"One officer, not more than thirty feet from where I stood, quietly loaded up an old Meerschaum, lit a match, his pistol hanging form his wrist, and when he had got his pipe agoing, he got hold of his pistol again, and went on popping away at us as leisurely as if he had been shooting rats. Why that fellow didn't get shot I don't know."
"That it was a pretty tough time that we had of it, lying there by the brook and digging out toes into the ground for fear that the mass of men in front would push us back over the bank after all. But, every man held his place, for every one felt as if there was a precipice behind and he would go down a thousand feet if he let go his hold on that bank."
Lt. Henry Dwight, 20th Ohio, USA (photo, above right)
"The fighting around the battery was bloody in the extreme. The Third moved up in support, and in ten minutes one hundred ninety of the five hundred comprising their number were killed or wounded. By this time the battle along the whole line was raging with incredible fury. At the one hundred and thirteenth round one of Bledsoe's guns burst ..."
Pvt. Sumner A. Cunningham, 41st Tennessee, CSA (photo, right)
"The battle was now fierce. Almost hand-to-hand so close were they that some of the boys fixed their bayonets ready to stab them. Both lines stood equally firm, both equally determined as a couple of bull dogs engaged in a death struggle. The air was full of hissing bullets, they cut up the ground and made the dust fly in our rear as though a heavy shower of hail was falling.
Sgt. Ira Blanchard, 20th Illinois, USA
"Every man of us knew it would be sure death to all to retreat—for we had behind us a bank seven feet high—made slippery by the wading and climbing back of the wounded and where the foe could be at our heels in a moment."
"For two hours the contest raged furiously, but as man after man dropped dead or wounded, the rest were inspired the more firmly to hold fast their places and avenge the fallen.
"The Creek was running red with precious blood spilt for our country."
Sgt. Osborn Oldroyd, 20th Ohio, USA (right)
"Our men by this time had shot away all their ammunition and a fresh column was advancing directly upon us. No support appeared upon our rear or left and we had been so terribly cut up and scattered in the thick woods that the colonel thought best to order a retreat. We were barely in time, for before our left wing could fall back the Yankees succeeded in capturing some of our men who were exhausted. All the way back we were severely galled by the enemy on both flanks. We had to leave many of our wounded in the woods, not being able to carry them away, in spite of their entreaties not to be abandoned. Our whole force then fell back to Raymond and immediately commenced their retreat."
Capt. Flavel Barber, 3rd Tennessee, CSA (photo, left, courtesy of The Lilly Library, Indiana University)