War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0531 Chapter XXXIV. ADVANCE UPON LITTLE ROCK, ARK., ETC.

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August 26.- Formed in line of battle in the following order, viz: Bledsoe's battery occupying a position commanding the road and bridge which spanned the bayou, while my regiment, commanded by Captain George [P.] Gordon, took position to the left of the bridge, with his right resting near it, with [B. G.] Jeans' regiment, commanded by Captain [R. H.] Adams, resting upon his left, and [G. W.] Thompson's regiment, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel [J. C.] Hooper, resting upon his left, and Major Elliott's battalion occupying the extreme left. Thus we remained to-day, with only slight skirmishing, with our pickets well to the front.

August 27.-Early this morning a detail of 125 men, dismounted, was ordered to report to General Marmaduke as skirmishers and sharpshooters, who in person accompanied them to a position some 2 miles in front (with other details from the division), where they were deployed as skirmishers. But a short time elapsed ere the enemy's advance, though cautiously approaching, received a spirited fire from the "little teaser" (Bell's battery) and our advanced line of sharpshooters. Dismounting a body of men, with one battery and a body of cavalry on their right as flankers, they pushed forward their columns impetuously until, coming upon the main body of our skirmishers, a roar of musketry sent death crippling through their ranks, completely breaking up their lines for the time, in dismay and confusion. Taking advantage of this, our lines fell back, and again awaited their approach; but finding the enemy were attempting a flank movement, we continued to fall back until across the bayou, where the detail joined their respective commands, then in line of battle near the banks and up the bayou.

After the command was safely over, the bridge was tarred and fired. The enemy, from the crest of the hill some half mile beyond, and down the broad, sandy road, saw the dense column of smoke rising from the burning structure, and, perhaps, thinking the "frightened rebels in terror fled," charged down the road in splendid style, as if to save the bridge; but it were better had many of them never been born. The dense cloud of smoke from the crackling, burning bridge, like sorrow's veil, hung between them and Bledsoe's battery, and when the head of their long lines had nearly reached the bridge, these noble old guns sent shell and shot, winged with fury, screaming and hissing up their lines, scattering the mangled fragments of men and horses like chaff before the wind. In great confusion they wheeled to the left and sought the woods for safety; but not before my regiment, on the left of the bridge, and Colonel [William L.] Jeffers' brigade, on the right, swept many from their saddles and sent off their horses riderless. The enemy now brought two batteries into position in an open field immediately fronting this brigade, with which they attempted to silence the fiery tongues of Bledsoe's rifled guns. Their shell and shot ripped and roared through the forest, tearing the trees around the battery into fragments, and plowing up the earth in the most approved demoniac style; but all without avail. The two long, rakish-looking pirate rifles seemed to shout in proud defiance, as with great precision they sent tearing through their ranks their iron missiles, driving them from position to position, while our sharpshooters kept up the death-rattle along the entire line.

Late in the evening they concentrated a heavy body on my left, fronting Thompson's regiment and Elliott's battalion, the latter mounted, with which they attempted to gain possession of the bayou; but my men, standing firm, dealt them such stunning blows their lines reeled, staggered, and fell back cowed and disheartened. At every point the enemy had now been driven back. Gathering up their scattered masses,