The Battle of Belmont. 75
Freeman's regiment, the Twenty- second Tennessee, was posted in front of a rise in the ground, behind which he ultimately placed them. The enemy were concealed, in approaching, by the forest, while his own men were in full view in the open plain. His regiment was kneeling, he says, when General Pillow rode up and ordered him to charge. He immediately ordered his regiment to charge bayonet, which they did. He did not reach the enemy's position, but charged about fifty yards into the timber over a fence. Before he reached the timber he had to pass over about seventy-five yards, crossing the fence mentioned. In crossing it his line was broken and the men went into the woods in great disorder, but rushing on gallantly.
Colonel Pickett's regiment, after the engagement had opened and he had fired some seven or eight rounds, was ordered to cease firing as Colonel Pickttt believed it to be ineffectual. After a few minutes General Pillow ordered a charge. The charge was made in double- quick time, for some two hundred yards, through open ground to the edge of the woods, the latter portion of the distance under fire. Upon reaching the woods, a tremendous fire of musketry suddenly opened upon his line from the concealed enemy at very short distance. After a contest of about three-quarters of an hour, Colonel Pickett ordered his men to retire. He formed again behind the first elevation in his rear, and while awaiting orders in this new position fired three or four rounds. At this time his supply of ammunition failed, and he moved his men further up the river bank.
Colonel John V. Wright occupied the extreme left, his right resting upon Beltzhoover's battery. Under order from General Pillow he had detached one company (A) from his regiment and posted it still further to the left, on a road leading down to the river. This company was under command of Lieutenant Matt Rhea. Colonel Wright reports that it was about ten o'clock in the morning when he took his position in the field. The enemy attacked him from the woods about eighty yards distant in his front, and the enemy himself could not be seen so dense was the growth of timber. " In a very short time after the attack commenced on me," says Colonel Wright, " I heard a heavy fire of musketry on my left, and knew Lieutenant Rhea with his command was engaging the enemy. I immediately communicated this intelligence to General Pillow, meantime holding my position, my men receiving and returning an incessant fire. This was kept up for an hour and a half, when I ordered Lieutenant- Colonel Vaughan to report to General Pillow that my ammunition was nearly exhausted and that my men were suffering greatly from