War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0668 KY.,MID. AND E. TENN.,N. ALA.,AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXII.

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Lieutenant-General Polk's line was both commanded and enfiladed. The dislodgment of this force or the withdrawal of Polk's line was an evident necessity. The latter involved consequences not to be entertained. Orders were accordingly given for the concentration of the whole of Major-General Breckinridge's division in front of the position to be taken, the addition to his command of ten 12-pounder Napoleon guns, under Captain F. H. Robertson, an able and accomplished artillery officer, and for the cavalry forces of Wharton and Pegram, about 2,000 men, to join in the attack on his right. Major-General Breckinridge was sent for and advised of the movement and its objects, the securing and holding of the position which protected Polk's flank and gave us command of the enemy's by which to enfilade him. He was informed of the forces placed at his disposal, and instructed with them to drive the enemy back, crown the hill, intrench his artillery, and hold the position. To distract their attention from our real object, a heavy artillery fire was ordered to be opened from Polk's front at the exact hour at which the movement was to begin. At other points throughout both lines all was quiet. General Breckinridge at 3.30 p. m. reported he would advance at 4 o'clock. Polk's batteries promptly opened fire and were soon answered by the enemy. A heavy cannonade of some fifteen minutes was succeeded by the fire of musketry, which soon became general. The contest was short and severe; the enemy was driven back and the eminence gained, but the movement as a whole was a failure, and the position was again yielded. Our forces were moved, unfortunately, so far to the left as to throw a portion of them into and over Stone's River, where they encountered heavy masses of the enemy, while those against whom they were intended to operate on our side of the river had a destructive enfilade on our whole line. Our second line was so close to the front as to receive the enemy's fire, and, returning it, took their friends in rear. The cavalry force was left entirely out of the action. Learning from my own staff officers, sent to the scene, of the disorderly retreat being made by General Breckinridge's division, Brigadier-General Patton Anderson's fine brigade of Mississippians (the nearest body of troops) was promptly ordered to his relief.

On reaching the field and moving forward, Anderson found himself in front of Breckinridge's infantry, and soon encountered the enemy's light troops close upon our artillery, which had been left without support. This noble brigade, under its cool and gallant chief, drove the enemy back and saved all the guns not captured before its arrival. Captain F. H. Robertson, after the disabling wound received by Major [R. E.] Graves (General Breckinridge's gallant and efficient chief of artillery), took the entire charge of all the artillery of the division in addition to his own. To his gallantry, energy, and fearlessness is due the smallness of our loss sustained before the arrival of support-only three guns. His report, herewith, marked 4, will show the important part he played in this attack and repulse. Before the end of the whole movement it was quite dark. Anderson's command held a position next the enemy, corresponding nearly with our original line, while Breckinridge's brigade commanders collected their scattered men as far as practicable in the darkness, and took irregular positions on Anderson's left and rear. At daylight in the morning the were moved to the front and the whole line re-established without opposition. During the night, Major-General Cleburne's division was retransferred to its original position on the right, and Lieutenant-General Hardee directed to resume his command there and restore our line.

On Saturday morning, the 3rd, our forces had been in line of battle for