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[349] now drawn up nearly at right angles with the position it held in the morning. The right of the left wing held the angle of high ground between the rail and river. Here the enemy massed his artillery, and seemed to bid defiance to the hitherto victorious career of the Confederates.

Finding that the enemy had concentrated such a force on Hardee's front as to check his further progress, Gen. Bragg sent orders for Breckinridge's division to move from the right to reinforce Polk; but there was a considerable delay in carrying out this order, owing to a threat of an advance on the Federal left, and a rumour of fresh forces appearing on the Lebanon pike. “These unfortunate misrepresentations,” said Gen. Bragg, “on that part of the field which, with proper caution, could not have existed, withheld from active operations three fine brigades until the enemy had succeeded in checking our progress, had re-established his lines, and had collected many of his broken battalions.”

Having settled the question that no movement was being made against our right, and none to be apprehended, Breckinridge was ordered to leave two brigades to support the battery on his side of Stone River-and with the remainder of the force to cross to the left, and report to Polk. By the time this could be accomplished it was too late to send this force to Hardee's support, who was unable to make further progress, and he was directed to maintain his position. Polk was directed with these reinforcements to throw all the force he could collect upon the enemy's extreme left, and thereby either carry that strong point which had so far resisted us so successfully-or failing in that, at least to draw off from Hardee's front the formidable opposition there concentrated. The three brigades of Jackson, Preston, and Adams were successively reported for their work.

Upon this flank, his strongest defensive position resting on the river-bank, the enemy had concentrated not less than twenty pieces of artillery, masked almost from view, but covering an open space in front of several hundred yards, supported right and left and rear by heavy masses of infantry. A terrible trial awaited the devoted men who were to attack this position. As they pressed up to the edge of the cedar forest, and swarmed out into the open field, it was a grand scene. Every feature of it was keenly cut and clearly defined. The day was one of surpassing beauty. The gray suits of the Confederates dotted the dark line of the cedars; presently they could be seen to thicken in order of battle, with the bright glitter of their steel flashing in the heavy green of the thicket. As they passed into the open field, the hostile array imparted sublimity to the spectacle. Great masses of troops moved steadily forward, careless of the batteries, which tore open their ranks, and scattered them bleeding upon the soil. They marched through the destroying storm dauntlessly. Two attempts were made to carry the enemy's position. But each time the whole extent of their lines was engirdled with a belt of flame and smoke, and the ground

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