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[317] threw forward one of his batteries, which joined in the fire. As he advanced, I conducted Darden's battery, of Williams's artillery, to Kelly's field; but this battery, as well as Stewart's division, it now being nightfall, was withdrawn into the edge of the wood, as we encountered in our advance the right wing of our army, which joined in the assault of the enemy's works, and was moving in a direction perpendicular to our line of march. The continued cheers of the army announced, at dark, that every point of the field had been gained. Stewart bivouacked within the entrenchments he had assaulted; Preston, upon the heights he had so gallantly won.

For the details of the action, of which this report is only a brief synopsis, and a notice of individual conduct, I respectfully refer you to the reports of the division, brigade, and regimental commanders, and of the chief and battalion commanders of the artillery, which are herewith transmitted.

To the gentlemen of my staff I am indebted for their prompt and gallant discharge of duty on every occasion. No commendation from me can add to the well earned reputation of Major-General Stewart and his able brigadiers—Johnston, who was detached, and in command of an improvised division, Brown, Bate and Clayton. They were worthy leaders of the brave troops, nearly all of them veterans, whom they so gallantly led.

Upon Brigadier-General Preston and his brigade commanders, Brigadier-General Gracie, and Colonels Trigg and Kelly, I cannot bestow higher praise than to say, that their conduct and example were such as to convert a body of troops, but few of whom had before been under fire, into a division of veterans in their first battle. Stewart's veterans maintained the reputation they had won on many fields. Preston's troops emulated their example and equalled them in merit.

The recapitulation of the heavy losses sustained in both divisions, is a sad testimony of the soldierly qualities of the survivors. Few troops, who have suffered so heavily, have been victorious on the field of their losses. But the result is only another evidence of the invincible spirit of our people, which, under the guidance of Providence, must finally win us our independence as a nation.

I am, Colonel, very respectfully,

Youth obedient servant,

S. B. Buckner, Major-General, lately commanding Buckner's Corps.

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