War of the Rebellion: Serial 029 Page 0706 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

CHAP. XXXII.

a continual shelling until quite dark. The loss in Loomis' and Vaughan's brigades and Robertson's battery was over 75.

At daylight on the morning of the 31st, the attack was commenced on our extreme left by Major-General McCown's division, supported by Major-General Cleburne's division, of Lieutenant-General Hardee's corps, the plan of the battle being that the attack should be made by brigades, each advancing to the front, attacking the enemy's lines, then wheeling to the right to take him in flank, to be followed up in like manner from left to right.

At 7 o'clock Colonel Loomis' brigade, in the front line, was ordered to the attack, and being not more than 300 yards from the enemy's lines, was immediately engaged. His command had to cross an open woods and a corn-field in order to reach the enemy, who were strongly posted in a cedar wood. He made a gallant dash, but after reaching near the woods was compelled to fall back to his original position, where the command was soon reorganized under my own superintendence.

In the mean time the supporting brigade under Colonel Vaughan had advanced over the same ground and attacked the enemy furiously, driving him away from and capturing two of his guns, but was forced to give orders to his command to fall back, on account of the murderous fire being poured into his front, and particularly a raking fire that was turned upon him from his right, completely enfilading his lines. They, however, retired in good order, and in a few moments after being reformed were again sent forward by me, with instructions to bear somewhat to the right, so as partially to avoid the heavy wood.

In the mean time the Ninth Texas Regiment, under the command of that gallant officer, Colonel W. H. Young, who did not hear the order, became detached and was farther to the left. It remained in the woods and continued to fight the enemy, and at last charged them on their flank and drove them from the woods on their entire right, losing very heavily. In the first assault made by Colonel Loomis' brigade that officer was so wounded by the falling of a limb cut from a tree that he had to turn over the command to the next senior officer (Colonel Coltart). The brigade suffered very severely in this charge. Colonel Vaughan's brigade also suffered very severely in its desperate against the same stronghold. Lieutenant Colonel W. E. Morgan and Major [Peter H.] Cole, both of the Thirteenth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, were mortally wounded; also a very large number of officers and men.

At about 8 o'clock, Colonel Manigault's brigade moved out and attacked the enemy directly in his front. He met with very strong resistance, and after Colonel Loomis was compelled to fall back, and the enemy's fire turned upon his left flank, enfilading his lines, he was compelled to retire. He, however, soon rallied his command, made another gallant attack, and was forced to fall back a second time. At this juncture General Maney's brigade came up and took position on the left of Manigault's, when they moved forward and took position facing toward the Wilkinson pike, near the Harding house, when two batteries of the enemy opened upon them, one of them in the woods on Manigault's right, and on the west side of the Wilkinson pike; the other on east side of the pike. At this place I came up with Colonel Vaughan's brigade. General Maney had placed Captain [Lieutenant] Turner's battery of Napoleon guns in position near the brick-kiln, which in short time silenced the battery on the east side of the road. Colonel Manigault assailed the one in the woods with two regiments, but did not succeed in capturing it. Having made my dispositions, I ordered Colonel Vaughan to move forward with his brigade, and take position on