War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0795 Chapter XXIX. ARKANSAS POST

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had they known our exact position, to have taken such positions in the river as to have completely enfiladed our line. Toward the close of the action, after the gunboats had passed the fort, their shot took us in reverse, and I noticed some of their shell pass over our line and fall among their own men in our front. My loss was 3 killed and 17 wounded; for the names, companies, and regiments I refer you to the regimental reports herewith inclosed. This loss was in my brigade proper. Several men were wounded in that portion of Hart's battery serving with me, and there were also a small number of casualties in the six companies of the Nineteenth Arkansas and in the companies of Garland's brigade which were sent to re-enforce me; also in the cavalry companies of Captain Alf. Johnson's command, but these are all taken up in the reports of the brigades to which they properly belong.

The loss of the enemy of course it is impossible to give correctly, as I had no opportunity after the battle to examine the ground, but it certainly was very heavy. I think it would be a moderate estimate to place their killed and wounded in my immediate front at from 1,000 to 1,200; I think this an under rather than an over estimate. They made seven or eight distinct charges against my line and were driven back with heavy loss each time. I allowed them to get up to within 80 to 125 yards before opening on them with small-arms, and as both officers and men were cool and self-possessed the fire was very effective. In these attacks the enemy did not charge along my whole brigade front at any one time, but in each case pushed forward a column of several regiments. The principal efforts were directed against my left. On the day after the battle some of the Federal surgeons told my acting brigade surgeon, who was with them upon their hospital boats, that up to that time 1,500 of their wounded had been brought in to them; from this and other items which the Federals admitted I believe that their entire loss in killed and wounded was not less than 2,000.

As to the force of the emmy I can only give an approximate estimate. From what Federal officers told me and from my own observation after the battle, I am satisfied that they had not less than 50,000 to 60,000 men, with nine or ten gunboats and rams carrying probably about 100 guns. They had nearly 80 transports, most of them the large Mississippi River steamers.

Where all performed their duty faithfully it is very difficult to mention individuals without seeming to make an invidious distinction. Suffice it to say that all the members of my brigade-officers and men-did their full duty with zeal and alacrity. They deserve great praise for the patience with which they worked for two entire nights upon our fortifications, without a single regular meal from the time that they were first called out on the 9th until the 12th, and also for their cool and steady bearing under fire, which enabled them to deliver a deliberate and most deadly fire throughout the action. With the exception of a few individuals the brigade had never been under fire before, and they deserve much credit for the calmness with which they took the terrific shelling to which they were subjected on both days. In the repeated charges made by the enemy his ranks seemed actually to wither under our fire. I feel proud to command such men.

Lieutenant-Colonel Hutchinson with six companies of his regiment, Nineteenth Arkansas Infantry [Dawson's], had to take up a new position on my extreme left after the action commenced, and in order to do so had to pass through a hot fire over open ground. They took the position assigned them promptly and maintained it handsomely during the action, though without any shelter other than the timber afforded.