Page:History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century Volume 2.djvu/320

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the Second Indiana Battery in the expedition under General Steele into Louisiana. It was a campaign of inefficiency, blunders, needless suffering, heavy losses of trains and useless loss of life. While retreating from Camden the rear guard of General Steele’s army was fiercely attacked by the Confederates near Moscow. The brigade of Colonel Edwards for a while stood the brunt of the battle. Afterward it was reënforced by two other brigades and the conflict lasted several hours, throughout the whole of which the Eighteenth was engaged. On the 17th of April the regiment with a battery was sent to reënforce the First Kansas, which was guarding a forage train threatened by a large force of the enemy. The Eighteenth took its position in the rear of the train, the Kansas regiment being at the front. On the morning of the 18th several thousand Confederates made a fierce attack. The Kansas regiment was overwhelmed and driven in confusion through the lines of the Eighteenth Iowa, which promptly closed up to resist the assault. Seven times the Confederates charged on the regiment with great impetuosity, often piercing its lines, but meeting the most determined resistance. Thus the struggle went on until the Iowa troops were surrounded by vastly superior numbers. Then, charging with fixed bayonets, a bloody path was cut through the enemy’s lines and the survivors returned to Camden, leaving on the field seventy-seven of their comrades killed, wounded and captured. In the retreat of General Steele’s army, which continued before a powerful and victorious Confederate force, the Eighteenth Iowa shared all the hardships and suffering which attended this disastrous campaign. For more than three weeks its march continued through swamps and miry forests short of provisions, subsisting chiefly upon raw corn. The gallant army bore its sufferings, defeats and disasters with fortitude. At the Battle of Jenkins’ Ferry the Twenty-ninth, Thirty-third, Thirty-sixth and Fortieth Iowa regiments fought with their old-time valor,