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[520] extended from south-east to north-west, in front of the Nashville road, and in rear of the cedar wood, the eastern extremity of which was still occupied by Sheridan, the remainder, on the west side, being full of the debris of the divisions of Johnson and Davis.

These movements, however, could not be accomplished with sufficient rapidity to prevent the Confederates from obtaining new successes. Rosecrans had proceeded in person to the line occupied by Negley, on the Nashville road. On his arrival there the combat was resumed with renewed violence. The four brigades forming the right column of Polk's corps were executing the order issued by Bragg. Whilst Stewart, having rallied Anderson's scattered troops, was renewing the assault against Negley, Chalmers, supported by Donelson, was advancing through the open space, in the midst of which stood the Cowan house, and, following the road, vigorously attacked Palmer's division. The battle was now going on along the whole line. On the left wing, Hardee, after recalling McCown's brigade, which, as we have said, had taken too eccentric a direction, attacked Sheridan's division with his entire corps, flanking it on the west, despite the change of front which the latter had effected. This gallant troop was obliged to perform a second manoeuvre, still more difficult than the first, in order to avoid being taken in flank, but it had a skilful and determined commander, who was resolved to dispute every inch of ground and keep his lines unbroken. Falling back a few hundred metres before the enemy, who was pressing him on every side, he ordered his two brigades on the right to face to the west, and they thus found themselves back to back with Negley's division; Roberts' brigade, having turned toward the south, placed itself at right angles to these two bodies of troops, so as to cover their flank. This formation in a sharp angle, which was only feasible in the midst of woods and under the protection of their thickness, presented a solid obstacle against the attacks of the Confederates. In order to render the position still stronger, Sheridan had massed all the cannon he had in front of Roberts, which was the point most menaced, and the key to the whole position. His energy thus enabled him to resist all Hardee's assaults for nearly an hour; and it may be said that this hour saved the

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Philip Sheridan (3)
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