War of the Rebellion: Serial 051 Page 0786 KY.,SW. VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N. ALA.,AND N. GA. Chapter XLII.

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separated from the main alignment by a deep gorge. As soon as he took his position the enemy opened a terrific fire of small-arms and artillery upon him, killing and wounding some of his men instantly, and in attempting to retire his regiment 20 paces his men became confused, and in spite of all the efforts of their officers and myself to rally them and reform them they fell back in the greatest confusion. The right of the line from Colonel Green's position, seeing his regiment retreating in disorder, caught the panic, and Colonel Inge's, Colonel Stewart's, and Colonel George's regiments and a detachment of Colonel Chalmers' battalion, under Major Mitchell, all gave way in great confusion and sought shelter behind houses and under the declivities of the hill.

It was a moment of great anxiety to me and peril to the army under my command. If the enemy had availed himself of the advantage it must have resulted in our overthrow. In a few moments, however, in response to my earnest exhortations and those of their officers, the men took courage, rallied, and reformed and resumed nearly their former position. Now they became cool, resolute, and determined, and not only held their position with firmness, but the Twelfth Tennessee, smarting under a sense of mortification, promptly obeyed the orders of its gallant lieutenant-colonel and major (Green and Burrow), and charged upon a two-roomed log-house occupied by the enemy, drove him from it, and occupied it themselves, and held it in spite of every effort, both by charges and heavy and continuous firing of artillery and small-arms, to dislodge them. It was in a desperate charge made by the enemy to retake this house that the gallant Captain Hodgman, of the Seventh Kansas, since dead, had his left arm shattered. He was ordered to retake the house, and started in the charge with his company of 40 men. Only himself and 9 others got near the house, and only 4 of the 10 escaped us. The captain was captured, and his left arm has since been amputated.

While the Twelfth was so stubbornly holding this place, a 12-pounder howitzer shell penetrated a small out-house, about 10 feet square, in which were 9 men, and burst without injuring a man.

I only had upon the field the Reneau section and one section of the Buckner Battery, both sections nearly out of ammunition. They had no solid shot or shells. The enemy had nine pieces of artillery, and drove from the field, for want of ammunition, our guns at a very early stage of the action. He then played upon my lines his whole available force. A heavy shower of rain fell during the battle. My men did not have exceeding and average of 5 rounds of ammunition when the battle commenced. The officers were instructed to fire deliberately and slowly, cautioning their men not to waste ammunition. The battle continued fiercely until about 8 p. m., when darkness enveloped the combatants and forced upon each a truce.

I threw out pickets upon the field and retired my forces across the river, wet and hungry, through slush and water, to our camps. Thus ended the battle of Wyatt, one of the hottest cavalry fights, perhaps, that has occurred in North Mississippi. We held the field against twice our number [under] a rapid and continuous rattle of small-arms and artillery, drenched in the cold rain, conscious that our ammunition was nearly exhausted, more by the moral force of heroism than by the possession of warlike munitions, and yet our loss was only 3 killed and 5 wounded. Forty-three of the enemy