Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 12.djvu/180

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170 Southern Historical Society Papers.

the best achievement of the Arkansas. That we were under the bat- teries of Vicksburg did not amount to anything. I do not believe that either vessel was injured by an army gun that day. We were left to our fate, and if we had been lost it would have been no unusual or une.xpected thing. The Essex used, in one of her guns that day, projectiles that were probably never used before, to- wit : Marbles that boys used for playing. We picked up a hundred un- broken ones on our forecastle. There were "white-allies," "chinas," and some glass marbles. I wish the naval reader to understand that the Essex did not return the fire as she lay alongside us, did not at- tempt to board, although he had a picked crew for that purpose, and fired but three guns in the fight, and thereafter kept her ports closed. Brown, no longer able to play the lion, assumed the role of the fox with consummate skill.

Sketch of the Third Maryland Artillery.

By Captain William L. Ritter.

RETREAT FROM NASHVILLE.

Now commenced one of the most disastrous retreats of the war. Seventy-two pieces of artillery were lost at Nashville, and hundreds of wagons were abandoned for want of mules to pull them. The roads were in wretched condition in consequence of the inclemency of the weather. The heavy rains rendered the streams almost im- passible. Short rations, provender and clothing added much to the suffering of both man and beast. The pelting of the rain, sleet and snow upon the backs of half naked, half starved men as they marched day and night before a relentless foe is only a part of the true story. Many mules were taken from the ordnance wagons to be used in the pontoon train.

The battalion marched to Franklin the night of the i6th of Decem- ber, 1864, and on the morning of the i8th, reached Columbia, where the battalion encamped for the night. The next day, the 19th, the retreat was resumed, marching all day and the greater part of the night through rain and snow. This was the most inclement day of the retreat and the most intense suffering was experienced by the entire army. Shoeless men marched all the way from Nashville to Mississippi, without any protection whatever to their feet, and they only can describe the suffering they endured.