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[276] Walthall led in the attack upon the Federal force of George H. Thomas, and in this first battle he and his regiment received the most enthusiastic praise from the commanding general. Subsequently, in command of the Twenty-ninth regiment, in the brigade of General Chalmers, he participated in Bragg's campaign in Kentucky, taking a prominent part in the attack upon Munfordville, which resulted in the capitulation of the Federal garrison. In November following he was recommended for promotion by General Bragg, and was promptly commissioned brigadier-general and assigned to a brigade of Polk's corps. Sickness prevented his participation in the battle of Stone's River, but in the subsequent operations in Tennessee and north Georgia he was active in command of a brigade of Mississippians. On the bloody field of Chickamauga he was with his brigade in the heat of the fight against Thomas and won new laurels as a gallant soldier, capturing and holding, until his division was overwhelmed and forced to retire, the battery of the Fifth United States artillery. During the investment of Chattanooga, on November 15th, he was sent with his brigade, worn down to 1,500 men, to hold Lookout mountain. He formed a picket line on Lookout creek and up the western slope of the mountain, with orders, ‘if attacked in heavy force to fall back, fighting, over the rocks.’ Assailed by Hooker's force of 10,000 men, he fought what is called ‘the battle above the clouds,’ which, though not strictly a battle, and certainly not above the clouds, but in the midst of a heavy fog, was a gallant struggle in which his men were under fire of artillery as well as musketry, and, finally taking a position on the brow of the mountain, held it until withdrawn at night. General Bragg reported that Walthall's brigade ‘made a desperate resistance.’ A Northern writer, after noting that Walthall's Mississippians ‘were known to be brave and their commander one of the most daring of officers,’ echoes the query of Bragg in his official report, ‘Why Walthall was not reinforced, ’

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