War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0057 Chapter XXXIV. ENGAGEMENT AT CANE HILL, ARK.

Search Civil War Official Records

of the general we took position on the hill, bringing our guns in battery back of village of Newburg, there awaiting and expecting to witness brilliant charges from the foe.; but, as before, he depended on dislodging us with his long-range guns. Here the naked eye could see General Blunt's column of cavalry and infantry pouring over the hills in our front, and advancing slowly and cautiously to the attack. It was a splendid sight - flaunting banners, serried ranks, as the long lines came gleaming on;

Ere yet life-blood, warm and wet,

Had dimmed glistening bayonet!

Being satisfied that with our small force and short-range guns we could not cope with him, we withdrew to the Boston Mountain, where we placed one of Bledsoe's guns in position, and there awaited his advance. We were not allowed to tarry long, for they soon reached the foot of the mountain, commenced placing their batteries in position, and opened fire. Our gunners were eager and ready. The work again commenced, and a short range. We then exhausted all of our artillery ammunition, and from that cause had to push our guns ahead, which we did, and did safely. I had ordered Lieutenant Gregg at that point over to the right, but finding the enemy were making a move still to his right, I withdrew him, and had him to form back on the main road to await further orders. Immediately on top of the mountain I had a part of Colonel Thompson's command, under Major [M. W.] smith, formed to receive the enemy, and a little to the rear of Smith, on the right, I had one company of Elliott's scouts, commanded by Captain Martin. Smith and Martin calmly awaited the coming of the enemy, and as they came charging up the hill in solid columns, they poured a deadly fire on them, which sent them staggering down the mountain. By this time I had other detachments formed but a short distance in the rear (Smith and Martin falling back and loading), who fired on them with much effect, being in easy gun-boat. Martin, having his men ready and formed, delivered once more a terrible fire, but in so doing this brigade suffered a terrible loss in the death of the gallant and heroic Martin. He fell, as he lived, fighting for his home and fireside, "with his back to the field and his feet to the foe."

Ah! soldier, to your honored rest,

Your truth and valor bearing;

The bravest are the tenderest,

The loving are the daring!

The enemy pushing us about this time with all the force he could urge on, and the ground being of such a nature as not to allow us to form by regiments or squadrons, I was compelled to detach companies and form them on both sides of the road, receive and fire on the enemy, load, form, and reform, using in that manner every company in the regiments of this brigade. We fought them in this manner about three hours, never once allowing them to reach our rear in sufficient numbers to capture any of the men.

I will likewise mention that [Colonel Emmett] MacDonald's men were at the same time equally as active in their efforts to retard the movements of the enemy. I noticed also with much pleasure the gallant conduct of Captain Shoup, who commanded this little howitzer well and delivered his fire with great coolness, effect, and precision. With this battery was a brave and fighting driver, who was conspicuous for his daring and the readiness with which he obeyed all orders.

Captain Webb and Snook, of Colonel Jeans' regiment, were both wounded while gallantly leading their men on the enemy.