This work, however, was not done without a heavy loss of officers and men. The Thirtieth Mississippi, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel [J. I.] Scales, in the act of charging, lost 62 officers and men killed and 139 wounded; others lost in proportion. Here the brave Lieutenant Colonel James L. Autry, of the Twenty-seventh Mississippi, fell while cheering and encouraging his troops.
The supporting brigade of General Anderson, commanded by Brigadier General A. P. Stewart, moved with that of Anderson. It was ordered by the division commander (Major-General Withers, who was in command of Major-General Cheatham's two right brigades as Major-General Cheatham was of his two left) to move to the support of the left regiments of Anderson, which were pressed. These regiments, which had suffered greatly, he replaced, and, moving forward, attacked the enemy and his re-enforcements on Anderson's left. After strong resistance they were driven back, shattered and in confusion, to join the host of their fleeing comrades in their retreat through the cedars. In their flight they left two of their field guns, which fell into the hands of Stewart's brigade.
Brigadier-General Chalmers' brigade (the remaining one of those constituting my front line), whose right flank rested on the river, was the last to move. This brigade, owing to its position in the line, was called on to encounter a measure of personal suffering from exposure beyond that of any other in my corps. The part of the line it occupied lay across an open field in full view of the enemy, and in range of his field guns. It had thrown up a slight rifle-pit, behind which it was placed, and to escape observation it was necessary for it to lie down and abstain from building fires. In this position it remained awaiting the opening of the battle for more than forty-eight hours, wet with rain and chilled with cold; added to this the enemy's shot and shell were constantly passing over it. Not a murmur of discontent was heard to escape those who composed it. They exhibited the highest capacity of endurance and firmness in the most discouraging circumstances. In its front lay the right of Brigadier-General [J. M.] Palmer's division, of Major-General [T. L.] Crittenden's corps, which constituted the left wing of the enemy's line of battle.
The general movement from the left having reached it at 10 o'clock, it was ordered to the attack, and its reserve, under Brigadier-General Donelson, was directed to move forward to its support. This charge was made in fine style, and was met by the enemy, who was strongly posted in the edge of the cedar brake, with a murderous fire of artillery and infantry. In that charge their brigade commander (General Chalmers) was severely wounded by a shell, which disqualified him for further duty on the field. The regiments on the left recoiled and fell back. Those of the right were moved to the left to hold their place, and were pressed forward. The brigade of General Donelson having been ordered forward to Chalmers' support, moved with steady step upon the enemy's position and attacked it with great energy. The slaughter was terrific on both sides.
In this charge-which resulted in breaking the enemy's line at every point except the extreme left, and driving him, as every other part of his line attacked had been driven-Donelson reports the capture of 11 guns and about 1,000 prisoners.
The regiments of Chalmers' brigade, having been separated after he fell, moved forward and attached themselves to other commands, fighting with them with gallantry as opportunity offered.
There was no instance of more distinguished bravery exhibited during this battle than was shown by the command of General Donelson. In
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