amid his guns, all dirt-begrimed and powder-blackened, plying his lurid torch where balls would send or powder search, and never once during that long, hot day were they silent, except when going nearer and nearer to the foe. Colonel Jeans, Lieutenant-Colonel Gordon, and Lieutenant Gregg were also on the left, where the fire was getting hotter and hotter, and with the pilot's weary eyes steered their commands safely through the breakers, white with the fire of deadly cannon, and painted with all the dread and gloom of ghastly war. On the right, that part of my command under Major Kirtley had returned from a successful charge, under your immediate eye, and when the dark and weird shadows of night had closed over earth and sky and the dead and wounded, reports of a well-won and well-fought battle came cheerily up from all parts of the field, and I drew my command together calmly and cautiously, knowing that the day in all its bearings was ours. Night had closed the march of death, and the idle breeze now gave no murmur back to tell of what had been passing but a few brief moments before, when -
Our bugles sang truce and the night cloud had lowered,
And the sentinel stars kept their watch in the sky;
When thousands had sunk to the earth overpowered,
The weary to sleep and the wounded to die.
I dismounted my entire command, moved them as infantry to the road leading directly down to the house at the foot of the hill and behind the batteries there stationed, and ordered them to bivouac without fires, with guns in their hands, and determination in their hearts. Down upon the cold, hard earth, without a murmur, without a word spoken above a whisper, they lay, with longing eyes stretched far away northward, thinking of home and the morrow, and another glorious day. When my command was thus formed, I covered my entire front and flanks with picked and vigilant scouts and keen and daring skirmishers, cautioning them to move lightly, step noiselessly, look well and truly about them, and report constantly and frequently. This done, and well done; and no enemy, however insidious or in what guise presented, could have approached to within 300 yards at the nearest to my lines.
When your order came to withdraw my forces and light fires all along my front, I communicated it to the commanders of each command, and not until the fires were lighted, the command withdrawn, and three companies sent back as skirmishers, drew in my well-tried and trusty scouts. My command now, with saddled steeds in readiness, slept with bridle in hand, in line of battle, awaiting any orders you might communicate through me to them, ever on the alert, and ready at the slightest call.
I cannot close this report without speaking in the highest terms of Captain Westley Roberts, commanding the only rifled battery we had. He took position about 3 o'clock on the brow of the hill just above the house, and for two mortal hours bore that storm of shot and shell without a murmur, and it was [only] when further delay were suicide did he move to a less exposed position. Captain Bledsoe, with his two iron guns, the hero of many a well-fought field, stood and fought, and fought and stood, towering above the press, his clarion voice ringing ever proudly, defiantly, and his smoking guns thundering the mad requiem and belching the wild lullaby of the hated invaders. I would also call your special attention to the knightly bearing and conduct of David Shanks, major of the Second Regiment. Whether amid the crash and clatter of the headlong charge, whether leading the cold and cautious advance, or cheering on his regiment where blue coats and saber