detachment of Virginia troops on the left of the Twenty-sixth Tennessee, and in the open field, twice endeavored to gain ground forward to a point where their fire could be effective, but were unable to stand the destructive effect of the Minie balls.
At this juncture the Twentieth Mississippi again came up across the field and took possession, slightly covered by an irregularity of the ground.
Observing a regiment or more of our troops posted inactive some 300 or 400 yards still more to our left, where the shallow ravine (which covered our front) spread out and was lost inthe plain, I requested the commanding officer to throw forward his left and advance up the hollow in a direction nearly parallel to our line of battle, and attack the enemy's right flank. This movement being supported by the whole lien, all the regiments on the left throwing forward their left wings, we succeeded in executing a change of front to the right, turning the right of the enemy and driving him at once from his position.
Up to this time our condition was once of extreme peril, and nothing but the native gallantry of troops brought forth for the first time under heavy fire and the extraordinary exertions of many of the field and company officers saved us from being thrown back in confusion into our trenches.
From this the enemy were slowly driven from each position which the ground favorable for defense enabled them to take. Two sections of artillery were taken. Those placed to bear on our lines of rifle trenches were rushed upon in flanks and seized before they could be turned upon us or be taken from the field. The first section was taken by the Twenty-sixth Tennessee, the second by the Twenty-sixth Mississippi. Advancing in a direction nearly parallel to our line of defense, when nearly opposite the center our course was for some time impeded by the desperate stand made by the enemy, who was probably re-enforced and occupied ground most favorable for sheltering his troops. Our ammunition had been so rapidly expended as to entirely exhaust the supply of some regiments. Numbers had provided themselves from the cartridge boxes of the dead and wounded enemy.
Our force had been considerably reduced by casualties and the numerous attendants who conveyed the wounded from the field. Having no mounted officer to send, I rode up to where Captain Graves' battery was posted in the trenches, and requested supplies of ammunition and was posted in the trenches, and requested supplies of ammunition and re-enforcements, if any could be spared, giving Captain Graves an intimation as to the relative positions of the forces engaged. Immediately on my return he opened a fire of grape, which so disordered the enemy that we were again enabled to advance, driving him from his camp of the night before.
He took a new position, still farther retired, holding it for some time, until Colonel Hanson, with the Second Kentucky Regiment, coming to our assistance, poured a fire into the enemy's flank, who immediately fled in confusion.
This completed the rout of the extreme right of the Federal forces Uncertain as to the movements of our right wing, I paused to obtain the information necessary to render our future movements effective and to restore order from the confusion incident to continuous combat of nearly six hours in the woods.
Here General B. R. Johnson came up to me for the first time, although I learned that he had at different times during the morning directed other portions of the line. He could give no information, but soon after, while my attention was directed to the Twenty-sixth Mississippi and Twenty-