuesday, 14th, and reported to Major-General Taylor, who placed me in command of the troops holding the enemy in our rear in check. It is due to the truth of history that I should here record the fact that the salvation of our retiring army was entirely to the bold and determined attack of