ing obliquely from the left int the bottom. In these attempts of the enemy and the movement of the troops it was easy to see that his force was large enough to have surrounded my little force with triple lines.
Failing in these efforts to flank my position he pressed heavily forward the advance line, and braced it firmly with his large reserve. I advised Major-General Polk of my positions and of the strength of the enemy, and asked for support and a supply of ammunition, which was becoming short from the constant and heavy fire which was required to check the advance of the determined foe. The two wings of the lines stood firm and unbroken for several hours, but the center, consisting of Colonels Pickett's and Freeman's regiments, being in the open field and greatly exposed, once or twice faltered, but my own and the efforts of their officers were promptly returned to their original position, and continued the conflict.
At length Colonel Beltzhoover reported to me that his ammunition was exhausted. Colonel Bell had previously reported his regiment out of ammunition, and Colonel Wright that one battalion of his regiment had exhausted its ammunition. I directed Colonel Beltzhoover to remove his guns to the rear. The team of one gun had run off with the limber, leaving the gun in its position of battery. The others were drawn to the river bank, and Colonel Beltzhoover applied to me to assist him in removing the gun, which he could not remove. I rode up to the right wing of Colonel Wright's regiment for the purpose of directing a detail of men to remove this gun, but that regiment was so hotly engaged with the enemy, and were in such close proximity to him, that I thought it better, to let the gun go, even if it should be ultimately lost, than to weaken the small force which then held in check the enemy's masses, pressing heavily upon the regiment.
My battery being silenced for want of ammunition, and one regiment and a battalion having exhausted its supply, and the enemy's force being unchecked and now emerging into the edge of the field, I ordered the line to use the bayonet. The charge was made by the whole line, and the enemy driven back into the woods. But his line was not broken, and he kept up a deadly fire, and being supported by his large reserve, my line was forced back to its original position, while that of the enemy advanced. The charge was repeated the second and the third time, forcing the enemy's line heavily against his reserve, but with like result.
Finding it impossible longer to maintain my position without re-enforcements and ammunition, I ordered the whole line to fall back to the river bank. In this movement my line was more or less broken, and my corps mingled together, so that when we reached the river bank it had the appearance of a mass of men rather than an organized corps. On my arrival in the rear of the command I met Colonel J. K. Walker, of my own division, with his regiment coming to my support. I ordered him to advance his regiment as promptly as possible to check the advance of the enemy's force and hold him back, so as to give me time to move the force up the river bank and to form the commands, and said to him that I would cross through the fallen timber, turn the enemy's position, and attack him in the rear. Colonel Walker's regiment promptly advanced, with the enemy's force in the open field, and held him in check until his line of fire and artillery had cut down a large portion of the regiment, when it was forced back, and sheltered itself under the bank of the river, from which position the regiment kept up a constant fire while it moved by the flank up the river bank. When the enemy's force reached the bank of the river he was met by the fire of Captain Smith's battery (of General Cheatham's division) from the op-