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[411] my highest admiration, and I at once endeavored involuntarily to express personally to the commanders my high appreciation of the work they had so nobly done. It is claimed by Johnson's brigade that they rallied to a man at the battery. I may be permitted to say for these noble men, with whom I have so long been associated, that I then felt that every man in the brigade was a hero. Of Gregg's brigade I can speak in no less exalted terms. All, indeed, who now participated in this final, protracted and trying struggle merit the highest praise.

All our troops had now suffered severely here and in other parts of the field. Hindman's division, it is understood, had been especially weakened in the conflict before it came to our support. Neither McNair's, Gregg's, or Johnson's brigades mustered over five hundred guns. The part of Manigault's brigade adjacent to my division, about two regiments, under Colonel Reed, of the Thirty-fourth Alabama regiment, participated in the invincible spirit which fired our men and continued to fight with us. I ordered that the hill should be held at all hazards, and determined that all should be lost before I would abandon it. I felt that this position (on the extreme left) was one of the utmost importance, and might determine the fate of the day. Indeed, defeat here would have let the enemy's right swing back around our left flank, over the strong positions we had won; and here, as at Murfreesboroa, where all our movements on the left had been very similar, a chance for victory might be lost.

About this time my aid, Captain W. T. Blackemore, reported to me some two hundred men of Benning's brigade, in our rear, under command of a Major, whose name is not recollected. Upon going to it the officer in command reported it utterly unserviceable on account of its having been cut up and demoralized. I, consequently, did not put it in the fight.

The enemy were not whipped, and the conflict still raged with varying fortune. Repeatedly our men advanced, and were in turn forced to yield a portion of the ground they had gained. I directed our men to advance as far as possible, then hold their position and never retreat. We thus gradually approached the crest of the ridge.

At about 5 P. M. I sent my Acting Aide-de-Camp, Lieutenant George Marchbanks, Confederate States Army, back to the foot of the ridge to request Brigadier-Generals Deas and Manigault to bring up their brigades to my support. Lieutenant Marchbanks reports that Brigadier-General Deas replied that, on consultation with Brigadier-General Manigault, they had decided that it would not be safe

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Manigault (3)
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