310 Southern Historical Society Papers.
Forward rushed the Mississippians with an impetuosity rarely equaled; they passed over the ravine and up the slope, yelling at the top of their voices. The ridge bristled with cannon and bayo- nets, and the shot and shell from thirty cannon and ten thousand rifles tore and crashed through the noble ranks, leaving the field covered with their dead and wounded.
Onward they pressed, despite the impediments, until the line was within fifty yards of the Federal batteries. The scene was desperate. Nothing could have been superior to the conduct of the Mississipians; but men could not stand the storm which rained iron and lead from front and both flanks, and they fell back into the ravine.
These are only two of the stories of the closing scenes of Sunday. There were a series of disjointed attacks upon the battery of sixty- five guns and 30,000 infantry by fragments of brigades already worn out from fatigue and hunger.
Night coming on, General Beauregard directed that the troops be brought out of the battle and collected and restored to their com- mands. The encampments which the enemy had been driven from were occupied by the Confederates, who feasted on the numerous stores left behind.
General Beauregard has been unjustly blamed for withdrawing the troops on Sunday night. Some of his general officers took occasion to say:
" They were in the act of ending the day's victory by an impetu- ous rush into the Federal lines which would have driven him into the river."
This story has been told ever since the battle, and people have accepted the statement as true, and told to others as the gospel truth. I have heard these stories told by numerous men who par- ticipated in the battle. They believe them. Some said General So- and-so asserted it, therefore it was true. If anyone who desires to know the facts, and will read the reports of the different division, brigade, and regimental commanders, he will find that nearly every command had withdrawn from the fight before the order from Gen- eral Beauregard reached them.
The true reason why this battle of Sunday, April 6, fell short of a complete victory is perfectly plain to anyone who will give the sub- ject careful investigation. Certainly the facts should be stated and the responsibility placed where it belongs. The writer has, during all the intervening years, believed that General Beauregard displayed