Next morning [Sunday, the 6th) the sky was without a cloud and the sun arose in cheering brilliancy.
About 5 a.m. the first firing was heard in the center, down the Pittsburg road. In less than three minutes firing was heard on the left. Intermittent firing in the center and on the right until 6.05 o'clock.
At 6.30 o'clock I brought an order from you to General Breckinridge, who commanded the reserve, that he must hurry up his troops, inasmuch as General Polk was moving forward, which was promptly delivered and promptly obeyed.
Soon after this General Johnston called on you and expressed himself satisfied with the manner in which the battle had been opened. The greatest enthusiasm prevailed both with officers and men. When you established your headquarters on the high point between the Pittsburg and Hamburg roads heavy firing was heard on our right. The first cannon was discharged on our left at 7 o'clock, which was followed by a rapid discharge of musketry.
About 7.30 o'clock I rode forward with Colonel Jordan to the front to ascertain how the battle was going. There I learned from General Johnston that General Hardee's line was within half a mile of the enemy's camps, and bore from General Johnston a message that he advised the sending forward strong re-enforcements to our left, as he had just then been advised that the enemy was there is great force.
Under this advice two of General Breckinridge's brigades were started to the support of the left; but before he had proceeded far I bore a message to General Breckinridge to send but one brigade, and to order forward two brigade towards Lick Creek, on the right. This change was made in consequence of information brought by a courier that the enemy was not strong on our left and had fallen back.
From 8 to 8.30 o'clock the cannonading was very heavy along the whole line, but especially in the center, which was in the line of their camps.
Soon after General Breckinridge moved down the Bark road to the right a courier arrived, bringing the information that the Bolling and Turner Fords, on Lick Creek, were unmolested.
About 10 o'clock you moved forward with your staff and halted within about half a mile of their camps, at which time our troops were reported to be in full possession of the enemy's camps. Here we met large numbers of wounded and stragglers from the ranks. Immediately your whole staff was ordered to rally the stragglers and send them forward to their regiments. I was charged with the duty of hurrying forward the ammunition wagons to a safe point immediately in the rear of our lines engaged in the conflict. I succeeded in carrying forward several loads of ammunition beyond the first encampment of the enemy to a point of safety just outside of the firing. After passing over the second ridge, where the conflict was maintained with the greatest intensity, I observed the enemy was gradually giving back before the galling fire of an impetuous infantry. I returned to your quarters, and found you had moved up to the old house on the ridge, where we first entered the encampment of the enemy. On my return I observed a regiment drawn up in line of battle in the hollow west of the second ridge. I rode up to the regiment and inquired why they remained there idle while our brave companions were hotly contesting every inch of found so near them and needed assistance. An officer stepped forward, whom I took to be a captain, and said, with great emotion, that they had no officers, and that he did not know what to do. I requested him to
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