War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0673 Chapter XXXVI. BATTLE OF PORT GIBSON, MISS.

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battery replied with signal success, though the enemy's shells and balls fell thick around them, wounding many; yet they stood by their guns and kept up a regular fire. After three hours' hard fighting, the enemy ceased firing and withdrew a short distance, we still holding our position.

At daylight the enemy could be seen reconnoitering in force in every direction, but out of gun-shot range. Between 6 and 7 o'clock the enemy's skirmishers again moved forward and engaged mine. This soon brought on a general engagement by both artillery and infantry. The enemy were pressing heavily upon me, and the ammunition of the Hudson Battery having been expended, I sent to General treaty for re-enforcements. He sent me the Twenty-THIRD Alabama Infantry and a section of Anderson's battery (12-pounders). This was about 8. 30 o'clock in the morning. The re-enforcements came up under a heavy fire, and took position and fought bravely. We held this position against a force of at least eight to our one, and double our number of pieces of artillery. The Hudson Battery having procured some ammunition, Lieutenant [John R.] Sweaney with two pieces returned to the field and took his old position. We were compelled to quit this position about 11 o'clock, the enemy having flanked us with a heavy force on the left. We fell back in order, with but little loss, except the section of Anderson's battery. These men had stood manfully to their guns until at least half their number were either killed or wounded, and were compelled to leave their guns for want of teams to bring them off, all their horses except two being killed. As I fell back, I met General Baldwin's brigade forming on a hill some 1 1/2 miles back. I marched to the rear of General Baldwin's brigade, and there received orders to take my command and Colonel [Eugene] Erwin's regiment (Sixth Missouri Infantry) to the right wing and re-enforce General Tracy's brigade, which I did as speedily as the wearied condition of my men would admit. On arriving, I found Colonel [I. W.] Garrott, in command of Tracy's brigade, fighting against greatly superior numbers, and entirely cut off from the balance of the command, and liable to be outflanked at any moment. I threw Colonel Erwin's regiment on the left of Tracy's brigade, relieving one of Colonel Garrott's regiments, which was thrown to the support of his right, and formed my brigade on the left of Colonel Erwin. I then ordered them to press the enemy, knowing that unless we could drive him back we must fall back to prevent being cut off, as we were at least 1 1/2 miles in advance of the other portion of the army. Colonel Erwin succeeded in driving the enemy in front of

him, yet the other portion of the line, although the troops fought hard, could not advance the lines.

I received an order from General Bowen to hold my position until near sunset, and by that time, if I could not advance, to retire. Accordingly, after we had fought for some hours in this position, and seeing my right was about being outflanked, and were falling back, I ordered them to face by the field, there being a ravine through which we could escape the fire of the enemy. This order, by mistake, was communicated to the right before the left first. I at the-same time ordered a section of [J. W.] Anderson's battery to open warmly upon the enemy, in order to divert his attention from our movements. This order was obeyed to the letter, and, had it not been for the miscarrying of the order to the infantry, all would have gotten off the field before the enemy could have discovered the move. Colonel Erwin was, however, warmly engaged at the time, and driving the enemy before him, and, not receiving the order in time, came near being surrounded by the enemy.

43 R R-VOL XXIV, PT. I