and I, therefore, immediately gave orders to move to the right, but had hardly commenced the movement before the enemy met the front of my column with a murderous and destructive fire, enfilading nearly the whole of my line, and moving in such a direction as soon to be in the rear of my right, if I attempted to hold the position I then had. The position of the two lines were about as is shown by the following diagram:
Therefore, not knowing whether I was to receive support on my right, and having no time for delay, I immediately gave orders for my line to retire, and at once moved back to a position where I hoped to be able to prevent the enemy from flanking me. I gained this position with my left in good order, my right being thrown into confusion by the heavy fire they were receiving, both from the front and on their flank.
The officers, however, all acted with great gallantry and coolness, and immediately rallied their men as soon as they arrived at positions where they could do so and not be in immediate danger of being flanked.
In this movement we were compelled to leave most of our men killed and wounded on the field, some of which fell into the hands of the enemy.
Our loss whilst placed in this unfortunate position was near two hundred, and among that number some very valuable and gallant officers.
Most of the field officers on my right were dismounted by having their horses shot from under them, and Major Heiskell, of the Nineteenth Tennessee regiment, a very gallant officer, was severely wounded in the foot.
During this short encounter with the enemy the Nineteenth Tennessee regiment was on my right, and was therefore much more exposed, and consequently met with a much heavier loss than any other in the brigade.
But its field officers, Colonel F. M. Walker and Lieutenant-Colonel B. F. Moore, acted with such coolness and gallantry that they inspired their men with courage and confidence, and prevented that demoralization which might have been expected under such trying circumstances.
It was now, while engaged in re-forming my line, that General Maney came up and pressed the enemy back for some distance on my right, and soon became hotly engaged.
As soon as my line was re-formed I moved forward to his support, and arrived on a line with his left just in time to meet the enemy, who were advancing rapidly and pressing his line back.
My three regiments, the Nineteenth, Thirty-first, and Thirty-third, were thrown forward in advance of the left of .my brigade and took possession of a small skirt of woods, which they held until the line on their right had fallen back so far that they were again exposed to a severe enfilading fire, when I again ordered them to retire to the position where they had first rallied, in order to prevent the enemy from swinging around my right and thus getting in my rear.
Then I reformed my whole line, but learning that General Smith's brigade was in line just on my right and but a short distance in my rear, and being without support on either flank, I deemed it advisable to move back and form on him; which I did, and remained in this position until dark.
While in this position, my battery, commanded by Captain T. P. Stanford, for the first time opened upon the enemy and shelled them for a short time, but with what effect I could not tell.
The ground over which we had been fighting during the afternoon was of such a nature that it would not admit of the use of artillery, and especially of a rifle battery; therefore I was compelled to meet every advance of the enemy with my infantry alone, although their batteries were playing on me the whole time, and from positions that made their fire very effective.
My battery, however, was at all times immediately in my rear, and ready, at a moment's notice, to go into position had an opportunity offered where it could have been used with effect.
About dark General Deshler's brigade, which was then in my rear, was ordered to the front, and moved forward in such a manner as to cover my right.
In a short time after he had passed me, going to the front, I was ordered to follow, and did so, continuing to advance until I came up with his line, which was an old field, and near where we had been engaged during the afternoon.
Here we bivouacked for the night in line of battle.
During the night our infirmary corps brought off many of our killed and wounded that we had left on the field.
The next morning we were held in this position until noon or later, when we moved by the right flank to the extreme right of the army, and was then moved forward and placed in position immediately in rear of General Liddell's command, and there remained until the morning of the twenty-first, when I formed on the right of General Liddell and sent forward skirmishers some two miles and a half, but without discovering an enemy, save some few stragglers, who surrendered without making any resistance.