then was such that Johnston could no longer delay his retrograde movement.
Just before Johnston left Muddy Creek, Sherman declared: His (Johnston's) left was his weak point so long as he acted on the defensive ; whereas, had he designed to contract the extent of his line for the purpose of getting in a reserve force with which to strike offensively from his right, he would have done a wise act, and!
（Sherman) was compelled to presume that such was his object.
On the afternoon of the 20th, Kirby's brigade of Stanley's division was holding Bald Knob, a prominent knoll in our front.
The Confederates, using artillery and plenty of riflemen, suddenly, just about sundown, made a spring for that knoll.
Kirby's men were taken by surprise and were driven back with loss.
The enemy quickly fortified the position and thus had a break in Sherman's line, where the enemy the next morning could follow up this advantage and begin an offensive movement for which we were not prepared.