defending extended lines on our front (not less than a mile) and on our flanks, and the fact that there are points in our rear which in possession of an enemy, might give us great trouble. The works essential to our safety were in progress of construction at the time of the attack, but were only partially completed, nothing whatever having been done to strengthen our right flank or our rear.
I am happy to say that during the three days, through the indefatigable efforts of Lieutenant-Colonel Barton, in immediate charge of the works, backed by the cheerful labor of the men, we are already in condition to defy an approach from any quarter. Not doubting that the attack upon us had been to some extent invited by our commencing to fortify ourselves against it, and fearing that the enemy might have been fully advised of our weak points until he had actually began his retreat, my mind could not dispossess itself of the idea that he had sent another column over the mountain to return our right flank. To prepare fort this danger I held the First Georgia Regiment, so far as that cloud be done, in reserve for what I apprehended would be a desperate struggle. I also sent expresses to Colonel Baldwin, whom I had previously ordered to the top of the Alleghany Ridge, directing him to move the Fifty-second Virginia Regiment as rapidly down as possible, and to fall upon the rear of the enemy should he undertake to fall upon ours. That gallant regiment responded, as I have learned, most heartily to the call, and when hatlet upon the road by the tidings that the day had already been won, despite of its not-to-be-doubted patriotism, could not entirely conceal its charging.
The two brigades in this camp, weakened by the absence of the several corps on detached service,t eh Fifth having been reduced from this cause and from sickness to scarce one-third of its legitimate number, I posted in the following order: The First Georgia Regiment upon our extreme right, under command of Major Thompson, Colonel Ramsey, the field officer of the day, having been cut off from us by the enemy while discharging his upon the road; next to it was placed the Twelfth Georgia Regiment-both of these regiment designed for the immediate command of Colonel Johnson. At an early movement I threw out what mounted men were available, under Captain Sterrett, of the Churchville Cavalry, to different points along the valley upon our right, for the purpose of bringing us timely notice of an approach by the enemy, and I also strengthened considerably the picket guards advanced in that direction. The center I intrusted to the Fifth Brigade, under command of Colonel Taliaferro, composed of the Forty-fourth Virginia Regiment, Colonel Scott; the Twenty-third Virginia Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Taliaferro, and Major Reger's battalion [Twenty-fifth Virginia], commanded in his absence from sickness by senior Captain John C. Higginbotham. This brigade was reduced int eh course of the action by the detachment of 100 men, under Major Jones, of the Forty-fourth, to re-enforce our left wing. This detachment marched in gallant style under the enemy's fire to the position assigned it in line. The troops on this wing, which from the character of the ground were widely dispersed, fell under the general command of Colonel Rust, of the Third Arkansas Regiment, and consisted of his own command, the Thirty-first Virginia Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Jackson, and the battalion of Lieutenant-Colonel Hansbrough, commanded in his absence on account of sickness by senior Captain J. A. Robertson. Upon this flank also two field pieces had already been placed in battery, enfilading the Huntersville road, which runs at right angles, if indeed,
15 R R-VOL V