manded the third brigade from the right in Withers' division. He stated that Colonel Manigault was in need of a section of long-range guns to dislodge guns of the enemy, he having only smooth-bores of short range, and that he had applied to General Maney, whose brigade was the support of Manigault's, who replied that he had none suitable for the purpose. He came to me, therefore, for a section of Stanford's battery. Knowing that Stanford, his officers, and men were always ready to go wherever needed, two pieces were promptly dispatched in charge of Lieutenant [A. A.] Hardin. On their return I was informed they were not properly supported; that they were required to engage, at a distance not exceeding 600 yards, guns that were throwing shell, canister, and spherical case; that they accomplished no useful purpose, but sustained some loss, one or two men being wounded, and Lieutenant A. A. Hardin, commanding a section, a most estimable and gallant young officer, being killed.
Tuesday night, or early Wednesday morning, was received a copy of General Bragg's order directing an attack to commence on the left and gradually extend to the Murfreesborough and Nashville pike, the left wing to swing round toward the right on a pivot at the pike. I was also informed both by Lieutenant-General Polk and by a staff officer from Major General Withers that I was to be directed by the latter, and to obey his orders.
On Wednesday morning, December 31, about 8 o'clock, I was notified to move forward, gradually wheeling to the right and maintaining a distance of a few hundred yards (supporting distance) from Anderson's brigade, Withers' division. After advancing some distance directly to the front across the open field, the brigade was moved to the left by the flank, so as to place the entire line under cover of the forest from the enemy's artillery fire. The ground over which we were then moving being wet and heavy, Captain Stanford was directed to take the Wilkinson (or Wilkerson) pike. I did not see anything more of him or his battery for a day or two, they having doubtless been employed elsewhere by the orders of some one of my superiors.
The line of infantry advanced through the woods, gradually wheeling to the right, and occasionally halting to readjust the line, and maintaining its supporting distance from Anderson, General Withers himself being often with us, and the movements of the brigade corresponding to his wishes. At one point he sent word that Anderson's two left regiments would be thrown forward, perhaps, to attack the battery that continued to play upon our advancing lines, and desired me to throw forward two regiments in a corresponding manner. Fearing this would scatter the brigade and produce confusion, it was suggested to him that the entire brigade had better be advanced, to which he assented. We shortly arrived at the stone wall built by Anderson's men, where they were placed in line on Sunday, the 28th. Several men were wounded here by the fire of the battery in front. While in this position the Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Regiments Mississippi Volunteers (belonging, as was supposed, to Anderson's brigade) fell back in disorder, leaving a large number of dead and wounded in the open ground beyond the Wilkinson pike, over which they had charged. They were rallied in our rear chiefly by Major [L. W.] Finlay, of my staff, and again sent forward. The Twenty-ninth ultimately formed on my left, where it remained until the close of the battle, when it moved away to join its brigades. The brigade moved on from this position to the pike, where it was faced by the left flank and marched a short distance down the road, to bring its right under cover of the woods, when it moved