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[414] falling back on the flank, just after Lieutenant-Colonel Tillman, commanding the Forty-first Tennessee regiment, was disabled by a wound. The Third Tennessee regiment, with about forty men of the Fiftieth Tennessee and Seventh Texas regiments, on the left of this brigade claims to have held its advanced position until Johnson's brigade fell back under the flank movement of the enemy on its left. In retiring, this regiment had six men captured. As my line fell back, our artillery opened with canister, and was gallantly served under fire of the enemy's infantry until the troops, rallying in line at the batteries, repulsed the charge of the foe.

I now gave orders to hold the hill, and await the reinforcements from Hindman's division momentarily expected. Soon Manigault's brigade was seen advancing in line of battle through Villetoe's corn-field, in the cove in our rear. As it came up on the left of my line, Brigadier-General Deas reported in person, having with his brigade swept the ridge west of the Crawfish road. Having sent a staff officer to place these two brigades in line on my left, I rode toward the right, and met General Hindman, who directed me to take command of the left wing and wheel to the right, making the right of my division the pivot. McNair's brigade, under Colonel Coleman, now came up and formed a line in rear of the left of my division. I also detailed ten men from Johnson's brigade to assist in working the guns of Dent's battery.

Our line, from left to right, was formed of brigades in the following order, viz.: Deas', Manigault's, Johnson's, Gregg's, and Anderson's, with McNair's brigade in rear of Johnson's. Deas' brigade occupied the brow of the steep spur which forms the north side of the gorge, through which the Crawfish road passes Missionary Ridge. Manigault's stretched across the ravine and extended up the side of the adjacent spur to the right, on which Johnson's and McNair's brigades, with seven pieces of artillery, were posted. Gregg's brigade was formed on a spur of some greater length, extending more towards the east, and separated in part from the main ridge by a hollow, with a piece of table land at its head to the west. Anderson's brigade was formed in two lines on the right, the front line extending up to the slope of the spur on which Gregg's brigade was formed, on the left and across the hollow on the right. The section of Dent's artillery with Gregg's brigade in the last attack was now moved to the hollow on the right, ready to be run up by hand on the main ridge as soon as it should be carried. Kershaw's brigade was somewhere on the right of, but not connected with, Anderson's brigade.

I proceeded in person to put the line in motion. Commencing with Deas' brigade, and giving careful instructions to preserve the dress and connection to the right, I passed along the line until I saw it all gallantly moving forward. A most obstinate straggle now commenced for the possession of this spar of Missionary Ridge — the last stronghold of the enemy on the battle-field of Chickamauga. Our artillery opened on the brow of the ridge and the infantry became immediately engaged. The firing was very heavy on both sides, and showed that the enemy were in strong force in our front, supported by artillery posted near the junction of the two spurs on which Deas' and Johnson's brigades respectively moved. Our line pressed determinedly forward for some time, keeping up an incessant fire with small arms. But the enemy now evidently received reinforcements of fresh troops, which advanced with a shout that was heard all along our lines, and we were driven back to our guns. It was subsequently ascertained from prisoners captured that the reinforcements were a part of General Granger's corps, which we fought the rest of the day. Deas' brigade, and the part of Manigault's next to it, fell back to the foot of the hill; Anderson's fell back to its first position, and these three brigades, save two regiments of Manigault's next to Johnson's brigade, did not again enter the fight.

In falling back on the spur on which Johnson's brigade and the two batteries fought, McNair's brigade, which formed a second line, mingled with the troops of the first line on the left of Johnson's and the right of the two regiments of Manigault's brigade, and continued to fight in that position during the rest of the day. The retreat on this hill was precipitate, and called for all the exertions I could command to prevent many of the troops from abandoning it. The officers, however, joined with every energy and zeal in the effort to stay the retreat, and by appeals, commands, and physical efforts, all save a few who persisted in skulking behind trees or lying idly on the ground, were brought up to our.lines in support of the artillery. In the meantime our batteries were promptly opened and gallantly served amid a shower of the enemy's bullets, and, together with the best and bravest of our infantry, who promptly rallied on our artillery, poured such a volume of fire upon the advancing foe that his onward progress was effectually stayed.

I cannot here speak too highly of the gallantry of the men and officers of Dent's and Everett's batteries on this occasion. It elicited my highest admiration, and I at once endeavored involuntarily to express personally to the commanders my high appreciation of the work they had so nobly done. It is claimed by Johnson's brigade that they rallied to a man at the battery. I may be permitted to say for these noble men, with whom I have so long been associated, that I then felt that every man in the brigade was a hero. Of Gregg's brigade I can speak in no less. exalted terms. All, indeed, who now participated in this final, protracted, and trying struggle, merit the highest praise.

All our troops had now suffered severely here and in other parts of the field. Hindman's division, it is understood, had been especially weakened in the conflict before it came to our support. Neither McNair's Gregg's nor Johnson's brigades mustered over five hundred guns.

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