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[174] and a squadron of cavalry, in so far as can be ascertained, as there are no published reports but from one colonel.

About 4 o'clock on the morning of the 13th the Confederate pickets fired on the Federals coming up the mountain. Aroused by this, Colonel Johnson at once turned out the whole of his command and placed it in position to meet an attack. The Ninth and Twenty-fifth Virginia battalions and the Thirty-first Virginia were ordered to the crest of the mountain on the right, to guard against approach from that quarter. No defenses had been thrown up on that ridge. Some fields, with stumps and felled timber beyond, reached this crest of the mountain. A portion of the enemy, led by a Union man from western Virginia who was familiar with the locality, turned to the left about a mile down the turnpike and reached the field in front of Johnson's right by a trail which led into a road coming into a field near his rear. Hansborough's pickets discovered this approach and reported the enemy coming in strong force. They advanced, some 2,000 men, in line of battle at about 7:15 a. m. and promptly opened a terrific musketry fire, which was bravely responded to by the 300 Confederates on the crest of the ridge. As soon as this firing began, Johnson ordered two companies of the Twelfth Georgia, that had been posted about a quarter of a mile down the turnpike, to move to the support of the right; he also sent three other companies, from the same indomitable regiment, to join in holding this important position against such great odds. The Georgians gallantly moved up and lengthened the line on its left, receiving a hot fire from the enemy from behind the fallen trees and the standing stumps on the opposite side of the field in front. The Federals had, in the meantime, forced back the extreme Confederate right, but when the Georgians came up with a shout, those who had so well held the field rallied and moved upon the enemy at the same time. This brave dash was, for a time, checked by the Federals from the strong positions which they held behind the stumps and the fallen timber, but it was not driven back. It steadily advanced, cheered by its officers, who fought side by side with their men and led them on to the conflict. General Johnson reports: ‘I never witnessed harder fighting; the enemy, behind trees, with their long range arms, at first had decidedly the advantage, but our men soon came up ’

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