The part of Manigault's brigade adjacent to my division, about two regiments, under Colonel Reed, of the Thirty-fourth Alabama regiment, participated in the invincible spirit which fired our men, and continued to fight with us. I ordered that the hill should be held at all hazards, and determined that all should be lost before I would abandon it. I felt that this position (on the extreme left) was one of the utmost importance, and might determine the fate of the day. Indeed, defeat hire would have let the enemy's right swing back around our left flank, over the strong positions we had won; and here, as at Murfreesboroa, where all our movements on the left had been very similar, a chance for victory might be lost. About this time my Aid, Captain W. T. Blakemore, reported to me some two hundred men of Benning's brigade, in our rear, under command of a Major, whose name is not recollected. Upon going to it, the officer in command reported it utterly unserviceable on account of its having been cut up and demoralized. I consequently did not put it in the fight. The enemy where not whipped, and the conflict still raged with varying fortune. Repeatedly our men advanced, and were in turn forced to yield a portion of the ground they had gained. I directed our men to advance as far as possible, then hold their position and never retreat. We thus gradually approached the crest of the ridge. At about five P. M., I sent my acting Aid-de-Camp, Lieutenant George Marchbanks, Confederate States army, back to the foot of the ridge, to request Brigadier-Generals Deas and Manigault to bring up their brigades to my support. Lieutenant Marchbanks reports that Brigadier-General Deas replied that, on consultation with Brigadier-General Manigault, they had decided that it would not be safe to put their commands in the same position without the support of fresh troops. Over three hours passed in this conflict, in which officers and men toiled on and manifested more perseverance, determination and endurance than I have ever before witnessed on any field. We had now slowly driven the enemy on the left, up the gradual ascent, about half a mile, to the coveted crest of the ridge, where they made the last desperate resistance; and our lines gradually grew stronger and stronger under the animating hope of victory so nearly within our grasp. It was finally nearly sunset, when a simultaneous advance swept along our whole lines, and, with a shout, we drove the enemy from the ridge, and pursued them far down the northern slope to the bottom of the deep hollow beyond. We had now completely flanked and passed to the rear of the position of the enemy on the ridge to our right, and I am convinced we thus aided in finally carrying the heights south of Snodgrass's house. About the time the ridge was carried, Colonel Trigg, of Preston's division, reported to me with a part of his brigade. I sent Captain Terry, of the Seventeenth Tennessee regiment, who was wounded and mounted on horseback, to place Trigg's command on our right, and it relieved Gregg's brigade, which was out of ammunition. I now proceeded to reform my line, which, in the pursuit, I regret to say, was entirely broken, owing in part to the peculiar conformation of the ground over which we passed. I still hoped to follow up the retreating foe. After I ordered McNair's and Johnson's brigades to form on Trigg's, this brigade suddenly disappeared, called away, no doubt, to co-operate with Kelly's brigade in capturing the two regiments of General Granger's corps, which surrendered to them about dark. I felt now that it would be unsafe to advance, disconnected as my command was, and it being now dark, nearly eight o'clock P. M., I withdrew it some two hundred and fifty yards to a good position near the top of the ridge, threw out pickets to the front, and sent scouts to find the enemy. My line was arranged for the night in the following order: The two regiments of Manigault's brigade, under Colonel Reed, of the Thirty-fourth Alabama regiment, and the left thrown back to protect our flank, and in succession to the right, were aligned to Johnson's, McNair's and Gregg's brigades. On my right, Trigg's and Kelly's subsequently formed. About eight o'clock at night, abandoning all hopes of advancing further, I rode away and searched until about eleven o'clock, for the headquarters of the army or the wing, with a view to making a report of my position. Failing in this attempt, I returned to my command worn out with the toils of the day. The following morning revealed to us the fact that the enemy had left us in possession of the field. Details were now made to collect the spoils and bury the dead. I ought here to mention the heroic efforts on the part of officers and men which came under my observation; but, for want of personal acquaintance with the parties, I cannot do justice to all. I especially noticed the faithful toil and heroic conduct of Lieutenant-Colonel Reynolds, of the first battalion of dismounted rifles, McNair's brigade, who was conspicuous in his efforts to preserve our lines and encourage and press on our men. For hours he, with many other officers, faithfully and incessantly labored in this duty. In this connection I must, in justice, mention Colonel J. S. Fulton, of the Forty-fourth Tennessee regiment, commanding Johnson's brigade; Colonel R. H. Keble, of the Twenty-third Tennessee regiment; Lieutenant-Colonel Floyd and Captain Terry, of the Seventeenth Tennessee regiment, and Lieutenant-Colonel Snowden, and Acting Adjutant Gregg, of the Twenty-fifth Tennessee regiment. To Colonel Suggs, I feel especially indebted for his gallant, able and efficient services in commanding Gregg's brigade. He is a good and meritorious officer. Colonel Walker and Lieutenant-Colonel Clack, of the Third Tennessee; Colonel Grace, of the Tenth Tennessee;
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Doc . 62 .-Hoisting the Black flag — official correspondence and reports.
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