Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 30.djvu/254

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246 Southern Historical Society Papers.

Southern battleflag toward the crest, from which Stone and Bush belched forth a stream of shot and shell. Forward the Confederates moved and the Federal line broke. They pursued the fleeing Fed- erals until they had captured or killed nearly all in the cornfield and silenced the battery on the crest of the hill. After having approached within a few paces of the battery which had been silenced, they met an enfilading fire from the left, possibly Starkweather's Brigade; the command was ordered to lie down. They were then ordered to load and pour a volley into the soldiers enfilading them, which being done, the Federals retired and the battle was over on the Federal left.

The men of Stewart and Maney then moved to the right, to the water gap, and there reformed. No further fighting occurred in that part of the field and this small force marched back and took its position in the division line. About the same time, further to the Federal right, Liddell, with his brigade, having been ordered "to move upon the enemy where the firing was the hottest," met General Cheatham, who urged him to push on and relieve his troops from the heavy pressure upon them. After overlapping Cheatham's line he commenced firing. He says:

" It being twilight, however, with a bright full moon shining and dress not clearly distinguishable, my men mistook the enemy for friends; at the same time the cry came from the enemies' line 'you are killing your friends,' which serving to strengthen the impression, I gave the signal to cease firing, intending to push up the line, but at this moment Major-General Polk, who had joined me a few mo- ments before, ordered the ranks to be opened for him to pass, and riding hastily up to the line in front of us, distant not more than twenty-five paces, quickly returned, exclaiming: 'They are enemies, fire upon them!'

11 Heavy volleys were at once rapidly poured into this mass of men, and after the lapse of some ten minutes I again ordered the firing to cease, and when the smoke had cleared away nothing was visible of the enemy but their wounded, dying and dead."

With these two engagements the contest ceased. The sun having gone down, the moon advances in the east above the horizon. Nothing breaks the stillness of the night but the call of soldiers to their living and wounded comrades. The wounded are carried to the field hospital the captured arms are carried to the rear. Soon the soldiers bivouac upon the field. The battle of Perryville is over.