moved for the front and formed on the right of General Ripley's brigade, which was then engaged. After a few rounds had been discharged, I ordered an advance, and at the same time sent word to the regiments on my left to advance simultaneously. The order was responded to with spirit by my men, and, with a shout, they moved through the corn-field in front, 200 yards wide, and formed on the line of fence. The enemy was near and in full view. In a moment or two his ranks began to break before our fire, and the line soon disappeared under the crest of the hill upon which it had been established. It was soon replaced by another, and the fire opened with renewed vigor.
In the mean time Garland's brigade, which had been ordered to my right, had given way, and the enemy was advancing, unchecked. The regiments upon my left having also failed to advance, we were exposed to a fire from all sides and nearly surrounded. I sent in haste to the rear for re-enforcements, and communicated to General Hill the exposed condition of my men. With steady supports upon the right we could yet maintain our position. The support was not at hand and could not reach us in time. The enemy closed in upon the right so near that our ranks were scarcely distinguishable. At the same time his line in front advanced. My men stood firm until very field officer but one had fallen, and then made the best of their way out.
In this sharp and unequal conflict I lost many of my best officer and one-half of the men in the ranks. If the brigades upon the right and left had advanced,we should have driven the enemy from the field. He had at one time broken in our front, but we had not strength to push the advantage.
Colonel [L. B.] Smith, of the Twenty-seventh Georgia; Colonel [W. P.] Barclay, of the Twenty-third Georgia, and Lieutenant-Colonel [J. M.] Newton, commanding the Sixth Georgia, fell at the head of their regiments. Their loss is irreparable. Upon every battle-field they had distinguished themselves for coolness and gallantry. Colonel [B. D.] Fry, of the Thirteenth Alabama, and Captain [N. J.] Garrison, commanding Twenty-eighth Georgia, were severely wounded.
Subsequent to the action of the forenoon, portions of my brigade encountered the enemy in two desultory engagements, in which they stood before superior numbers and gave a check to their advance. In one of these a small party was placed under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel [W. H.] Betts, and directed to deploy as skirmishers along the crest of a hill upon which the enemy was advancing. They did so with good effect, keeping back a large force by their annoying fire and the apprehension, excited by their boldness, that they were supported by a line in rear.
During the engagement of this day I had the misfortune to lose my acting assistant adjutant-general (Lieutenant R. P. Jordan). He fell while gallantly dashing toward the enemy's line. I have not known a more active, efficient,and fearless officers. Lieutenant Grattan, my aide-de-camp, was conspicuously bold in the midst of danger and untiring in the discharge of his duties. I regret that I cannot here mention the names of all, dead and living, who are entitled to a tribute at my hands.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. H. COLQUITT,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.