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RETREAT OF THE CONFEDERATES.
had penetrated to the rebel position, was the furthest in advance, and not disposed to relinquish any of the advantages gained on the previous day. After a brief repose, at three o'clock in the morning, Co. B. Cavalry was sent to reconnoitre, and proceeded a half mile in the darkness, to the suburbs of Perryville, finding a battery in position, which commanded the approaches and supported by a force of infantry. At daylight, the enemy's infantry was relieved by cavalry, and left at once for Harrodsburg. The cavalry formed in line, to hold Carlin's Brigade in check and enable the rebel army to make good its retreat. Gen. Carlin was prepared for demonstrations on their part, and, after maneuvering awhile, they withdrew, followed by our cavalry and a section of light artillery, who pressed them closely; the latter opening upon their rear and driving them out of town.
Reaching the creek, they held it until the brigade was supplied with water, when the artillery pushed on, sending a few shell into the rebel rear, which put them to flight, followed by Company B, who pressed the pursuit until three P. M., when a spirited skirmish ensued, resulting in the capture of eleven prisoners, a quantity of ammunition, three cannon and three thousand stand of arms abandoned by the enemy, and taken possession of by Capt. Sherer's command. The road for miles was strewn with clothing, muskets and military trappings of every description. Every farm house and barn along the route was tenanted with wounded rebels, left without medical care to the tender mercies of their compassionate enemies; some of them with hardly life enough remaining to realize the horrors of their situation; others mangled and bleeding, presented sad sights and sounds, never to be forgotten.
AFTER THE BATTLE.
HROUGHOUT the night succeeding the day of battle and excitement, the rest of the troops in Carlin's Brigade was more nominal than real. Their position close upon the enemy's lines, with shotted guns looking frowningly
down upon them, was particularly hazardous, and demanded extraordinary caution and watchfulness on the part of the command. The rest of Rousseau's and Jackson's troops were interrupted by the moans of the wounded and dying as well as by flying rumors of a night attack. Many were without blankets, and bivouacked in the open fields with insufficient protection against the chilly night air ; added to this, the gnawing of hunger and thirst was not conducive to soundness of repose.
The little snatches of oblivion served more to pass away the hours of darkness than to repair exhausted energies and restore vigor and animation.
With the first streaks of dawn, all were up and peering through the morning mists to discover signs of the enemy. But they were gone. The fields were untenanted except by Federal and
THE FIELD AFTER THE BATTLE.
Rebel dead. Little parties were soon exploring the cornfields, hollows and skirting timber in search of missing comrades. In places where the conflict had raged the fiercest, where the ground had been repeatedly fought over and alternately in possession of both armies, the dead of each, indicated by the Rebel gray and Federal blue, lay commingled, often side by side; some with an expression of calmness as if asleep, the last reflection, perhaps, that flitted through their minds being of home, mother, friends and God. Upon the faces of others still lingered a courageous, determined look as if when suddenly overtaken with death every nerve was strung to its utmost tension, every impulse of the mind warmed up to fever heat. How many of that silent company, whose staring eyes were looking fixedly toward heaven, were men of warm hearts and generous impulses, who, when living, were loved, and whose death now caused doting hearts to bleed.
The official report of losses sustained by the Federal army was 5,525, killed, wounded and missing, while that of the Confederates amounted to 7,720. But few prisoners were taken by either army, and the large list of more than twelve thousand casualties indicated the severity of the conflict.
The picket lines were extended to embrace the battle-ground and
protect burial parties that were detailed from each regiment to search the field and collect the fallen, friend as well as foe. The bodies were generally ranged side by side in a trench dug for the purpose, just as they were, with their uniforms crimsoned with blood, wrapped in army blankets for winding sheets, and away
to rest. In the outskirts of the field where a few had crawled away to die, they were buried singly, and lonely mounds with rudely marked headboards indicated the last resting place of their earthly remains. Over the graves the beautiful burial service was read or a prayer feelingly offered, a file of soldiers fired a farewell volley, and all was over.
This field, like all others, was strewn with muskets and the usual debris of battle, and many a trophy was collected, carried for days or weeks, then, perhaps, thrown away. The men were now permitted to light their camp-fires, make coffee, and satisfy the cravings of hunger and thirst, eating their hardtack and other articles of army fare which were at hand with a gusto rarely surpassed.
Our “ battle picture” would not be complete if painted entirely in the sombre hues of death, unrelieved by the brighter colorings of humor in which this, like similar contests, more or less abounded. The battle of Perryville was not wholly devoid of. personal incidents, examples of individual heroism, of coolness and endurance while under fire.
Many times have we heard described the ludicrous appearance of Lieut. Clark, of Company E, as he retired from the field, in good order however, his wounded arm tied up with a handkerchief saturated with blood, which was dripping to the ground. He was forever joking with his men, and the only way they could get even with him was to taunt him with his good fortune in being on furlough during the battle of Pea Ridge, engaged in singing lullabys to his babies at home.
But in this engagement none were more plucky and fearless than he, and after being shot, pointing to his wound he triumphantly exclaimed, “See "there, boys; don't one of you chaps ever peep to me again about “staying at home and rocking babies to sleep until you get as “beautiful a hole as that bored into you. I'm more proud of that “bullet hole in my arm than I would be to have it decorated “with Major General Buell's stars."
William Galloway, a private in Company G, just before going into action was heard to complain of hunger. A comrade standing near, responded, “Never mind about your hardtack, old boy,
BRAVERY OF CORP. MOSSMAN.
"you'll soon get a ration of lead, a little more indigestible, per“haps, but quite as satisfying to the appetite as bread and meat. In the heat of the engagement, while loading his musket and on a half turn, Galloway was struck by a charge of buck-shot which entered his mouth, lacerated his tongue and knocked ten teeth from his lower jaw. His comrade, on beholding the frightful wound, by way of sympathy exclaimed, “ There, Bill, I told you "you'd get all the grub you wanted—are you satisfied now?" The wound was a serious one, and enabled Galloway eventually to get his discharge.
An incident connected with Corporal William H. Mossman, of Company F, illustrates the coolness of some men in the exciting hour of battle, and an unwillingness to shirk from danger and duty unless compelled to do so by being disabled from the further use of sword and gun. Corporal Mossman was struck by a spent ball in the face and slightly wounded. The blood flowed freely, and he at first imagined the injury to be serious enough to need looking after, and started to the rear in search of a surgeon. Finding himself but little inconvenienced and his strength unimpaired, he staunched the blood as well as he could, and voluntarily returned to his post of danger, taking his place in the ranks and fighting bravely to the end.
While the regiments were in position at the foot of the bluffs, on which Barrett's guns were planted, and just before the rebel assault, the men were ordered to lay down, thus presenting less conspicuous objects for the enemy's shot, which were then howling savagely around their heads. Lieut. Shaw, of Company I, had just received his commission as 2nd Lieutenant, and being a somewhat peculiar genius, a few words relative to him may not be out of place. He was tall—about six feet, two inches in hight —as slim as a ramrod, with a light, straggling mustache, which