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[306]

General Bragg ordered that the attack be make at daylight, but the failure to communicate the plans to the corps commanders led to a delay of three hours or more.

The plan of battle provided that the movement begin on the right, and follow in succession toward the left, the purpose being to wheel the whole line towards the left.

At length, between 9 and 10 o'clock, final orders were received to begin the battle.

Breckinridge advanced, and, together with Helm's Brigade, became furiously engaged with a force behind strong breastworks. Forward dashed the Alabamians and Kentuckians, under a most murderous fire, enfilading as well as front, that shattered their ranks, but they pressed on.

The loss was fearful, and among the fallen was the accomplished Brigadier-General Ben Hardin Helm. The line advanced beyond the Chattanooga road, and captured a battery of Napoleon guns in position.

Adams' Brigade, in the meantime, had met but slight resistance, but also captured a battery, which was turned on the enemy. Seeing that the Federal line was practically turned, Breckinridge changed front at right angles to the Chattanooga road, facing southward, with Slocum's Louisiana Battery in his front. Advancing along and to eastward of the road, he developed the enemy's left strongly intrenched. Adams, on the right, encountered the enemy fronting his approach, but he broke through them by the impetuosity of his attack, but found a second and stronger line, at least three brigades, supported by artillery, behind them.

The next instant the Confederates were thrown back in confusion, leaving the gallant and intrepid Adams, severely wounded, in the hands of the enemy.

The situation was serious but Slocum threw his battery into favorable position and opened with grape and canister, fighting his guns with resolution and desperate courage. Slocum faced the Federal line unsupported until the brigade was rallied in his rear. Slocum was severely cut up, but continued to work his guns until the crisis was over. His battery had to be refitted before he could move.

The 19th Louisianna Regiment performed valiant services, and lost a large number of gallant officers and men. Among the killed was the gallant and always to be lamented Major Loudoun Butler.

In the meantime Wood's Brigade pushed forward upon the southern

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Slocum (4)
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