had been engaging a portion of his lines, unseen by us on account of an intervening hill, and when the white flag was run up they reached it first.
The sun was now near the western horizon; the battle around us had ceased to rage. I met General Ruggles, who directed me to take a road which was not far to my left and to move down it in the direction of the river. I had not proceeded far when, overtaking me, he ordered a halt till some artillery could be taken to the front, when he would give me further directions.
Soon after halting, several brigades, composing portions of General Polk's and Hardee's commands, filed across the road in front of me, and moved off the left at a right angle to the road, and commenced forming line of battle in an open field and woods beyond. Several batteries passed down to road in the direction of Pittsburg. One soon returned and filed off into the field where the infantry was forming. The enemy's gunboats now opened fire. General Ruggles directed me to move forward a short distance, and by inclining to the right to gain a little hollow, which would probably afford better protection for my men against shell than the position I then occupied. I gained the hollow and called a halt, ordering the men to take cover behind the hill and near a little ravine which traversed the hollow. We occupied this position some ten or fifteen minutes, when one of General Ruggles' staff directed me to retire to the enemy's camp, beyond the range of his floating guns. In filing off from this position several men were killed and many wounded by the exploding shells of the enemy.
It was now twilight. As soon as we had placed a hill between us and the gunboats the troops moved slowly, and apparently with reluctance, from the direction of the river.
It was 8 o'clock at night before we had reached a bivouac, near General Bragg's headquarters, and in the darkness of the night the Twentieth Louisiana and portions of the Seventeenth Louisiana and Confederate Guards got separated from that portion of the command with which I was and encamped on other ground. By the assistance of my staff the whereabouts of the whole command was ascertained before we slept.
I reported in person to General Ruggles, who gave some directions in regard to collecting the stragglers, and requested that I could report to him again if anything of importance occurred during the night. I retired to the bivouac which was in an open field an apple orchard, near the Birg Spring. I had purposely avoided the enemy's tents, fearing the effect which their rich spoils might produce upon hungry and exhausted troops.
Before 12 o'clock one of those terrific rain-storms to which we had so frequently been exposed of late set in with pitiless vehemence, which was scarcely abated till dawn of day. With my saddle for a seat and a blanket thrown over my head I sat all night at the root of an apple tree. My staff and troops cheerfully partook of the same fare.
Soon after daylight on Monday morning, the 7th, I received orders from both Generals Bragg and Ruggles, through their staff officers, to hold myself in readiness to move out and meet the enemy. I hastened to make preparations accordingly. The command was marched off from its bivouac by the right flank in the direction of Pittsburg, and after proceeding about half a mile was formed in line of battle on the right of some Tennessee troops, believed to belong to General Cheatham's command.