Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/518

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
37
CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

fire, taking the pivotal position for the ensuing battle. Other regiments were then brought up, and McCausland formed on the right of the Twenty-sixth. "The Twentieth," says Colonel Baldwin in his report, "was sent into action by direct order of General Pillow, and caused to take a position in the field on the left, where they were openly exposed to a destructive fire which they were not able to return with effect. The regiment was soon recalled, but not before its left wing had suffered heavy loss. Our line advanced some fifty yards up the slope and remained stationary for more than an hour, the position of the enemy being so well chosen and covered that it seemed impossible to gain an inch of ground. At this juncture the Twentieth Mississippi again came up across the field, and took position, slightly covered by an irregularity of the ground."

Colonel Baldwin then threw one regiment against the right flank of the enemy, and "this movement being supported by the whole line, we succeeded in executing a change of front to the right, turning the right of the enemy and driving him at once from his position. Up to this time our position was one of extreme peril, and nothing but the native gallantry of troops brought forth for the first time under heavy fire and the extraordinary exertions of many of the field and company officers saved us from being thrown back in confusion into our trenches. From this time the enemy were slowly driven from each position which the ground favorable for defense enabled them to take. Two sections of artillery were taken, the first by the Twenty-sixth Tennessee and the second by the Twenty-sixth Mississippi.

"Advancing in a direction nearly parallel to our line of defense, when nearly opposite the center, our course was for some time impeded by the desperate stand made by the enemy, who was probably being reinforced and occupied ground most favorable for sheltering his troops. Our ammunition had been so rapidly expended as to en-