The changes in the order of the different divisions made the new line stand thus: One brigade of Negley's division was on the extreme right; then came Johnson, then Baird, then Palmer, then Reynolds, then Brannan, then Negley's other brigades, then Van Cleve, then Wood, and then Sheridan. Wilder and Minty, with their mounted force, held the extreme right. I have given only the general order of our line Brannan and Van Cleve were really held somewhat in reserve. That was indeed a night of awful suspense which settled around us after the last gun had been fired on Saturday. The morrow came. No sound of cracking musketry, or roaring of cannon, or bursting shell disturbed the peacefulness of that Sabbath morning. The first hour after sunrise passed. “Surely,” said our officers and soldiers, “there will be no fight; for if the enemy had intended to attack us he would, following his usual tactics, have fallen upon us at daybreak.” Two hours more had gone by, and some dropping musketry began to be heard along the various parts of our line. Finally, at about ten o'clock, there were several fierce volleys, and the loud booming of half a dozen pieces of artillery announced that the enemy had again, as on the day before, assaulted our left. And now that the battle has begun, let us glance one moment at the contending forces. On one side is our old army which fought at Stone River, reenforced by two divisions (Brannan's and Reynolds's) of Thomas's corps, and Starkweather's brigade, of Baird's division. But counterbalancing these to some extent, Post's brigade of Davis's division and Wagner's of Wood's were both absent. We might or might not also rely for assistance upon Steadman's division of General Granger's corps. Opposed to these was the old army of the Tennessee, which Bragg has so long commanded; Longstreet's formidable corps from Virginia, one half of Johnston's army from Mississippi; Buckner's division from East-Tennessee; Dabney Maury's division from Mobile; Brigadier-General Lee's command from Atlanta, and from twelve to fifteen thousand fresh troops in the service of the State of Georgia--in all, amounting to at least seventy-five thousand men. The Union army confronting them was certainly not more than fifty-five thousand strong. The firing which had begun on our left swelled almost immediately into a dreadful roar, which filled even the souls of the bravest with awe. Nothing that I have yet listened to since the breaking out of the war exceeded it in continuity and volume of sound. It was not a tumult which now rages and now subsides, but one which for two long hours rolled incessantly all along the lines of Thomas's seemingly devoted corps. So loud was the crash of musketry that the repeated discharges of cannon, following each other in quick succession, could with difficulty be distinguished, and seemed only like more emphatic passages in the grand diapason of thunderous harmony which burst from the vast clouds of smoke and dust enveloping the contending hosts. The fight upon the extreme loft commenced by a desperate assault of the enemy upon General John Beatty's brigade of Negley's division. The brigade, as well as its famous leader, stood their ground nobly; but being somewhat isolated from the remainder of the line, finally retired. It will be remembered that the other brigades of Negley's division were posted much further to the right. A desire to reunite the two portions of his command induced General Rosecrans to send General Wood to take General Negley's place in the line until the latter should effect the reunion of his brigades. Wood proceeded immediately to execute the order, filling up the gap as Negley retired. The rebels, understanding this movement of Negley's to be a retreat, immediately advanced their skirmishers, not only here, but all along the left, and the fighting at once became terrific, as I have described. The rebels, however, soon ceased to attack General Wood's front, and for a time appeared to devote their en tire attention to General Thomas. I went down to the extreme left of General Wood's position about this time, and looking thence into some corn-fields, could see the desperate efforts of the enemy to break the lines of Brannan and Reynolds. The soldiers of these two noble divisions were lying behind rude breastworks of logs and rails constructed the night before; their artillery in the rear fired over their heads, and it really seemed as if that long line of defences was some immense serpent, instinct with hideous life, and breathing continually from its huge tough sides volumes of smoke and flame. Again and again the rebel lines advancing from the cover of the woods into the open corn-fields, charged with impetuous fury and terrific yells toward the breastworks of logs and rails, but each time the fiery blasts from our batteries and battalions swept over and around them, and their ranks were crumbled and swept away as a bank of loose clay washed by a rushing flood. But as fast — as one line fell off another appeared, rushing sternly on over the dead and bleeding bodies of their fallen comrades. Longstreet's corps was seeking to regain its lost laurels of yesterday. D. H. Hill, at the head of Hardee's old corps, was lending them the assistance of a division, and Buckner's troops were throwing their weight into the scale. Thomas fought only with his forces of Saturday weakened by Saturday's heavy losses. It was an unequal contest, and a pang of agony shot through my, heart as I saw our exhausted veterans begin to waver. To waver in the face of the charging, shouting, thundering host which confronted them, was to lose all, and the next moment wave after wave of the rebel sea came surging down toward the breastworks, dashing madly against and over the barrier, and greedily swallowing up its defenders, with all their am. munition and materiel, Never was resistance more stubborn and determined, but never was attack prosecuted with more devilish pertinacity. Meantime, as General Reynolds was so sorely
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