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breath as they see the gallant columns reluctantly, though surely moving back to the abyss open to receive them. Wallace, on the extreme right, has nobly held his position, and four times hurled the enemy back, until at last he too is forced to retreat, and falls mortally wounded from his horse. Every camp but his is occupied by the enemy, and towards this, our entire left wing is now slowly receding. Even the reserve lines are all carried, and the army that in the morning stretched in a semi-circle over six miles in extent, is now compressed within a circuit of a little more than half a mile. One more push, and the day is won for the rebels, and the valley of the Mississippi, up to the Ohio, is again theirs.

"Oh that Buell or night would come!" exclaimed many an officer, as he surveyed the gloomy prospect.

As the sun stooped to the western horizon he looked on a battle lost to the Union cause, and a whole army balancing on the verge of destruction. Just then a body of cavalry dashed up to the river on the farther side, the advance of Buell's army. Help was at hand, and if the victorious col- . umns of the enemy could be held in check but one hour more, the army might yet be saved. The former were also aware that Buell's columns were approaching the Tennessee, and knew that what was done must be done quickly, and summoning his energies for a final effort, bore down on our crowded, confused columns. A last charge, and the deciaration that Beauregard had made in the morning, that his steed should drink from the Tennessee at night, would be fulfilled.

At this critical moment, two movements were made which saved the day. Colonel Webster, Chief of the Staff

, and an accomplished artillerist, seeing that the storm was about to burst on our center and left, hastily collected in the short lull that preceded its advent, all the guns from the broken batteries around him, some of large caliber, and arranged them in a semi-circle around the landing-twenty-two in all

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350

THE GUN-BOATS TAKE PART.

Gathering such artillerists as he could from the various batteries, as well as every man who knew how to handle a guin, amorg whon was the gallant surgeon, Dr. Corbyn, of Missouri; he prepared to meet this last onset.

He was hardly ready, ere the wood in front was lit up by the flash of the enemy's musketry, and the heavy columns came pouring forward. Suddenly, from that semi-circle of twentytwo guns, leaped forth a line of fire, and shot and shell went crashing into the living masses that darkened all the road and fields. The astonished enemy staggered back, appalled at the horrible tempest. But they were making their last crowning effort, and their leaders rallied them for a second onset. And at this juncture, a new enemy appeared on the field. The two gun boats, Tyler and Lexington, lying in the stream, had remained all day, excited, idle spectators of the fight. Moving up and down the bank, they had sought in vain for an opportunity to bring their heavy guns to bear. But now the rebels had pushed our left wing so close to the river that they could be reached. The commander of the Tyler sent a messenger ashore, to inquire if he might shell ; the enemy. The permission was gladly given, and the two boats opened with their twenty-four pound Parrott guns and rifled cannon. The ravine mentioned before, that here run inland from the river, gave a free passage to their shells that: went screaming through the gloom, and bursting among the terrified ranks. Trees were shivered in their course, and the branches hurled through the air. The guns were worked with astonishing rapidity, and the sound of the shells as they shrieked through the twilight, and traversed the whole line of battle in their devastating course, was almost as terrifying as the wild work they made when they burst in the center: of a column. No efforts of the rebel (renerals could urge the men forward against these new engines of destruction. There was something mysterious ånd awful in the very sound

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ARRIVAL OF BUELL.

351

they made passing through the air, and as they fell fast and furious among them, they halted, then turned and sought safety beyond their deadly range.

In the mean time, Nelson, commanding the advance of Buell's division, had succeeded in crossing the river with a single brigade, and taking possession of a battery of artil. lery which he found on the shore, opened a heavy fire on

the enemy

But night had now come on, and the exhausted rebels, finding themselves unable to complete the day's work which they had marked out for themselves, withdrew and bivouacked on the field to wait for daylight. In the mean time, the divisions of Buell's army, six miles apart, were hurrying forward by forced marches, to the river. Buell himself reached Sa . vannah, Grant's head-quarters, seven miles farther down on the river, in the early part of the day, just after the General had left for the battle field. The cannonading was distinctly heard, but the officers there told him that it was of common occurrence, and was doubtless merely an affair of outposts. But the deep, continuous roar had an ominous sound to his practised ear, and after listening intently awhile, he determined to go up and see about it himself. Nelson had arrived across the river and been ordered to march up opposite Pittsburg landing, and get ferried across, leaving his artillery to be carried forward on steamers, as the roaa:: were almost impassable. This gallant commander immedi. ately started off, and hurrying his men forward ihroagh the deep mud, reached as we have seen, the battle field just as night was closing over the routed army.

As soon as a boat could get up steam, Buell ana e Chief of his Staff, Colonel Fry, started also for Pittsburg ianding, As they drew near the place, the incessant, deafening expla sions of cannon told too well that a great battle was raging. Soon they came within sound of the small arms, and the

352

A BOENN OF DISORDER.

rapid, uninterrupted volleys so near the river, startled him. But the sight that met his eyes as the steamer approached the landing, was still more appalling. The shore was lined with fugitives, skulking under the bank-some five thousand of them--who had fled from the disastrous field. And still the throng kept increasing, till a wild and swaying multitude darkened all the shore, while the teams were rushing in and pushing their way amid the crowd, huddling as close to the river as they could get. It was a fearful spectacle, and told of disaster and ruin.

As soon as the steamer touched the wharf, Buell sprang ashore and met Grant, of whom he hurriedly inquired the state of affairs. He found them gloomy enough. Grant told him that Crittenden's division was opposite Savannah, and urged him to send steamers for it immediately. He then rode among the fuġitives, and finding them insensible to shame or dụty, denounced them as cowards, and turned away. It was now getting late in the day, and the steadily approaching fire had come so near, that the balls were dropping along the bank. It was at this moment, that the impetuous and daring Nelson, crossed with a part of his brigade, and added his volleys to those that hastened the enemy's retreat.

The battle was over, and the most fearful Sabbath the sun ever shone upon on this continent, drew to its bloody close. Along the roads, through the woods, and covering thick the open fields, the dead and wounded lay in vast winrows. Amid the ghastly groups were scattered artillery horses, broken caissons, drums and muskets, the sad wrecks of the fight.

The rebel army, though exhausted and bleeding, was still confident, and only waited for the morning to complete what they had so nearly finished. On our side, the broken, deci. mated columns lay down on their arms, gloomy, yet deterprined.

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