storm on the night of the 4th, which drenched the troops in bivouac; hence our forces did not reach the intersection of the roads from Pittsburg and Hamburg, in the immediate vicinity of the enemy, until late Saturday afternoon.
It was then decided that the attack should be made on the next morning, at the earliest hour practicable, in accordance with the orders of movement; that is, in three lines of battle, the first and second extending from Owl Creek, on the left, to Lick Creek, on the right, a distance of about 3 miles, supported by the third and the reserve. The first line, under Major-General Hardee, was constituted of his corps, augmented on his right by Gladden's brigade, of Major-General Bragg's corps, deployed in line of battle, with their respective artillery following immediately by the main road to Pittsburg and the cavalry in rear of the wings. The second line, composed of the other troops of Bragg's corps, followed the first at a distance of 500 yards in the same order as the first. The army corps under General Polk followed the second line, at a distance of about 800 yards, in lines of brigades deployed, with their batteries in rear of each brigade, moving by the Pittsburg road, the left wing supported by cavalry. The reserve, under Brigadier-General Breckinridge, followed closely the third line in the same order, its right wing supported by cavalry.
These two corps constituted the reserve, and were to support the front lines of battle, by being deployed, when required, on the right and left of the Pittsburg road, or otherwise act according to the exigencies of the battle.
At 5 a.m. on the 6th instant, a reconnoitering party of the enemy having become engaged with our advance pickets, the commander of the forces gave orders to begin the movement and attack as determined upon, except that Trabue's brigade, of Breckinridge's division, was detached and advanced to support the left of Bragg's corps and line of battle when menaced by the enemy, and the other two brigades were directed to advance by the road to Hamburg to support Bragg's right; and at the same time Maney's regiment, of Polk's corps, was advanced by the same road to re-enforce the regiment of cavalry and battery of four pieces already thrown forward to watch and guard Greer's, Tanner's, and Borland's Fords, on Lick Creek.
At 5.30 a. m. our lines and columns were in motion, all animated, evidently, by a promising spirit. The front line was engaged at once, but advanced steadily, followed in due order, with equal resolution and steadiness, by the other lines, which were brought successively into action with rare skill, judgment, and gallantry by the several corps commanders as the enemy made a stand, with his masses rallied for the struggle for his encampments.
Like an Alpine avalanche our troops moved forward, despite the determined resistance of the enemy, until after 6 p. m., when we were in possession of all his encampments between Owl and Lick Creeks but one; nearly all of his field artillery; about 30 flags, colors, and standards; over 3,000 prisoners, including a division commander (General Prentiss), and several brigade commanders; thousands of small-arms; an immense supply of subsistence, forage, and munitions of war, and a large amount of means of transportation-all the substantial fruits of a complete victory, such, indeed, as rarely have followed the most successful battles; for never was an army so well provided as that of our enemy.
The remnant of his army had been driven in utter disorder to the immediate vicinity of Pittsburg, under the shelter of the heavy guns of