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General Polk's report of battle of Taylor's Ridge.

headquarters Polk's brigade, December 3, 1863.
Captain J. A. Buck, Assistant Adjutant-General:
Captain — In obedience to orders from division headquarters, I submit the following report of the part taken by my brigade in the battle of Taylor's ridge.

Shortly after daylight on the morning of the 27th ultimo, General Cleburne ordered me to move my brigade through the gap in Taylor's ridge at Ringgold, and place my command so as to defend a road leading to his rear, and at same time place myself in communication with Seventh Texas regiment, placed on top of Taylor's ridge. This move was completed by 9 o'clock A. M. I went in person to the top of Taylor's ridge to see the commanding officer of the Seventh Texas regiment. Before arriving there I met a straggler, who told me the enemy were crossing Taylor's ridge to the right of General Cleburne's position. I immediately ordered up the First Arkansas regiment, and arriving in column at the top of the ridge, found the skirmishers of the enemy in twenty steps of the top, on the Ringgold side of the ridge. Firing commenced before the First Arkansas had formed line of battle, and continued during the entire time of bringing the regiment into position. After a stubborn contest for some half hour, I succeeded in driving the enemy back to the foot of the ridge, where they immediately formed, and, being heavily reinforced, commenced to move up the hill again. I now ordered up the fifth Confederate regiment, and General Lowry coming up with three of his regiments, arrested their approach. The enemy advancing up the hill, continued to oblique rapidly to the left. So I was compelled to move by the right flank to meet them. They advanced in column of regiments, and fought stubbornly, coming in twenty yards of my line. They were again repulsed with heavy loss, and fell back in the greatest confusion some distance beyond the foot of the ridge. In this attack the First Arkansas regiment took some twenty prisoners and two stands of colors. I could now see heavy columns of infantry approaching Ringgold by way of the railroad bridge. After a considerable delay, about 12 M., the enemy commenced moving a column rapidly by the left flank of a road running some two hundred yards from the foot of the ridge. I again moved by the right flank, and watched their movements. [591] Having moved by the left flank some half mile, the enemy, by a rapid movement, threw their line in a column of regiments and advanced up the hill. They were again met by the same stubborn resistance that before repulsed them.

General Lowry coming to my assistance with one of his regiments, I had it moved in rear of my line until the enemy had advanced within forty yards of my line, when I ordered it up in line with First Arkansas regiment, and at the same time throwing the Second Tennessee down the hill upon the left flank of the enemy. They were again driven back to the foot of the hill in great confusion. The enemy still continued moving over the rail road bridge in heavy column, and about one o'clock commenced moving rapidly to our right in two colums, one coming direct from the railroad bridge, and the other moving some three hundred yards beyond the foot of the ridge. This being reported to General Cleburne, he ordered my command to withdraw, and take a position some two miles to the rear of Taylor's ridge.

This move was made in perfect order. The enemy did not advance upon Taylor's ridge until we have taken our position two miles in the rear. We remained there until 9 o'clock; leaving our bivouac fires brightly burning, moved to Tunnel hill. In this fight, the officers and men all acted with the greatest bravery. Colonel Robinson, Second Texas, was slightly wounded in the arm, and Lieutenant-Colonel Martin, First Arkansas, in the leg. Lieutenant-Colonel Cole, of Fifth Confederate regiment was, I fear, mortally wounded. A correct list of casualties has been furnished from my brigade. My thanks are due to all the members of my staff for services rendered.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. E. Polk, Brigadier-General.

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Richard Taylor (7)
Cleburne (3)
A. H. Polk (2)
Lowry (2)
Leigh Robinson (1)
Polk (1)
Martin (1)
Cole (1)
J. A. Buck (1)
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December 3rd, 1863 AD (1)
27th (1)
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