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[213] excellent breastwork. We had no artillery, the nature of the ground forbidding its use.

It was deemed reckless to attack with the force present. Night was now approaching. Presently the remainder of Lieutenant-General Hardee's corps came up on the left, and with McCown's command and a part of Cheatham's prolonged the line of battle in that direction. Adam's brigade also appeared and formed on the right of Preston. The troops bivouaced in position.

The Commanding-General expecting an attack upon his right the next morning, ordered me during the night, to recross the river with Palmer's brigade. Before daylight Thursday morning Palmer was in position on the right of Hanson. No general engagement occurred on this day, the troops generally being employed in replenishing the ammunition, cooking rations, and obtaining some repose.

On Friday, the 2d of January, being desirious to ascertain if the enemy was establishing himself on the east bank of the river, Lieutenant-Colonel Buckner and Major Graves, with Captain Byrne's battery and a portion of the Washington Artillery, under Lieutenant D. C. Vaught, went forward to our line of skirmishers toward the right and engaged those of the enemy, who had advanced perhaps a thousand yards from the east bank of the river. They soon revealed a strong line of skirmishers, which was driven back a considerable distance by our sharpshooters and artillery — the latter firing several houses in the fields in which the enemy had taken shelter. At the same time, accompanied by Major Pickett, of Lieutenant-General Hardee's staff, and Major Wilson, Colonel O'Hara, and Lieutenant Breckinridge of my own, I proceeded towards the left of our line of skirmishers, which passed through a thick wood about 500 yards in front of Hanson's position and extended to the river. Directing Captain Bosche, of the Ninth, and Captain Steele, of the Fourth Kentucky, to drive back the enemy's skirmishers, we were enabled to see that he was occupying with infantry and artillery the crest of a gentle slope on the east bank of the river. The course of the crest formed A little less than a right angle with Hanson's line, from which the center of the position, I was afterwards ordered to attack, was distant about 1,600 yards. It extended along ground part open and part woodland.

While we were endeayoring to ascertain the force of the enemy, and the relation of the ground on the east bank to that on the west bank of the river, I received an order from the Commanding-General to report to him in person. I found him or, the west bank near the ford below the bridge, and received from him an order to form my division in two lines and take the crest I have just described with the infantry. After doing this I was to bring up the artillery and establish it on the crest, so as at once to hold it and enfilade the enemy's lines on the other side of the river. Pegram and Wharton, who, with some cavalry and a battery, were beyond the point where my right would rest when the new line of battle should be formed, were directed, as the General informed me, to protect my right and co-operate in the attack. Captain


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