and thence to the Franklin, on which was placed Robertson's battery. The open fields-extending along their fronts and the character of the ground rendered it proper to throw Anderson's left to the front of the general direction, Manigault's left to be retired, and again Loomis' left to be advanced, the greatest angle being formed by Anderson and Manigault, and which would require that Manigault's left should describe an are of near 60 to bring his front on a line with that of Anderson's.
On the evening of the 29th, skirmishing commenced between Chalmers' admirable battalion of sharpshooters and the enemy, which gradually extended to Anderson's right. About the same time there was a dash made by a portion of the enemy's cavalry on Manigault's skirmishers, which was creditably punished by Companies A and C, of the Tenth South Carolina Regiment. The supporting division, under Major-General Cheatham, now occupied its position from 500 to 800 yards in rear, and near the crest of the river ridge. The character of the country rendering it impossible for the division commanders to give that immediate, personal supervision which would insure the supports being thrown forward when necessary and with the least delay, it was agreed that Major-General Cheatham should take position on the left and the immediate control of the brigades of Manigault and Loomis, giving to me the direction of his two right brigades, Donelson and Stewart.
Early on the morning of the 30th, firing commenced between the skirmishers on the right, and gradually extended throughout the line to the Franklin road. The artillery of the enemy also opened, and the firing was kept up with more or less rapidity through the day. The cannonading was mostly directed against Chalmers' brigade and Anderson's right, which occupied the exposed position across the field from the Wilkinson pike to the river. About 2.30 p.m. the enemy made a dash to capture Robertson's battery, on our extreme left, which was handsomely repulsed and severely punished by a well-directed and rapid fire from the battery and from the Twenty-sixth and Thirty-ninth Alabama Regiments. The attempt, with less vigor, was repeated late in the evening with similar result, the Twenty-fifth Alabama having been thrown forward to the support of the other two regiments. The enemy's line of battle was now established in our front. His left rested on the river bluff, some 1,000 yards from Chalmers' right, in a skirt of woods; thence through the Round Forest, or Mississippian's "half acre"; thence through the south end of the cedar brake, and along the ridges and woodland to the cedar pedregal on the Franklin road, and about 300 yards from Loomis' front. From this point his line seemed to be retired, making quite an obtuse angle with that running back to the river.
The commanding general's order, directing an assault to be made by our left on the right of the enemy the next morning as early as it was "light enough to see", was received at 9 o'clock at night. Chalmers' brigade was to remain stationary and constitute the pivot on which the movement was to be made; my left to "swing around and correspond with the movement of General McCown's division," on my left.
Early on the morning of the 31st, skirmishing commenced on the extreme left, and was followed by artillery, and then the full volleys of the line, announcing that the stern work of the day had commenced.
About 7 o'clock Loomis' brigade moved forward, and was immediately and hotly engaged. Steadily advancing, it drove back the first line of the enemy, but having no commanding officer (Colonel Loomis subsequently reporting himself as having been disabled), and the enemy being re-enforced by the second line, the brigade, was driven back in some