From the Battle Ground in Tennessee.
[From the Missouri Democrat, 12th.]
Major John McDonald, of the Eighth Missouri, arrived here yesterday afternoon, direct from Pittsburg Landing, having left the battle field on Wednesday evening.
He says the Eighth was in the fight on Monday, but only lost six or eight killed, and about twenty-five wounded, none of the officers being hurt. He confirms the killing of Gen. A. S. Johnson, and was told by one of the prisoners, an confederate Lieutenant, that Gen. Bushrod Johnson, who escaped form Donelson, was also killed. All reports about the wounding of Beauregard, he thinks are unreliable. An officer of the New Orleans Creole Battalion who was taken prisoner, says that Beauregard, who was then commander, made them a speech on Saturday, before the battle, in which he told them that the result was a sure thing; they could not fail; they would capture Grant and his army, then whip Buell, and by this means hold all their railroads. If they lost the day, he told them they might as well lay down their arms and go home.
Lieut. Col. J. F. St. James, of the Thirteenth Missouri, was killed; also Col. Gerber, of the Twenty-fourth Missouri; also Lt. Col. or Maj. Kilpatrick, of one of the Illinois regiments. The Ninth Illinois suffered very.
The arrival of the reinforcements was very cheering, the rear landing and drawing up in good order and proceeding at once to the front where they were fresh "cooked and primed" for the fight on Monday. The reinforcing divisions were Generals Nelson's, Crittenden's and McCook's. On Tuesday Generals Wood's and Thomas's divisions, also of Buell's army, came up.
The First Missouri artillery, Major Cavender, did splendidly, loosing no officers or guns.
Major Gen. C. F. Smith was not in the fight at all, but lying sick at Savannah and not able to get out of his bed.
Our forces at Pittsburg on Sunday morning, were not over thirty-five thousand men. The enemy's could not have been less than ninety thousand. One of the rebel prisoners, a quartermaster, told Major McDonald that not less than ninety thousand rations were issued before they left Corinth.
Bowen's brigade was heard from. Two or three of the prisoners belonged to it, but the Major, though he tried to see them, was unsuccessful.
The second days fighting was not half so desperate as the first. The rebels soon gave way before our fresh troops, and were pursued with great slaughter. The pursuit was not continued far. A few miles beyond our lines, towards Corinth, there was a large creek very much swollen by the rains, the bridges of which the fugitives destroyed after them.
It rained very hard during Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights.
Major McDonald rode over the battle field several times and thinks our killed are at least one thousand. He was also on the boats and at the hospital at Savannah, and states that our wounded number about 3,000. He can place no estimate on the rebel loss, but says 1,600 of their wounded were left on the field, and that the killed will go over 3,000. Besides the wounded, we did not take more than 500 prisoners.
Major McDonald thinks Beauregard is not prepared to make a stand at Corinth and if pushed, will retreat south as far as Jackson, Mississippi.
About four hundred of the wounded came down the Major McDonald on the steamer Commodore Perry to Paducah. Fifty or sixty were put off at Paducah, and the others went up to Evansville. The Minnehaha would soon be down with the severely wounded.
The story of the escape of Gen. Prentiss is not true. He and the greater part of his brigade, probably 3,500 men, were taken prisoners early in the fight on Sunday.
Gen. Grant was at Savannah on Sunday morning and hearing the firing made his way to Pittsburg in all haste, and got on the field about 11 o'clock A.M. In the action on Monday he was considerably hurt in one of his legs by being crushed against a tree.
The gunboats did fine work, and probably saved our army from total disaster on Sunday. They were placed up the stream where they could have full play upon the rebel lines, and did a great deal to disconcert and keep back the enemy. All Sunday night they kept up a slow fire which harassed the rebels very much.
The beginning of the fight on Sunday morning was a complete surprise, many of our officers and soldiers being overtaken in their tents, and other slaughtered or taken prisoners. Some of the companies scattered into the ravines and hollows and could not be got out, either by expostulations or threats. When the line was formed to resist the attack, it was done without much regard to company or regiment. By night time the rebels had driven our army entirely out of its camps, and was in full possession of tents, equipage, and everything.
So well satisfied were they of their day's work, and so confident of the morrow, that they destroyed nothing. They got six of our batteries, all of which were recaptured on the following day and about forty of their cannon taken. Our lines on Sunday night were drawn around the landing in a semi-circular shape, protected on all sides by cannon; but, if they had been hard pressed after dark by the rebels, they would have been penetrated, and our entire army overcome.