Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/567

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

began. Hamilton soon called up Sullivan's brigade, and Martin's Mississippi brigade was brought into the fight from the other side of Iuka. The Federal advance was checked, and even at times driven back, with fierce and intrepid fighting on both sides. Price and Little, riding into the thickest of the fray, determined to order up the other two brigades of Little's division, as it was apparent that the Federal force was much the larger. In fact, in addition to Hamilton's division, Stanley's was close at hand, and Stanley afterward reported that one of his regiments was heavily engaged, and all more or less so.

But at this moment the gallant Little fell, instantly killed by a minie ball which pierced his forehead. General Hébert then assumed the division command and kept up the fight with vigor. An Ohio battery posted near the cross-roads was taken and retaken, many soldiers falling in the struggle for its possession. Though large numbers were not actively engaged, the fight was an unusually bloody one. As night came on the struggle ceased. Hébert's other two brigades came up and relieved their worn-out comrades, and Confederates as well as Federals held their lines during the night. Before morning Price, though anxious to renew the battle, was fortunately persuaded by his lieutenants to escape from his dangerous position. Hébert withdrew unmolested from the front of Rosecrans, and Maury’s division, facing Ord before Burnsville, also quietly fell back, and the army returned by the Fulton road, the cavalry holding the enemy in check, and on the 22d went into camp at Baldwin. According to Hébert's report, his brigade and Martin's went into battle with 3,179 men. This was the entire Confederate force engaged. On the other hand Rosecrans reported that he had 9,000 on the road, but less than half that many were in the fight. The Federal total loss was reported at 790; the Confederate at 86 killed and 438 wounded.

In this battle the Fortieth Mississippi, Col. W. B. Col-