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[368] as if declining further to side with the abolition banners of the east. A reconnoissance made in our front showed that the enemy had fallen back from that portion of the field.

At this critical juncture, it being now about one P. M., the lion-hearted Longstreet ordered General Buckner to advance, which he did as a second line to McLaws's and Hood's divisions. This movement, effected by Longstreet, was in the nature of a left wheel upon his right, Hood's division being as a centre. By this manoeuvre he advanced one mile and a half, and formed at right angles with the Chattanooga road, the movement at the same time uniting Buckner's corps, by bringing Preston's division within a short interval on Stewart's left. Longstreet's corps proper, Hindman's and Bushrod Johnson's divisions now advanced like tigers on the foe. The second line of the enemy, who had taken up a position on a ridge or range of hills, with temporary breastworks formed of rails and fallen timber, had been driven back with great slaughter, Hood's corps having captured thirteen pieces of artillery and a large number of prisoners. The North-Carolinians of McNair's gallant brigade on this occasion made their mark. Lieutenant-Colonel Frank A. Reynolds, of the Thirty-ninth North-Carolina, capturing ten pieces of cannon, seven of which were brought off the field, with two standards of colors, the regiment losing one hundred men out of two hundred and thirty-eight. The glorious Hood himself was seriously wounded, having his leg amputated on the field. Longstreet now took command of Hood's corps in person with other troops, when charge after charge was made, pressing back the enemy's right, until their line was doubled on their centre, for a distance of three miles. Kershaw's South-Carolinians and Humphrey's Mississippians now advanced to the assault of the ridge, and soon became engaged in a desperate struggle, the tide of victory vacillating, when the peerless Preston was ordered to advance his division of united troops, Gracie's, Kelley's, and Trigg's brigades, who had never before been in action, to their aid. They moved forward through a deadly fire with the firmness and courage of veterans, exciting the highest admiration, when a simultaneous assault was made, and the enemy driven from and over the crest of the ridge with great slaughter, thus wresting from him his supposed impregnable position. General Longstreet, in passing over the scene afterward, remarked that the troops who could take such a stronghold could carry any works the enemy could construct.

It was now about five o'clock when the enemy's right wing had been driven back in dismay, and Rosecrans, to check our further advance and save his army, attempted to reenforce his right by throwing over a heavy body of troops from his left. The movement was at once perceived by the eagle eyes of Longstreet and Buckner, who had reconnoitred the ground, and it being suggested by General Law, commanding Hood's division, that we could enfilade the enemy as he approached by placing artillery near the Chattanooga road, and opposite the angle formed by the enemy's lines, Major Williams, commanding a battery of artillery, of Buckner's corps, was ordered to concentrate his batteries at the point it was supposed the enemy would cross. Soon after, as was expected, the heavy columns of the enemy made their appearance and were about wheeling into line, when Williams opened on them a terrific fire with grape, canister, and shrapnel, mowing down the abolition foe, and shivering the woods behind which they attempted to take shelter. At the same time, Stewart's division, which had been ordered forward by General Longstreet, fell furiously upon the flank of the column, on the right of the road, while Law opened a most unmerciful fire on the left. The enemy's right and centre gave way before the mighty shock, and broke with frantic confusion; over twenty pieces of artillery were captured, and several thousand made prisoners.

General Bragg, upon whom rested the mighty responsibility of the immense stake at hazard, and who, upon every part of the battle-field, watched with intense anxiety the fate of the day — as he directed the storm of death-then felt that the God of battles would award to him the victory.

The western horizon, crimsoned with vermilion hues, now shed its ruddy light on the hill-top and forest-plain, painting the bloody battle-field still reeking with human gore-but the battle strife had not yet ceased. Driven to desperation, and determined at all hazards to hold their position on their left wing, the enemy with a resolute ferocity hurled his battalions upon our right, at the same time opening his batteries with a storm of shell and grape. Liddell and Gist, of Walker's corps, who had been again ordered forward, being their fifth engagement with the enemy, were met by a most destructive fire, which enfiladed them on both flanks and drove them back. Our line of battle on the right was now about half a mile from the Chattanooga road. The enemy was sorely pressing our wavering lines. General Polk, who had borne the brunt of the battle during the day, and fought his wing against the concentrated masses of the enemy with unequalled bravery and endurance, had now marshaled his forces for a last desperate charge, on which depended the fate of the day. His flashing eye at this moment discovered that Granger's reserve corps of abolition troops was moving down upon us, and not a moment was to be lost. At the same time it was reported that Longstreet was driving the enemy's right flank, which added fresh nerve and vigor to our already exhausted men. The signal being given, the whole line advanced, Breckinridge leading off on the extreme right, the division making a left half wheel, which brought it parallel to the enemy's lines, whose artillery belched forth a blasting fire. Forward pressed Stovall, Gibson, and Helm, in perfect order, cheered by other lines of troops as they advanced, and passing through the “unterrified” of Walker's line, who was then engaging the enemy, without halting, and reserving their fire until within a few yards of the foe, when they sprang forward with a wild yell to the charge, receiving a volley from the enemy without effect. A second volley from the barricades of

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