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[163] charge which elicited the warmest admiration of all who witnessed it. Their loss was slight; that of the enemy so considerable that to explain the affair, the commander of the enemy saw fit to attribute to an entire division an attack made by three (3) of its regiments. Having driven the enemy within their main line, General Pettus halted, selected a position to prevent the enemy from interrupting the laying of the pontoons, and was subsequently reinforced by the rest of his brigade and by Holtzclaw's brigade of Clayton's division. The pontoon bridge was then laid with all practicable expedition. During the night General Pettus reported that the enemy was retiring, and he following with his skirmishers. This was as anticipated, and orders had already been given by General Lee to have everything in readiness to move, coupled with the statement that General Hood had advised him that he was between the enemy and Nashville, near Spring Hill. At daybreak I put my division in motion, in rear of Clayton's. Upon arriving at Spring Hill, we were informed that from some cause, which has not been explained, the enemy had been suffered to pass unattacked along the road commanded by the troops which the Commanding General took with him. We were then ordered to push on to Franklin. My division was halted about dusk in three miles of that place, and took no part in the battle. During the night the division was put in position, preparatory to an assault, which it was announced was to be made by the entire army at daybreak. The enemy, however, evacuated the town before the hour for the assault. We then advanced to within a few miles of Nashville, and threw up a line of works — my position being on the right and left of the Franklin pike. Several new lines were built, but my position with regard to the pike remained unchanged.

Until the opening of the battles around Nashville, nothing of interest transpired in my command, except the part taken by my skirmishers, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel J. B. Bibb, Twenty-third Alabama, in a demonstration made by Lee's corps. The enemy's skirmishers were driven by a greatly inferior force from all of their entrenched positions. My skirmishers were handsomely handled, and did their work with a dash and gallantry which deserve praise. Just before this demonstration, Palmer's brigade (consolidated from Brown's and Reynold's old brigades), was detached and ordered to report to Major-General N. B. Forrest in front of Murfreesboroa. It remained so detached from the division until it reached Bear creak, on this side of Barton's station.

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