near approach. My column was conducted by Colonel Brent to a position in an open wood between two fields, where, as I understood from him, Breckinridge's line of battle had first moved forward to the attack. The column was halted, faced to the front, and skirmishers immediately thrown forward. This precaution had become necessary, inasmuch as there was no line at that time between mine and the enemy, as I learned from Colonel John A. Buckner, of General Breckinridge's staff. The general himself rode up this moment, and soon directed me to with draw my line to one that would be pointed out by one of his staff officers, in a wood some 200 or 300 yards in the rear. The line of skirmishers, however, was not withdrawn.
Having arrived at the new position about 9 p.m., a reconnaissance was made to the right and left, which disclosed the fact that on my left an interval of 800 yards or more existed between it and the right of Hanson's brigade, and that there were no troops on my right at all. Before daylight the next morning, however, the brigades of Generals Pilow, Preston, and Adams, of Breckinridge's division, had prolonged my right and a few hours later the brigade of Brigadier-General Jackson occupied most of the interval between my left and Hanson's right.
The troops remained in line of battle during the day; many, however, were sent to the rear on account of sickness, caused by the fatigues and exposures of the six days and nights past. It rained nearly all day (3rd), and a times so violently that fires could not be kept up; blankets and clothing were wet, and cooked rations were in a condition, from the same cause, not at all inviting, even to a half-famished soldier.
About sundown I received an order from Major-General Withers to withdraw my command at 9 o'clock that night from its position, and take up the line of march down the Shelbyville pike. At the moment the hour arrived, and just as the column was about to be put in motion, I was directed to suspend the execution of this order until further notice. At 11 o'clock the order was repeated, the movement to commence at 1 o'clock the next morning.
AT 1 o'clock the morning of January 4, my command moved right in front, following the rear of Brigadier-General Pillow's brigade, until we reached the public square in Murfreesborough, where I rejoined Major-General Withers' division, to which I belonged, and marched with it to this place without the loss of a man or anything else.
It should have been mentioned elsewhere that, early in the afternoon of the 31st, the adjutant of the Thirty-ninth North Carolina Regiment (Lieutenant [Isaac S.] Hyams, C. S. Army) reported to me on the battle-field that his regiment had become detached from the command to which it had been assigned in the morning, and was at that time out of ammunition and under command of Captain A. W. Bell, the field officers having been killed or wounded. I supplied the needed ammunition, and formed the regiment on the right of the Twenty-seventh Mississippi. It participated creditably in all our subsequent movements until, on the evening of January 2, by order of Lieutenant-General Polk, it was detached and ordered to join Colonel Manigault's brigade.
To my staff officers-Captain W. G. Barth, assistant adjutant-general; Lieutenant W. M. Davidson, aide-de-camp; Captain W. Anderson, ordnance; Captain Lambert May and Lieutenant R. H. Browne, of the inspector-general's department, and Captain J. B. Downing and Mr. Scanlan, volunteer aides-I am much indebted for their active and efficient assistance in all that pertained to their respective positions. Each and every one performed his duty to my entire satisfaction. Captain May was par-