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GALL ANT STAND OF SHERMAN,
mainder of Prentiss' division by companies and regiments, in a confused mass, before them.
McClernand brought up brigade after brigade to support Sherman, and the struggle here became desperate. The confident enemy, apparently unexhausted by his tremendous efforts, charged incessantly along his bleeding line, which for more than two miles stood wrapt in clouds of smoke, while cannon and musketry rolled in one continuous thunder peal over the broken field. The rebels stormed up to the very muzzles of our guns and took several, while around them occurred some of the most bloody hand-to-hand fights ever witnessed in war. Sherman's brave, protracted stand, though made at a terrible sacrifice of life, saved the army from being borne in one wild panic into the Tennessee. Still the enemy was not driven back, but was only checked for a short time.
Greatly inferior at the outset in numbers-taken by sur prise, and forced to seize such positions as we might find in the confusion of retreat and tumult of battle--a jeneral of division and three thousand men captured at one fell swoop, and as many more panic stricken wretches gone in wild terror from the field, our prospects at ten o'clock on that bright Sabbath morning were gloomy enough. All over the land the church bells were calling the quiet worshipers to the house of prayer, while here was passing one of the most terrific scenes the Sabbath sun ever shone upos.
McClernand held his ground stubbornly, but Sherman bo ing at length compelled to fall back, left à gar throuyr. which the enemy could march on his right, outflanking him, and soon the heads of their columns were seen dashing at double-quick along the road. Seeing this dangerous movement, Dresser opened on them with his battery of rifled guns, which swept the road with such a terrific fire that the rebels, with all their desperate daring, could not make head
against it. But fresh regiments were hurried up, and our exhausted forces were fast reaching that point where resistance must cease. Charge after charge was repulsed only to be renewed with redoubled vigor. Our live officers were falling with frightful rapidity, while the artillery horses were shot down by scores, rendering it isopossible to move the guns
from the field, and one after another fell ir.to the hands of the enemy. Schwartz had lost half of his gurs, and sixteen horses; Dresser as many more horses anů several of his rifled pieces, and McAllister half of his twenty-four pound howitzers. By eleven o'clock the division was driven back in a line with Hurlbut's, which was stretched across the Corinth road, fighting as it retreated, when it made a desperate rally and fell like a loosened cliff on the advancing foe, driving him back in confusion. But it could not hold the ground it won at such a great sacrifice, and again retreated.
Colonel Stuart commanded a brigade on. Sherman's extreme left at the outset of the battle, ad it became so isolated in the retreat, that but for a mere oversight of the enemy it would have been completely cut off. When he did turn his attention to it, and two brigades were sent on the double-quick down the Hamburg road, to attack it,
followed OD, Siuart was compelled to fall back. encny and dasining across a shallow creek, formed in front of him in close nusket range, while the color-hcarers stepped boldly. out iri front, and a short but bloody combat followed. But swcpt by the rapid volleys of the musketry, and the pianging fire of the artillery on the bluffs farther back, the brigade was compelled after a struggle of ten minutes to retreat, carrying with it its wounded leader. Reaching the next wooded ridge, they made another stand, where though hard pressed, they maintained their ground for three-quarters of an hour.
McArthur's brigade, sent to their support, lost its
GRANT ARRIVES ON TI E FIELD
way, and, left alone, they had to fall back again and again, till broken and bleeding, the brigade was taken to the real to be reorganized. - Twelve o'clock came, and the enemy had full possession of the camps of Shermari, Prentiss, and McClernand, and were still pushing on.
Grant, who was at Savannah, several miles farther down the river when the battlo begun, had hurried up, but his presence failed to arrest the disorder or check the retreat.
General Wallace's division, which was at Cramp's Landing, five miles distant, had been promptly ordered up in the morning, and its arrival would strengthen greatly the right of our extended line; but he lost his way, and wandering around all day, and nearly falling into the hands of the enemy, did not reach the battle field till night. Had the rebels known this, and how weak we were on this wing, and ceased their determined efforts on the left and center, and hurled their entire force in that direction, they would have driven us into the Tennessee before nightfall
. Hurlbut's. division took position, as the others fell back, in a thick wood, with open fields in front, over which the cnemy must pass in his victorious advance. Here he haraugued his officers, and gallant and daring hiniself, filler? his followers with the same resolution that animated him. Iu front of hin, Sherman drew up the renmant of his literisi brigade, and again stcod a wall of iron on the lost field. le saw the awful crisis that hal come, and knew that nothing but almost superhuman exertions for the next foy hours could save the army from utter annihilation.
The rebel leader, Johnston, in thns directing his entire strength on the left, saw at once that he must break this fırın formation, and he led his columns forward with a desperation that threatened to sweep away all opposition. Flushed with their unbrokeri success, the troops came on with buoyant confidence that was of itself a presage of victory. But as
they emerged into the open field, the very gates of hell seemed to open before them, and a hurricane of fire swept their ranks that filesh and blood could not withstand, and though bearing up heroically for a few moments in the face of it, they soon broke and fled to the woods for protection. Here they were again reformed, and after a short delay led forward the second time in splendid order. But the moment the uncovered columns undertook to cross the field, the same blinding sleet drifted along their whole line of battle, dissolving it like thin mist in its fiery passage, and they again sought the shelter of the woods. But fresh regiments were brought up, and under their intrepid leaders led forward over their own dead and wounded that carpeted the ground.
Here Johnston fell, gallantly leading on his columns to the frightsul slaughter. For the third time they recoiled from the merciless tempest that beat 'on every inch of that devoted field. The shot rained in a perfect shower around Sherman, yet he moved unhurt along his line of battle, the incarration of valor. Hour after hour, did this mere fraction of our army stand between it and total destruction. But the fresh regiments that kept pouring in and swelling the already overwhelming numbers that pressed on our jaded troops, who had been for so many hours under constant fire, compelled them at length to fall back, which they did in good order-strewing the earth with dead as they retreated. The encome pressed fiercely after, leaving the field behind them black with the clain.
Thus step by step, the whole left wing, bleeding and shattereà, swings back towards the river, already lined with thousands of fugitives, whom no appeals can bring again into the fight. When that is reached, the battle will become a massacre, for there are no boats to receive the defeated army. Already the sheen of the river can be seen through the openings in the woods, and the commanders hold their