and after a short interval one or two volleys succeeded, the sound coming in the same direction. Occasional reports were now heard along our right and center, and seemed to be gradually extending toward our left.
At this time my brigade was marching in line of battle in the following order from right to left, viz: The Seventeenth Regiment Louisiana Volunteers (aggregate, 326), commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Jones; the Confederate Guards Response Battalion (aggregate, 169), commanded by Major F. H. Clack; the Florida Battalion (about 250 aggregate), commanded by Major T. A. McDonell; the Ninth Texas Infantry (226 aggregate), commanded by Colonel W. A. Stanley, and the Twentieth Regiment Louisiana Volunteers (507 aggregate), commanded by Colonel August Reichard; the Fifth Company, Washington Artillery (155 men), commanded by Captain W. Irving Hodgson, following the center as nearly as the nature of the ground would permit, ready to occupy and interval either between the Florida Battalion and Ninth Texas or between the Ninth Texas and Twentieth Louisiana, as necessity or convenience might require; the whole composing a force of 1,634 men.
The engagement had now fairly commenced on the right, and that portion of Major-General Hardee's line to which we were now moving up, but order of General Bragg, was sharply engaging the enemy's skirmishers. The face of the country at this point, consisting of alternate hills and boggy ravines overgrown with heavy timber and thick underbrush, presented features remarkably favorable for the operations of skillful skirmishers. Our impetuous volunteers charged them, however, whenever they appeared, and drove them from their cover back to their lines, near the first camp met with on the Bark road leading toward Pittsburg. Here the enemy, having greatly the advantage of position for both his infantry and artillery, made a more creditable stand. A battery of his field pieces was in position on the height of a domineering hill, from 400 to 600 yards in front of our lines, commanding his camp and the approaches to it. Immediately in our front, and between us and this battery, ran a boggy ravine, the narrow swamp of which was thickly overgrown with various species of shrubs, saplings, and vines, so densely interwoven as to sometimes require the use of the knife to enable the footman to pass. Over this the enemy's battery had a full field of fire upon our whole lines as we descended the declivity terminating in the swamp, and on the opposite skirts of the swamp his infantry had all the advantages presented by such shelter on the one side and obstacles on the other. This ravine and its accompanying obstacles could be avoided on the right, but my position in the line required a dislodgment of the enemy from his cover before taking a movement in that direction, lest he should fall upon my flank and rear before I could make the circuit of the swamp and hill to reach him where he was.
The most favorable position attainable by our field pieces was selected, and Captain Hodgson was directed to open fire upon the enemy's battery (now playing vigorously upon us) with solid shot and shrapnel, and when occasion offered, without danger to our own troops, to use canister upon his infantry. This order was obeyed with alacrity. Taking Advantage of this diversion in our favor, the infantry was directed to pass through the swamp and drive the enemy before it until Captain Hodgson could either silence his battery or an opportunity presented of taking it with the bayonet.
The movement was made with spirit and vigor. As my left reached the thicket at the ravine a regiment on our left and front, which had been unable to cross the branch, came back in some confusion, break