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[367] make breastworks, and they actually piled up their own dead for this purpose. The position on which Buckner's left rested (Preston's division) had been selected as the point d'appui, and the pivot upon which the army was to swing in the movement which had failed by reason of the attack on our right. It was now understood that the battle would commence at daylight, Sunday, and that the same movement would be attempted. For this purpose Breckinridge's division, of Hill's corps, was moved that night on our extreme right, to strengthen that wing. Preston was ordered to a position further to the left. Hindman's division, of Manigault's, Deas's, and Anderson's brigades, came up and took position between Hood and Preston. General Longstreet came up at midnight and took command of the right wing. McLaws's division had also come up, Kershaw's and Humphrey's brigades, and formed in reserve half a mile in the rear of Hood. All was now ready for the grand attack of the coming Sabbath.

Sunday, twentieth of September, the sun rose clear and bright, but an impenetrable mist covered the field between the two belligerent armies. Our troops were all in line waiting but for the word to “forward.” General Polk had the night previous received orders to commence the attack with Hill's corps at daylight, and had despatched two couriers that night to the headquarters of General Hill, but they failed to find him, he being in the rear at Tedford's Ford, and the order consequently did not reach General Hill until late Sunday morning, General Polk having despatched one of his aids to look for him. This delay unfortunately lost us at least three hours of daylight, which, as the sequel will show, proved very lucky for Rosecrans's army. The enemy had worked like beavers during the night, and had made three lines of intrenchments, besides having the advantage of position on a rising ridge, and were still at work during the early part of the morning. Skirmishing had commenced in front of our lines, but the battle did not open on our right wing until ten o'clock, when the command “forward” ran down our ranks. It was a splendid sight to see that martial array of glorious heroes as our long lines advanced to the bloody contest with the abolition infidel foe. Major Austin's Louisiana battalion, on the extreme right of Hill's corps, moved boldly forward, deployed as skirmishers, and engaged the enemy eight hundred yards in front. That intrepid warrior Breckinridge moved forward his division in as perfect order as if on dress parade, followed closely in the rear by his splendid battery of artillery. Soon the sharp rattle of volleys of musketry were heard, and the roar of battle thundered through the forest. Having driven in two lines of skirmishers, and exposed to a severe cannonading, the division met and drove the enemy from a dense thicket, Adams's brigade capturing a battery, one of the guns being secured by Colonel R. L. Gibson's regiment, and two more by Major Austin's battalion. Breckinridge's division had now crossed the Chattanooga road, having been advancing parallel with it, when by a flank movement to the left, the division formed its line of battle at a right angle with the road, Adams being on the right, Stovall in the centre, and Helm on the left. Advancing for about eight hundred yards through open fields and dense thickets, subject to a constant artillery fire, the division encountered at one hundred yards a division of regulars intrenched in a strong position. Helm, encountering a deadly fire from the intrenchments, was held in check,while Adams and Stovall passed on exposed to a terrible fire of grape and shot from the enemy's front, at the same time a galling fire enfilading them from the left. Notwithstanding, Breckinridge's line stood firm and steadfast, and delivering a volley and charging the enemy with a shout, dispersed their first line in gallant style. At this moment a second line came up on our right flank, sustained by a heavy battery, and delivered an unbroken volley which staggered our whole line and forced it to retire. It was at this time General Adams received a severe wound in his shoulder, making the fifth time that this veteran soldier had suffered for his country. Such was the proximity of our troops at the time, that Adams was taken prisoner; the heroic Helm was killed, and Major Graves, chief of artillery, mortally wounded. The command fell back some three hundred yards to a commanding height, from which Slocomb with his Napoleon guns checked the hosts of the advancing enemy, Adams's brigade having been successfully rallied by the gallant Gibson, who, colors in hand, again fronted the foe. Had the reserve ordered forward to Breckinridge's support come up in time, the enemy's position might have been carried, and prevented the conflict of the afternoon. As it was, notwithstanding our partial repulse, several pieces of artillery were captured and a large number of prisoners.

At the same time each succeeding division to the left gradually became engaged with the enemy, extending to Longstreet's wing. Walker's division now advanced to the relief of Breckinridge; and after an engagement of half an hour, was also compelled to retire under the severe fire of the enemy. The gallant champions of Tennessee, under Cheatham, then advanced to the relief of Walker, but even they wavered and fell back under the terrible fires of the enemy. Cleburn's division, which had several times gallantly charged the enemy, had also been checked, and Stuart's division, occupying the centre and left of our wing, detached from Buckner's corps, had recoiled before the enemy, but not without slaying their battalions in heaps, charging across an open wood and field under a tornado of grape and canister.

Up to noon the struggle had been most desperate on our right, and resistance made on both sides with unparalleled stubbornness, our right wing having been repulsed by the enemy's superior numbers, thus for a second time thwarting the intended swinging movement. The meridian sun, which had witnessed the terrible carnage of the conflict, now commenced its westward course,

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