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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/161

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Sketch of Mijor-General Patrick R. Cleburne. 153

an army at Pittsburg, on the Tennessee river, which was now en- camped near Shiloh Church, three miles from the landing. The attack was made on the morning of the 6th of April. Cleburne's Brigade was of my corps, which formed the front line of attack. The enemy were steadily driven for three miles through their en- campments, past the rich spoils with which a luxurious soldiery had surrounded themselves, and over the heaps of their dead and dying, until the broken and demoralized masses sought the shelter of the river's bank and the cover of their gunboats. Albert Sydney John- ston had fallen in action about 2 o'clock P. M. His successor in command, General Beauregard, deemed it best, late in the evening, to recall the pursuit. At the moment of recall Cleburne was passing on, within 400 yards of Pittsburg landing, behind the cliffs of which cowered the masses of hopeless and helpless fugitives. That night the enemy were re-enforced by the arrival of a fresh army under Buell; and on the evening of the yth the Southern forces, after maintaining through the day the now unequal struggle, withdrew unpursued to Corinth. In this battle Cleburne's Brigade sustained a heavier loss in killed and wounded than any other in the army.

At the initiation of General Bragg's Kentucky campaign, in the summer of 1862, Cleburne's Brigade, with one other, was detached and united with Kirby Smith's column, which, starting from Knox- ville, Tenn., was to penetrate Kentucky through Cumberland Gap, and form a junction with the main army under General Bragg, which moved from Chattanooga into Kentucky by a different route. Kirby Smith's forces encountered opposition at Richmond, Ky. , in Sep- tember. There Cleburne directed the first day's fighting, and in his first handling of an independent command was mainly instrumental in winning a victory, which in the number of prisoners and amount of stores captured, and in the utter dispersion and destruction of the opposing force, was one of the most complete of the war. For "gallant and meritorious service " here, he received an official vote of thanks from the Congress of the Confederate States. In this ac- tion he received a singular wound. The missile, a minie rifle ball, entered the aperture of the mouth while his mouth was open in the act of giving a command to the troops in action, without touching- his lips, and passed out of the left cheek, carrying away in its course five lower teeth, without touching or injuring the bone. This wound did not prevent his taking part in the battle of Perryville on the 8th of October following, where he rejoined my command, and was again wounded while leading his brigade in a gallant charge.