as a force of the enemy were reported advancing in that direction. I accordingly instructed Colonel Gillespie, commanding the left regiment of the brigade, to protect his left by throwing skirmishers well on his flank, and, in case of being attacked from that direction, to change his front so as to meet the attack. About the time, or just previous to engaging the third line, a heavy column of the enemy moved on my left flank. The left regiment, according to my instructions, changed front so as to meet it, while the other regiments of the brigade engaged him in front. This over-whelming force, which attacked my left flank and had gained my rear, forced me to retire; which movement I executed by the flank, in order to prevent the capture of a portion of the brigade, and reformed my line in rear of General Cheatham's division, then moving into position. It was afterwards ascertained that we had engaged the whole of General Thomas' (Federal) corps. The two lines which I had driven back in confusion were composed in part of the Fifth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Twenty-first regiments regular United States army. Four hundred men and some officers belonging to these regiments were captured and safely sent to the rear, together with three Parrott guns, composing a part of Loomis' battery, designated as Company H, Fifth artillery, United States army; which were sent to the rear under charge of three men belonging to the First Louisiana regiment, and delivered to Major Palmer, Chief of Artillery, Walker's corps. One piece, a James rifle gun, captured by the Second and Fifteenth Arkansas regiments, was carried to the rear by hand by men belonging to that regiment, and delivered to Lieutenant Shannon, commanding Swett's battery. The other pieces from which the enemy had been driven (the horses attached to them being either killed or disabled), we were compelled to leave behind when we retired. This engagement lasted nearly two hours. In the fight many gallant officers and privates were killed and wounded. Among the first was Colonel L. Featherston, commanding Fifth and Thirteenth Arkansas regiments, who fell, mortally wounded, while gallantly leading his regiment, and Lieutenant-Colonel Baucum, commanding Eighth Arkansas and First Louisiana regiments, severely wounded, while carrying the colors at the head of his regiment. Late in the evening I was ordered to the extreme right, on the prolongation of the line occupied by General Cheatham, facing westward, with Walthall's brigade on my left. Moving forward I ascertained that there was no considerable force of the enemy in my front, the firing indicating him to be in the immediate front of General Walthall in force. My left regiment, the Sixth and Seventh Arkansas, gave way, and moved about two hundred yards to the rear, being, as they informed me, enfiladed and fired into. While in this position, one of our own batteries in rear fired over my lines and slightly wounded several of my men. The fire from the battery continuing, I moved a short distance to the rear, and by the left flank, and formed on Walthall's right, in which position we remained during the night. I was informed by several officers that there was a battery immediately in front of the last position occupied, which the enemy had abandoned, and which I might have had conveyed to the rear if I had ascertained the fact sooner. On the morning of the twentieth, about nine o'clock, I was ordered to take a position on the extreme right, supporting Major-General Breckinridge's division. About noon I was ordered to advance, making a slight change of direction to the left. While executing this movement, I was ordered by one of Lieutenant-General Polk's staff officers to the assistance of Gist's brigade, which was heavily pressed by the enemy. The officer could only give me general direction as to where General Gist's brigade was engaged. Encountering no enemy in my front, I commenced changing direction to the left, so as to meet the enemy, who had opened fire upon me from the edge of the woods immediately on my left flank. This movement, difficult at all times, was executed across an open field, in an exposed position and under a heavy fire of musketry. The brigade pressed gallantly forward, and succeeded in driving the enemy from his position in the woods. Continuing this circular movement to the left, the left regiment pressed up to an angle of the enemy's fortifications, while the right continued to press the enemy across an open field, until I had reached a position forming an acute angle with our original direction, and almost immediately in rear of a line of the enemy's strongest breastworks. Gist's brigade, which I had not succeeded in finding, had fallen back about the time I had engaged the enemy. I was thus completely isolated from our line. I would here state that Walthall's brigade had previously been sent to another part of the field. The enemy, being massed in heavy force behind his breastworks, and perceiving the interval between my left and the right of our lines, made a vigorous attack upon my left, and succeeded, by enfilading and overlapping it, in breaking it, and thus, while the right was driving the enemy, it was in danger of being captured. This was only obviated by the greatest efforts on the part of the regimental commanders, who, after they had succeeded in halting their commands, moved by the right flank, and, by a circuitous route, succeeded in rejoining the command. I immediately re-formed the line and was placed in position in the front line, on the left of General Walthall's brigade. About five o'clock P. M., orders were received to advance. There was a considerable interval between me and Jackson's brigade, next on my left, which fact was represented to General Liddell, and by him communicated to General Walker. The movement commenced, I, in obedience to orders, conforming my movements to those of General Walthall's brigade, next on my
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Doc . 62 .-Hoisting the Black flag — official correspondence and reports.
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