the privilege of selecting my command for the purpose and advising me of its being a difficult position and of the failure of several previous efforts by our troops to carry it. Colonel Cummings, Nineteenth Tennessee Regiment, being now in sight, and the Ninth Tennessee and hand and comparatively fresh, were, with the First Tennessee Battalion, selected as my attacking force. Observing the ground in advance not to favor an extended line of battle, Colonel Douglas' regiment was formed on the left of the First Tennessee and Major McNairy, aide-de-camp to Major-General Cheatham, was requested to move Colonel Cummings' regiment a short distance to the right, with instructions to advance from that position in concert with the balance of my command upon the enemy in the wood. With the First and Ninth in line, I moved over an open field directly on the enemy in the woods, and on approaching met some of our own troops retiring before a destructive fire. My line of battle was promptly opened by the right of companies to the front, so as to allow our friends to pass to the rear, and at the same time quickening my advance I was so fortunate as to pass the field and gain the cover of the woods before the enemy's attention seemed fairly directed to me. Here my command was ordered to lie down, and a fire was opened mainly for the purpose of ascertaining by the enemy's reply his force and exact position. This was quickly done, and immediately on his fire being delivered my advance was renewed in good order. Observing in a few moments the enemy to give indications of wavering, I on the moment ordered the First and Ninth to the charge. The order was responded to with a cheer, and both regiments sprang forward with enthusiasm worthy of their cause, holding an alignment which would have done credit to veterans. Colonel Cummings' regiment came gallantly forward at the same time on the right.
The charge was in very way a success. The enemy could not wait to sustain the shock, but broke in disorder and fled precipitately before us. In a few moments we occupied the position which he had perhaps contested with as much obstinacy as any on that day. It proved to be a small ravine passing diagonally toward the river, fringed with a considerable growth of small timber, thus forming an excellent natural rifle pit.
I do scant justice to the officers and men of the First and Ninth Regiments to say, in their attack on this position they did well; all that soldiers should do. Immediately after the position was taken by us Colonel Cummings, with his regiment, proceeded to report to his own immediate commander, Brigadier-General Breckinridge.
Deeming a constant press forward the best means of securing the advantage already gained, I made but a short halt on the position from which the enemy had been driven, and with the First and Ninth Regiments continued my advance as rapidly as possible in the direction of his fight. He made no rally before my command that day, and I was halted near the river for the purpose, as I understood, of allowing some concentration of our troops for attacking the enemy at the river and near his gunboats.
Our forces came rapidly up, but it was already quite late in the day, and they were halted near a deserter camp of the enemy, a short distance in my rear and to the right, for the purpose of replenishing their ammunition. I held the position at which I had been halted until dark, the enemy all the while keeping up an active shelling from his gunboats, which proved, however, more noisy than destructive.
At dark, finding our troops generally retiring, and understanding it