War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0252 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

Search Civil War Official Records

volley at short range, and then charged with the bayonet, driving the enemy with heavy loss from the field, killing more even as they were running than they did in the first volley. Here General Faulkner, of Kentucky, was killed. Passing toward our right they rallied at the edge of the timber, and were re-enforced and supported by their whole available force and once more returned to the attack, which this time was made on the First DIVISION, Brigadier-General Mower commanding. The enemy started from the edge of the timber in three lines, at the same time opening with about seven pieces of artillery. At first their lines could be distinguished separately, but as they advanced they lost all semblance of lines and the attack resembled a mob of huge magnitude. There was no skirmish line or main line or reserve, but seemed to be a foot race to see who should reach us first. They were allowed to approach, yelling and howling like Comanches, to within canister range, when the batteries of the First DIVISION opened upon them. Their charge was evidently made with the intention to capture our batteries, and was gallantly made, but without order, organization, or skill. They would come forward and fall back, rally and forward again, with the like result. Their determination may be seen from the fact that their dead were found within thirty yeards of our batteries. After about two hours' fighting in this manner, General Mower, losing all hope of their attempting any closer quarters, advanced his lines about a quarter of a mile, driving the enemy before him from the field and covering their dead and wounded - 270 of their dead were counted on the field immediately in his front. Their wounded were removed to hospital with our own and properly cared for. Not having transportation the small-arms they left upon the field were ordered to be broken. This ended the hard fighting of the day, although there was skirmishing at different points in the line until dark. My troops were so exhausted with the heat, fatigue, and short rations that it was not possible to press them farther. The loss of the enemy in this day's fighting could not fall short of 1,800 killed, wounded, and missing. Sixty prisoners were captured unwounded, and have been turned over to the provost-marshal, District of Memphis, with complete lists. During the afternoon the enemy attempted to attack our rear from the east side of Tupelo, but were promptly driven back by General Grierson's cavalry. At sundown, the enemy making no demonstrations whatever, I directed the main bodies of my command to fall back about 600 yards toward the wagons, in order to give the men rest and opportunity to cook their rations, leaving a strong skirmish line to hold their positions. At about 11 p. m. the enemy attempted a night attack, drove in the skirmishers on the left, but were promptly met and repulsed by the Second and THIRD Brigades of the THIRD DIVISION and the brigade U. S. Colored Troops under Colonel Bouton. The skirmish line was then doubled and the men allowed to rest.

On the morning of the 15th it was found that, owing to the fact that much of our bread was spoiled when drawn from the commissary depot, we had on hand but one day's rations left. Our artillery ammunition was also all issued, and we had remaining only about 100 rounds per gun. It, therefore, became a matter of necessity to return. Leaving the troops still in line, I directed General Grierson to destroy the railroad for about five miles each way, and moving the wounded of the enemy into Tupelo into comfortable quarters, and leaving two of my own surgeons, with ten days' supplies, to attend to them, I ordered the return. I am sorry to say that for lack of transportation and the character of their