ineffective by being in our rear on level ground, killing and wounding several of our men while firing over them. After crossing the fence with my regiment and reaching the position occupied by the enemy's abandoned battery, it was observed that line of the enemy in front of the Fifth and Second Arkansas Regiments had not given way, but still occupied their position behind the fence. Our men were ordered to face obliquely to the rear and deliver an enfilading fire that soon routed them, when the pursuit was maintained by the whole brigade across the wide scope of woods in front to the vicinity of a cotton-field and Yankee hospital, where the enemy again made an attempt at a stand, but were rapidly driven back, the right of our regiment passing near the hospital, across the turnpike and into the woods beyond, where we were halted to rest the men and get a fresh supply of ammunition, the firing still being kept up by brigades on our right. We were soon ordered forward, and encountered the enemy on the borders of an old field, across which we drove them until, General Johnson's brigade coming up to relieve us, we were ordered to halt and reform our disordered lines. As soon as our line formed, we moved forward as a reserve to General Johnson, and found the enemy in the edge of a cedar thicket, warmly contesting the ground with him. Our men, gaining a ridge about 100 yards in rear of General Johnson and in sight of the enemy, raised a shout and started forward at double-quick, when the Yankees faced to the right-about and disappeared in the thicket, General Johnson's brigade pursuing them to the edge of this thicket, where they [Johnson's brigade] had a strong position, protected by rocks and the nature of the ground, while our line had been halted in the rear in an exposed position behind the fence on a ridge. Just at this time, though the firing did not seem heavy in our front, and one of the enemy's batteries had been abandoned and was in our possession, General Johnson's brigade gave way, the movement commencing on their right, and, I think, occasioned by the retreat of Ector's brigade, still farther to the right. After General Johnson's brigade had passed our line, and it was found that we were entirely unsupported on either flank, Colonel Govan gave the order to fall back [Colonel Smith was wounded at this point and the command devolved upon Lieutenant-Colonel Cameron] to a stronger position across the open fields and into the woods in rear, where we reformed our line and awaited the advance of the enemy that was never made, and closed the fighting on our part for the day.
As our subsequent movements on the succeeding days were only intended to develop the enemy, and, if possible, draw him from his strongly fortified position without resulting in any actual engagement, it is needless for me to make any report, though I may state that on the third day we lost two of our men by fire from batteries in the same thicket from which our troops had been repulsed, and that Lieutenant-Colonel Cameron was dangerously wounded by a ball shot from a Yankee hospital, from which their flag was then flying.
Throughout the entire action our men exhibited the most enthusiastic courage, never flinching from any charge, no matter how desperate, well sustaining that reputation they had won at such cost on other fields. Of the action of the Sixth Arkansas Regiment I need only refer to their long list* of killed and wounded to show how gallantly they had acted throughout that day. The Seventh Arkansas Regiment was not behind in gallant deeds, if I except those men reported by their captains as having left the field; those remaining were as true as steel.
*Embodied in No. 191, p.680.