Open main menu

Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/310

This page needs to be proofread.

302 Southern Historical Society Papers.

sisters and your children on the result. Remember the fair, broad, abounding land, the happy homes that will be desolated by your defeat. The eyes and hopes of eight millions of people rest upon you. You are expected to show yourselves worthy of your lineage, worthy of the women of the South, whose noble devotion in this war has never been exceeded in any time.

"With such incentives to brave deeds, and with the trust that God is with us, your generals will lead you confidently to the com- bat, assured of success.


' ' General Commanding. ' '

As has been stated, Colonel Forrest led the advance of Breckin- ridge's command to Monterey. There he was detached for picket duty along what is known as Lick creek. During Saturday he had several unimportant skirmishes and when night arrived, leaving his regiment under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Kelly, he rode to the headquarters of General Johnston to ascertain what was on foot for the next day and what he was expected to do.

Forrest was a great favorite with General Johnston. He appre- ciated his work at Fort Donelson and the service he performed at Nashville, in removing the army stores after the retreat from that place.

Greeting Forrest very cordially, General Johnston expressed his strong confidence in him and his regiment, after which he explained what was expected. They there parted, and never met again.

The two armies were in close proximity and, despite the precautions urged during the day, to avoid all noise calculated to divulge their presence, there was no effort or desire on the part of the men to be circumspect. Fully half of the Confederate army was composed of wholly raw and undisciplined men; they could not be called soldiers, although they were as gallant a band as ever faced an enemy.

Fires were built, drums beaten, guns discharged and in some regi- ments the greatest tumult was kept up nearly all night. Why the Federal commander did not understand the situation is surely a mystery.

Long before day Sunday morning everything was astir and after a hearty breakfast the lines were formed.

Hardee's Corps, composed of Hindman's, Cleburne's and Wood's Brigades, numbering 6,789 men, infantry and artillery, augmented by Gladden' s Brigade, 2,200 strong about 8,500 bayonets formed