War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0688 KY.,MID. AND E. TENN.,N. ALA.,AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXII.

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across the Wilkinson pike. This movement dislodged and drove the residue of Sheridan's division, and completed the forcing of the whole of McCook's corps out of its line of battle and placed it in full retreat. The enemy left one of his batteries of four guns on the field, which fell into the hands of Maney's brigade.

Here I think it proper to bring to the notice of the general commanding an instance of self-sacrificing devotion to the safety of their immediate commands and of our cause, which, for heroic courage and magnanimity, is without a parallel. A battery was pouring a murderous fire into the brigade of General Maney from a point which made it doubtful whether it was ours or the enemy's. Two unsuccessful efforts had been made by staff officers (one of whom was killed in the attempt) to determine its character. The doubt caused the brigade on which it was firing to hesitate in returning the fire, when Sergeant Oakley, color-bearer of the Fourth Tennessee Confederate Regiment, and Sergt. M. C. Hooks, color-bearer of the Ninth Tennessee Regiment, gallantly advanced 8 or 10 paces to the front, displaying their colors and holding themselves and the flag of their country erect; remained ten minutes in a place so conspicuous as to be plainly seen, and fully to test from whom their brigade was suffering so severely. The murderous firing, instead of abating, was increased and intensified, and soon demonstrated that the battery and its support were not friends but enemies. The sergeants then returned deliberately to their proper positions in the line, unhurt, and the enemy's battery was silenced and his column put to flight. The front of Manigault and Maney being free, they swung round with our line on the left and joined in pressing the enemy and his re-enforcements into the cedar brake.

At 9 a. m. Brigadier General [J.] Patton Anderson, on Manigault's right, moved, in conjunction with its left brigade, forward upon the line in its front. That line rested with its right near the Wilkinson pike, and is understood to have been General [J. S.] Negley's division, of General [G. H.] Thomas' corps, which constituted the center of the enemy's line of battle. This division, with that of General [L. H.] Rousseau in reserve, was posted in the edge of a dense cedar brake, with an open space in front, and occupied a position of strength not inferior to that held by Sheridan's right. His batteries, which occupied commanding positions, and enabled him to sweep the open field in his front, were served with admirable skill and vigor, and were strongly supported. Anderson moved forward his brigade with firmness and decision. The fire of the enemy of both artillery and infantry was terrific, and his left for a moment wavered. Such evidences of destructive firing as we left on the forest from which this brigade emerged have rarely, if ever, been seen. The timber was torn and crushed. Nothing but a charge could meet the demands of the occasion. Orders were given to take the batteries at all hazards, and it was done. The batteries, two in number, were carried in gallant style. Artillerists were captured at their pieces, a large number of whom and of their infantry support were killed upon the spot, and one company entire, with its officers and colors, were captured. The number of field guns captured in this movement was eight, which, together with four others, from which the gunners had been driven by the heavy firing from Maney's long-range guns and Manigault's musketry on the left, made twelve taken on that part of the field. This was one of the points at which we encountered the most determined opposition, but the onward movement of the Mississippians and Alabamians was irresistible, and they swept the enemy before them, driving him into the dense cedar brake, to join the extending line of his fugitives.