self unsupported by Ball, I did not leave the houses to move immediately against the court-house. Having the matter adjacent about the orders to Ball's brigade, that gallant officer moved his brigade up immediately in the rear of my position and we prepared for a charge upon the enemy. At the sound of the bugle my brigade moved forward gallantly, and from the windows looking on the square and the trees around it did all they could to drive the enemy from his barricades and walls. Again the Alabama troops failed to give me the support of their entire strengthen, though Colonel Ball with the greatest gallantry himself moved to the very front. This effort to dislodge the enemy was ineffectual, and finding I was losing too heavily at the exposed windows on the square, I ordered the force to retire again to the protection of the adjacent houses.
I must here mention that while the lines was advancing Lieutenant-Colonel Logwood, with two companies of Stewart's regiment, moved to the right of his position and captured one of the enemy's camps and burned the tents.
My lines extended now almost around the square, Stewart in the center, Bennett on the right, and White of the left. I determined to make another effort on the court-house, engage their forces from the windows, drive them from the windows of the court-house and jail, and keep them away until a detail could be sent with ax and torch to fire the court-house. While organizing my forces for this purpose I was ordered by the brigadier-general commanding to withdraw the forces, he being informed that re-enforcements were advancing to aid the enemy. White's horses being close at hand, the Fourteenth was soon mounted. The other regiments received orders to withdraw. While moving back on the route we came I ordered the Fourteenth Regiment to cover the left flank and to protect the retreat of the dismounted men. Before we had left the town the enemy's re-enforcing column attacked Colonel White and the dismounted men. It was soon evident they were flanking them from the left. The brigadier-general commanding had previously ordered the horses to be moved, and the troops, seeing their horses gone, became greatly confused. The Alabama brigade commenced a race for their horses. The Yankees charged, but White, with the Fourteenth Regiment, engaged them vigorously, and the gallant Major Bennett, commanding the Twelfth Regiment, formed his dismounted men and ordered them to fire. This they did, supporting White successfully.
Here fell the lamented Robert B. Bone, adjutant of the Twelfth Regiment, a brave and highly meritorious officer, whose loss to his regiment is almost irreparable.
I ordered my horses to be brought up, and Sterwat's regiment was soon mounted and formed. I ordered Colonel White to cover the position, with Stewart for a support, until the dismounted men could reach their horses. Bennett was soon mounted, and I sent him, with Company A (captain Cox), Fourteenth Regiment, which had been held in reserve to protect the horses, to defend the road by which my brigade had advanced to town, and upon which I intended to retreat with the troops. I ordered the Alabama brigade to move upon that road as fast as they were mounted, having previously ordered Stewart to take the front. White and Bennett fought the enemy, who continued to advance until the troops were fairly in motion.
These two officers and their regiments acted with great coolness and bravery.