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[141]

Observing, just before sundown, troops and ambulances passing into the Franklin turnpike from the left, and double-quicking towards the rear, I at once dispatched my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Cartwright Eustis, to say to Brigadier-General Pettus that I would co-operate with him in any plan to arrest the progress of the enemy, who had evidently broken the lines somewhere to his left.

Scarcely had my aide reached me and informed me of the intentions of General Pettus, when the enemy was observed already upon our rear, and our troops upon all sides breaking and striving to reach the line of retreat, which was nearly covered. I had ordered Lieutenant-Colonel R. H. Lindsay, commanding Sixteenth Louisiana Volunteers, to get ready to deploy his regiment as skirmishers along the trenches, while I withdrew the brigade and attempted to arrest the enemy; but at this time confusion prevailed over every thing. Arriving at the woods, in front of Colonel Overton's, I formed a line as again directed by Lieutenant-General Lee, and, moving back a half mile further, Major-General Clayton reformed his division, and we continued the retreat until we reached Hollowtree Gap, where we bivouacked. Early the next morning I was sent as a reserve near the Hotel, six hundred yards in rear of the Gap. While there, in accordance with an order from Division Headquarters, I sent Colonel S. E. Hunter with the greater part of the Fourth and Thirtieth Louisiana Volunteers and my inspector-general, to report to Major-General Clayton. He was placed on picket in a gap in rear of the division by order of Lieutenant-General Lee, and while being posted there I moved the balance of my brigade to attack the enemy, who was approaching the road between us and Franklin.

I drove him back very easily, and was moving to the road again, when I was informed by a staff officer of Lieutenant-General Lee, Lieutenant Farish, that Colonel Hunter and his detachment had been captured.

I was again placed in position in an earthwork a thousand yards from Harpeth river, and, before any instructions reached me, our cavalry stampeded. The enemy, five thousand strong, charged in three columns with squadrons covering the intervening ground and connecting them-one in front, one in rear upon the left flank, and one in rear upon the right flank. I found a section of artillery


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R. E. Lee (3)
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