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[87] which was upon the left, was taken out of the trenches and thrown back perpendicularly to check the advance of the enemy, who was sweeping down the line from the left. This manoeuvre and night stopped the further progress of the enemy.

About midnight this division was moved back and took position on what is known as the “Overton Hill,” four miles from the city, upon the extreme right of the army, conforming to the position already taken by the left. Here breastworks were constructed. The enemy made their appearance early on the morning of the 16th, and soon developed along our whole line.

Having placed several batteries in position along my front with concentrated fire upon the “Overton Hill,” which was mainly occupied by Stovall's brigade, the enemy opened a terrible fire, which did considerable damage to that brigade, and very materially injured Standford's battery, which was in position on the left of Stovall's and right of Holtzclaw's brigade. At 1 P. M. the enemy, having driven in the skirmish line, made a vigorous assault upon portions of Gibson's and Holtzclaw's brigades, which was subsequently renewed twice along my whole front, except the extreme right of Stovall's brigade. One of these charges was made by negro troops. In these assaults the enemy suffered great slaughter, their loss being estimated at 1,500 or 2,000 killed and wounded. It was with difficulty that the enthusiasm of the troops could be repressed so as to keep them from going over the works in pursuit of the enemy. Five color-bearers with their colors were shot down in a few steps of the works, one of which having inscribed on its folds “Thirteenth regiment, United States colored infantry, presented by the colored ladies of Murfreesboroa,” was brought in.

About 4 P. M., while the division was thus in the highest state of enthusiasm, I received a message from the Lieutenant-General commanding corps, through Lieutenant Hunter, Aid-de-Camp, that “he would expect me to bring off my division in order.” I enquired “when; what was going on upon the left, and whether I should do so at once?” but could get no information. I turned to a staff officer and directed the batteries to be ready to limber up, and ordered Brigadier-General Stovall, who was standing by, to be in readiness to move out in order, but to wait until I could make an effort to bring off Standford's battery. I then saw the troops on my left flying in disorder, and it having been reported to me that Standford's battery was so disabled as to make it impossible to bring it off, I ordered the Eufaula light artillery to withdraw, and, so soon


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