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[540] who was personally present, directed me to move to the turnpike and sweep toward Columbia. General Cleburne, being in advance, formed and moved forward before it was possible for me to do so, and “changed front” without stopping and without my knowing the fact, owing to intervening hills obstructing the view. As soon as ascertained, I conformed to the movement as well as I could, and pushed forward in the direction of the enemy, who held the turnpike. It was now getting dark, and I had moved more than a mile in line of battle. Cleburne had been engaged, with what success I did not know. Procuring a guide, learning the exact locality of the enemy, and the general direction of the turnpike, I “changed direction to the right” again, and was moving so as to strike the turnpike to the right of Major Nat. Cheair's residence, which I believed would bring me near Cleburne's left. Caswell's battalion of sharpshooters, deployed as skirmishers, was in a hundred yards of and commanded the turnpike, checking the enemy's movement along it in my front; and my lines were being adjusted for a further forward movement, when I received an order, through Lieutenant Schell, from General Cheatham to halt and join my right to General Cleburne's left. My main line was in two hundred yards of the turnpike, when Major Caswell's battalion fired into the enemy on the pike. He (the enemy) veered to his left, as I subsequently ascertained, and took a road leaving the pike near Dr. McKissick's. I obeyed the order of General Cheatham, and with delay and difficulty (it being in the night and near the enemy), I ascertained the left of Cleburne's line, which had retired some distance to the rear of my right. I made known to General Cheatham the fact of the enemy threatening my left, and called for force to protect it. My left brigade was retired to confront any movement from that direction, and during the night, perhaps 10 o'clock, General Johnson's division of Lee's corps, moved to my left. My command was so disposed as to be an extension of Cleburne's line, with its left retired. I bivouaced between 9 and 10 o'clock for the night.

At daylight there was no enemy in my front.

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