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[311] Hood was directed to make it with Stewart's and Stevenson's divisions by a half-change of front to the left, that the enemy might be driven to the west; the two divisions were to be supported by four brigades drawn from the centre and left.

On the arrival of these brigades, Lieutenant-General Hood put his troops in motion, and engaged the enemy about six o'clock in the afternoon, gradually changing front to the west in advancing. Stevenson's troops, being nearest to the pivot upon which the wheel was executed, moved upon shorter lines than those of Stewart's division, and therefore kept somewhat in advance of them; consequently, the larger share of fighting fell to their lot, but all moved and fought with admirable precision and vigor, and before dark the Federal left was driven from its ground. Less resistance was encountered than had been expected; this encouraged me, during the engagement, to hope that Hood's corps, and the second line of Polk's and Hardee's, might constitute a force strong enough to defeat the left of the Federal army, while its right was held in check by the remaining third of ours, protected by intrenchments. Lieutenant-General Hood was accordingly instructed to prepare to renew the fight at daybreak next morning, and to let his troops understand it that evening. This announcement, and such success as they had had, elated them greatly.

On riding from the right to the left, after nightfall, I learned that Lieutenant-General Polk's advanced troops had been driven from a hill in front of his left, which commanded our bridges at short range. A report from Major-General Martin was received at

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J. B. Hood (4)
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