the pike midway between Nashville and Murfreesborough, and about 15 miles distant from each, where Brigadier-General Wheeler was stationed with his cavalry command. Here indications soon convinced me the enemy was engaged in a general forward movement, and, in consultation with General Wheeler, it was determined to so advise the commanding general.
Next morning the opinion was confirmed as to the movement of the enemy, and, according to instructions, in conjunction with the cavalry, I fell back slowly, skirmishing with his advance and retarding his progress, until advised all was ready for action near Murfreesborough.
My command reached its camp near Murfreesborough on Sunday following, prepared rations, and rested there that night.
Next morning I moved to my position in line of battle on the west bank of Stone's River, between the Wilkinson pike and the Franklin road, being the third brigade from the right of Major-General Cheatham's division, which was formed in rear of, and as a supporting line to, that of Major-General Withers, my brigade being directly in rear of and supporting the one commanded by Colonel Manigault.
In the afternoon I moved to the left as support to Robinson's [Robertson's] battery, which engaged a portion of the enemy, and bivouacked that night with my left flank resting on the Franklin road.
Next morning I returned to my position in rear of Colonel Manigault,and there remained until I moved into action Wednesday morning.
My understanding of instructions as to our plan of action was that our troops on the extreme left were to attack the enemy on his right flank, and as he was driven down the front of our line toward his center we were to enter the action successively by brigade, each brigade attacking the line immediately in front and swinging to the right, so as to keep up, as far as possible, continued pressing on the enemy's flank, our alignment to be held toward our pivot flank.
Under this order, about 8 a.m. Wednesday, I commenced moving forward in support of Colonel Manigault. In a short time I was under the enemy's fire, and, after advancing about 1,000 yards from my position, met Colonel Manigault, who informed me that, after driving the enemy from his immediate front, he had been compelled to fall back by a ruinous fire on his right flank from two of the enemy's batteries. These batteries were about 600 yards apart, one on quite a high ridge obliquely to my front and right, across open ground toward the Harding house; the other was directly to my right and could be approached under shelter of the woods in which it was planted. The battery on the ridge was firing actively, and the two were so related in support of each other that an attacking force against either singly from our position would be exposed to flank or oblique fire from the other, and to avoid this it was instantly arranged that Colonel Manigault should change his front to the right and engage the battery in the woods, while I attacked the one in the open ground. In accordance with this plan, Colonels Feild's and McMurry's regiments were ordered to change direction to the right for attack upon the battery, and Colonel Hurt, with his regiment, was detached from the line and advanced directly forward to occupy a skirt of woods about 300 yards to his front, for the purpose of protecting the other two regiments from flank fire during their movement upon the battery, with instructions that, if he engaged no enemy in these woods, to move rapidly forward to his place on the left of my line. These movements were executed with spirit and promptness, but the enemy, seeing the approach of a fresh line, hastily withdrew his battery and its support from the ridge. My own battery was hurried into position and