First Regiment, fell badly wounded, and has since died. The South had no nobler champion, our cause no braver defender, and he, with major [Samuel] Bowman, of Lieutenant-Colonel Gilkey's regiment, and Lieutenant Buffington form an illustrious trio-three of the grand "immortal names that were not born to die." Peace to their ashes! When the warfare of the world is over, when time strikes records with eternity, and mortality is paling beyond the sunset shore, and the billows of dissolution are white with the wrecks of the universe, these deathless spirits will rise beautiful from their urns of death and chambers of decay, and join the noble band of Southern martyrs that have fallen "with their backs to the filed and their feet to the foe."
After the men had all breakfasted the next morning, after ammunition had been distributed, and leisurely forming of the brigade effected, we started from the scene of a hard-fought battle. The mission had been accomplished; two forts had been captured, a piece of artillery taken, several hundred prisoners paroled, considerable commissary stores destroyed, and we, after making almost a circuit of the town with floating banners and waving pennons, left it alone in its glory, because all had been done that could be done.
Friday, the 9th, moved east with my brigade on the Rolla road, and camped for the night at Sand Spring, where your escort and Lieutenant Scott had fired a Federal fort.
The 10th, we marched through Marshfield, and after burning the fort there, which was done by Colonels MacDonald and Thompson, and after forming a junction with Colonel Porter's command, we camped again for the night, but with orders issued to move at 3 o'clock upon the enemy, as our scouts had brought information of their close proximity.
After a brisk, stiff gallop for several hours this quiet Sunday morning of the 11th, Colonel Porter, leading the advance, came upon them, and formed to fight, waiting in line until my brigade came up, which it did in splendid spirits. After maneuvering for a while, at your order we marched hurriedly to the town of hartville, and found the enemy in position. My brigade was immediately dismounted and formed for the attack, and Collins stationed on a commanding hill with his three-gun battery. Lieutenant-Colonel Gordon held the left, Lieutenant-Colonel Gilkey the center, and Colonel Thompson the right, the other portions of your division being disposed by your immediate command. Almost immediately after dismounting, I threw out skirmishers, and advanced the whole line upon the town and upon the woods beyond, knowing that within the dark shades of the timber the crouching federals were waiting for the spring. After gaining the town, and just upon entering the woods, the brigade received a terrible and well-directed fire, which was so sudden that it almost became a surprise. The men stood all its fury well, and it was not until the tornado had passed did they begin to waver; some fell back, it is true; some stood firm, and others crouched behind obstructions that sheltered them; but the left of the First Regiment closed in on them, and the fight raged evenly there. Gordon fell back a little with his regiment, formed their lines anew, and marched again upon the foe. Shanks, with three companies on the right, covered Porter's artillery, and fought long and well. Thompson gets away from the noise and confusion of the start, and comes up sternly on the right. Gordon advances his regiment on the left again, and death's black banner is waving there, and his best and bravest are falling round him. Gilkey comes up to Gordon's aid, and Shanks and Thompson are doing all that men can do to stem the tide. Major George R. Kirtley, of the First, and Captain C. M. Turpin, of Company I, First also, are dead. Captains Dupuy,