line of battle or heard a hostile gun before, behaved with that gallantry and spirit which characterize the troops of that chivalrous State on every field." The loss of the regiment was one killed and ten wounded. Col. Samuel Benton, of the Thirty-seventh, wrote of the service of his men: "A new regiment recently mustered into service, employed in outpost duty the whole of the preceding night and scantily provided with canteens, they bore this with patience and fortitude, and the heat and fatigue of the day’s march, often through thick woods, over fences, ditches and other obstructions. When advancing under fire, their eagerness was such as to require restraint rather than urging forward." He particularly noted the bravery of Privates Clifton Dorney and Howard Fulmer of the skirmish line.
It was frequently suggested to Beauregard that Halleck should be attacked or his communications cut on the Tennessee river; but though Forrest and Wheeler were both with the army, what they could do seems not yet to have been discovered to the superior officers. The general issued an address May 10th, declaring that our motto should be "Forward, and always forward;" but he had already advised the corps commanders of the route they should take in retreat. General Van Dorn's division was ordered to be in line of battle on the morning of the 18th, and the enemy formed a line in opposition, but nothing followed but some skirmishing. An advance was again ordered on the 20th, Van Dorn to move to Farmington and drive the enemy hotly on roads to Monterey and Purdy; Hardee to attack Pope if he attempted to effect a junction with Buell; Polk and Breckinridge to form north of town and take the enemy in flank and rear. Rain compelled a day’s postponement.
On the 21st there was a brisk fight at the Widow Serratt’s house, the center of the Federal lines, resulting from the advance of the Confederates in that direction, which if pushed would have thrown us between Thomas’