My division of the troops was as follows:
Hanson's regiment on the extreme right; Palmer's regiment, with its reserve, in position to re-enforce Hanson; Porter's battery occupying the advanced salient sweeping the road which led to the front, and flanking the entrenchments both to the right and to the left. The reserve of the Fourteenth Mississippi was held as its support. Brown's, Cook's, and Farquharson's regiments were on the left. Graves' battery occupied a position near the extreme left of the entrenchments on the declivity of the hill whence it swept the valley with its fire and flanked the position of Colonel Heiman to the east of the valley.
From three to five companies of each regiment wee deployed as skirmishers in the rifled pits. The other companies of each regiment were massed in columns, sheltered from the enemy's fire behind the irregularities of the ground, and held in convenient positions to re-enforce any portion of the line that might be seriously threatened.
No serious demonstration was made on our lines on the 12th.
Early on the morning of the 13th a column of the enemy's infantry, which was apparently forming to move down the valley between my left and Heiman's right, was driven back by a few well-directed shots from Graves' battery.
About 10 o'clock in the morning the enemy made a vigorous attack upon Hanson's position, but was repulsed with heavy loss. The attack was subsequently renewed by three heavy regiments, but was gain repulsed by the Second Kentucky Regiment, aided by a part of the Eighteenth Tennessee. In both these affairs, and also in a third repulse of the enemy from the same position, Porter's battery played a conspicuous part.
About 11 o'clock a strong-attack was made on Colonel Heiman's position beyond my left. A well-directed fire from Graves' battery upon the flank of the assaulting column materially contributed to repulse the enemy with heavy loss.
The fire of the enemy's artillery and riflemen was incessant throughout the day, but was responded to by a well-directed fire from the entrenchments, which inflicted upon the assailant considerable loss and almost silenced his fire late in the afternoon.
On the preceding night General Floyd had arrived and assumed command of all the troops, and during the morning visited and inspected my lines. My loss during the day was 39 in killed and wounded.
The enemy were comparatively quiet in front of my position during the 14th. On the morning of that day I was summoned to a council of general officers, in which it was decided unanimously, in view of the arrival of heavy re-enforcement of the enemy below, to make an immediate attack upon their right, in order to open our communications with Charlotte, in the direction of Nashville. It was urged that this attack should be made at once, before the disembarkation of the enemy's re-enforcement, supposed to be about 15,000 men. I proposed, with my division, to cover the retreat of the army should the sortie prove successful. I made the necessary dispositions preparatory to executing the movement, but early in the afternoon the order was countermanded by General Floyd, at the instance, as I afterwards learned, of General Pillow, who, after drawing out his troops for the attack, thought it too late for the attempt.
On the night of the 14th it was unanimously decided, in a council of general officers and regimental commanders, to attack the enemy's right at daylight. The object of the attack was to force our way through his lines, recover our communications, and effect our retreat upon Nashville.