and bivouacked int he woods and fields belonging,as I learned, to a man named Hoover. Some skirmishing and picket firing was soon heard and some rebel cavalry seen, but nothing worthy of notice occurred during the day. That night the enemy attempted to drive in our pickets, but failed.
Next morning opened with brisk cannonading on the part of the enemy, to which our artillery made no reply. Our skirmishers in front were actively engaged all day. It was then ascertained that the enemy had planted a portion of their guns across the river, which came down in a course parallel with our right, could reach us with a raking fire, and interfere with our crossing at the first ford, if compelled to recross. It was also suggested by myself and other officers, Major Manderson, commanding the Nineteenth Ohio, particularly, that our right, resting on the river, was exposed, and might be attacked and turned, and that neither the dept of the stream nor character of the banks was a sufficient protection; that troops and artillery were needed on the opposite side to sustain our right. You and we all were assured that this was attended to,and we rested on that assurance.
Thus matters stood until about an hour before sundown, when artillery firing on the part of the enemy and heavy skirmishing on both sides commenced. We now supposed that the attack which we had all day expected would be postponed until daylight the next day, but were mistaken, The enemy were seen advancing in three lines, the front composed of a battalion of sharpshooters, and the other lines composed of the whole divisions of Generals John C. Breckinridge and Cheatham. Generals Roger W. Hanson and James E. Rains, of Kentucky *, as I learn, were present in Breckinridge's command. The regiments of my brigade (the Nineteenth Ohio, Major Manderson on the right; the Ninth Kentucky, Lieutenant-Colonel Cram, in the center, and the Eleventh Kentucky, Major Mottley, on the left) were, by your orders, held in reserve. The Seventy-ninth Indiana had been about noon ordered to form on and sustain the front line composed of the Third Brigade, Colonel S. W. Price, commanding and were not again seen by me during the day. I doubt not they will receive justice at the hands of the colonel under whose command they were placed.
The onset of the enemy, sustained as they were by their artillery, succeeded in breaking and driving back our first and second lines. You now sent me and order to bring up the reserve, which I instantly did, though it was almost; manifest, from the character of the fire in front, that the force we had on the ground, unassisted as we at that moment were by artillery, could not check the enemy's advance. Yet our men (the Nineteenth Ohio, Ninth Kentucky, and Eleventh Kentucky), undaunted by the terrible and desperate state of affairs, with bravery that cannot be described, and led on by their officers, the most cool and daring, moved forward, some through a thick undergrowth of wild briers, which to some extent broke their lines, fearlessly meeting the enemy and breaking his first line. Seeing this from my position, between and slightly in front of the Nineteenth Ohio and Ninth Kentucky, and noticing you just in my rear, I said to you, "Colonel, we have them checked; give us artillery and we will whip them." You replied, "You shall have it."
I rode back and soon saw the right regiment (the Nineteenth Ohio)