recorded in this book, to wit: Joe and David Bailey, W. H. H. Cope, John Johnson, John Freeman, Jonas Ervin and myself. The officers were Lieut. T. L. Skeen and Serg't. [John] Hackler. The remainder of the Company, I am ashamed to confess, played out. The above shows that about one fourth were killed and wounded; of the number started out with, and nearly one half of the number who fought through.
Military discipline seems hard sometimes, but it is right to be strict, then one man does not have to do the fighting for two.
In regard to reprimand given to Col. Jones, of the 11th Reg't. by Gen. Green, spoken of above -- I wish to record that it was entirely unjust. Gen. Green galloped up to him, brandished his sword above the Col.'s head, and asked why he was retreating. The Col., a gallant officer, denied the charge, and said he was ready to go wherever he was ordered.
I will now resume the retreat march, which I left off, soon after passing the Cavalry, formed to cover our retreat. We pushed on at a quick pace, thinking the enemy would pursue us. One mile on the march, we passed the hospital. Here among the wounded, I saw Bennett Hogan, wounded in the face. A little way past here, I stopped at a branch to get some water. Up to this time, I had not felt tired, notwithstanding, we had marched near twenty miles, without rest, and fought three hours and ten minutes; and now had started to retrace our steps, we knew not how far, it depended entirely upon the movements of the enemy. After I had quenched my thirst, I resumed my march to overtake the Company, which was but a little way ahead, but to my astonishment, I could not gain the distance. I was completely exhausted.
I soon overtook a wagon, and pressed it into service, or myself into it, and rode to camp, which was near Opalousas [Opelousas, LA], ten miles distant from the battlefield. Here I slept the sweetest night's sleep of my life; although the teams were not unharnessed, and the field officers had not slept, for fear of a renewal of the attack. Next day, although things were not very quiet, most of the boys stole time enough to write a lettrr home, descriptive of the battle. For several days we held ourselves in readiness for an attack, but as they did not pursue, we again marched to the battle field, in way of giving them a dare; and on Nov. 11, we thought they were going to accept our proffer of battle, and we remained in line all day -- their main body being not more than three miles distant, but at nightfall, we received news that they had fallen back before our Cavalry.
Here, a serious accident occurred, -- a soldier from another Reg't. picked up a bombshell, and knocked all the combustibles out, as he supposed, and struck a match to it, in way of experiment, when it exploded and blew off his arm; and a fragment of the shell flew two hundred yards, and wounded a mule in our Company wagon. I was nearby when it struck the mule, disabled him for some time.
Here, I should have stated that after the smoke of battle cleared away,
and the wounded had been moved to Opalousas, it was found that the
greater percent were from the 18th Reg't.