I marched to the field in command of five companies of my own regiment (First Tennessee), the other five having been detained at Chattanooga by order of superior officers.
On the 5th instant, while in front of the enemy, I was, by order of General A. S. Johnston, commanding, detached from the brigade of Brigadier-General Chalmers, with which I had temporarily served, and instructed to report, with my five companies present, to Major-General Polk for service, and was by him assigned to the Second Brigade, Second Division, of his corps.
This brigade was composed of the five companies of the First Tennessee, Colonel Stephens' (Sixth Tennessee), Colonel Douglas' (Ninth Tennessee), and Colonel Wickliffe's (Seventh Kentucky) regiments; and, as senior officer, I assumed command of it, Major-General Cheatham, as chief of division, being my immediate commanding officer.
Early on the morning of the 6th, while marching with the five companies of the first Tennessee Regiment to unite with the balance of this brigade, General Johnston, commanding in person, directed me to change my course and proceed with these companies immediately across Lick Creek, there to unite with Colonel Forrest's cavalry and Colonel Cummings' (Tennessee) regiment, and in command of these to watch and resist any demonstration of the enemy against the extreme right flank or rear of the army from the direction of Hamburg. Communicating this order to Major-General Cheatham, I proceeded under it forthwith to cross Lick Creek, and immediately sent a strong cavalry scouting party to learn and report the presence of any enemy in that direction.
My instructions from General Johnston had left me at liberty, in case I became perfectly satisfied that no enemy was in my direction, to recross the creek and join in the main battle; and about 11 a.m., having from diligent observations been unable to learn the presence of any enemy toward or at Hamburg and the battle continuing to rage, I left Colonels Forrest and Hamburg and the battle continuing to rage, I left Colonels Forrest and Cummings to carry out their instructions existing before my presence with them, and recrossing the creek with the five companies of my regiment, directed their march toward the battle, then seeming about 4 or 5 distant.
After marching about a mile I was overtaken and informed by a courier from Colonel Forrest that it was not certain but that a portion of the enemy was in the direction of Hamburg. This cause me to halt for definite information.
In a short time I was instructed that orders had been sent by General Beauregard for all troops to be brought to the scene of action, and that both Colonels Forrest and Cummings were near at hand on their way forward. I then moved directly with my five companies toward the battle.
As I approached the battle quite a number from other commands, who had dropped back seemingly exhausted by fatigue, cheered by the arrival of even this small body of fresh troops, rallied on my rear and advanced with me.
In a few moments I found and reported to Major-General Cheatham,, at the time engaged in an effort to dislodge the enemy from a wood a little to the east of his center. My brigade, under colonel Stephens, senior officer in my absence, had been warmly engaged at this position before my arrival, and the Sixth Tennessee, as I was informed, having suffered particularly severely in a gallant charge here, had been temporarily withdrawn when I came up. General Cheatham directed me to immediately attack the enemy's position in this wood, giving me