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 Cheatham had hurled on the right, became engaged with Roberts' troops without gaining ground; it had not, however, been as completely repulsed as those of Loomis and Vaughn. But a fresh danger was about to compel Sheridan to surrender to the Confederates part of the position which they had so unsuccessfully attacked in front. Davis had just been dislodged from the hospital, and his whole divison, as we have said, was violently driven back upon the Wilkinson road. Polk's and Johnson's brigades, of Cleburne's division, struck the extremity of Sheridan's line, where stood Sill's soldiers, scarcely recovered from a too-dearly-bought success; and almost at the same time, Liddell's and McNair's troops, extending on his right, in pursuit of Davis, who was in full retreat, threatened to surround him completely. But neither himself nor his soldiers felt disconcerted on finding themselves in this dangerous situation. Instead of allowing himself to be carried away by the movement of his neighbors, he did not hesitate to make, under the very fire of the enemy, a change of front, which enabled him to preserve the important position he occupied with the least possible loss of ground. He could not abandon this position without uncovering the centre of the army, as he had himself been uncovered by the rout of the right. The cedar wood, the eastern margin of which he had so successfully defended, extended to the Wilkinson road at the south-east, but the southern border soon receded again, to make room for a square-shaped clearing; it was upon this receding margin of the woods that Sheridan resolved to rest his new line, facing south. His left still lay joined to Negley's right, which he thus continued to protect, and he only abandoned the extreme end of the wood, which stretched out as far as the Wilkinson road, where he ran the risk of being surrounded. In order to effect this conversion, he brought the brigades of Sill and Schaeffer to the rear, and, as soon as the Confederates started in pursuit of them, Roberts' brigade made a vigorous charge upon them, thus freeing the wood and enabling the other two brigades to effect their change of front; after which the former came in its turn to take position alongside of them. Shortly after Cheatham's first attack upon Sheridan, Withers, on his right, had directed one of his brigades, under Anderson, against Negley's Federal division, in
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