tion of the line, I did not wait for him to complete it, but returned to the head of my column to give the necessary orders.
By this time it was near 4 o'clock, and on arriving I was informed that General Beauregard desired to see me immediately. I rode forward to his headquarters at once, where I found General Bragg and himself in conversation. He said, with some feeling, "I am very much disappointed at the delay which has occurred in getting the troops into position." I replied, "So am I, sir; but so far as I am concerned my orders are to form on another line, and that line must first be established before I can form upon it." I continued, "I reached Mickey's at night-fall yesterday, from whence I could not move, because of the troops which were before me, until 2 p.m. to-day. I then promptly followed the column in front of me, and have been in position to form upon it so soon as its line was established." He said he regretted the delay exceedingly, as it would make it necessary to forego the attack altogether; that our success depended upon our surprising the enemy; that this was now impossible, and we must fall back to Corinth.
Here General Johnston came up and asked what was the matter. General Beauregard repeated what he had said to me. General Johnston remarked that this would never do, and proceeded to assign reasons for that opinion. He then asked what I thought of it. I replied that my troops were in as good condition as they had ever been; that they were eager for the battle; that to retire now would operate injuriously upon them, and I thought we ought to attack.
General Breckinridge, whose troops were in the rear and by this time had arrived upon the ground, here joined us, and after some discussion it was decided to postpone further movement until the following day, and to make the attack at daybreak. I then proceeded to dispose of my divisions-Cheatham having arrived-according to an alteration in the programme, and we bivouacked for the night.
At the appointed hour on the morning of the 6th my troops were moved forward, and so son as they were freed from an obstruction, formed by a thicket of underbrush, they were formed in column of brigades, and pressed onward to the support of the second line.
General Clark's division was in front. We had not proceeded far before the first line, under General Hardee, was under fire throughout its length, and the second, under General Bragg, was also engaged.
The first order received by me was from General Johnston, who had ridden to the front to watch the opening operations, and who, as commander-in-chief, seemed deeply impressed with the responsibilities of his position. It was observed that he entered upon his work with the ardor and energy of the true soldier, and the vigor with which he pressed forward his troops gave assurance that his persistent determination would close the day with a glorious victory.
The order was to send him a brigade to the right for the support of General Bragg's line, then hotly engaged. The brigade of General Stewart, of General Clark's division, was immediately dispatched to him, and was led by him in person to the point requiring support.
I was then ordered by General Beauregard to send one of the brigades of my rear division to the support of General Bragg's left, which was pressed by the enemy. Orders were given to that effect to General Cheatham, who took charge of the brigade in person and executed the movement promptly. My two remaining brigades were held in hand until I received orders to move them directly to the front, to the support of General Bragg's center. These were Colonel Russell's, of General Clark's division, which was directed by that officer, and General