General Hardee that the enemy was threatening our left flank, and he ordered Wood's brigade to remain in the rear and protect the trains. This was the smallest brigade I had, numbering on the morning of the fight not over 1,100 officers and men. It was without a battery, as before explained; was on the extreme right of my line [the most exposed position] up to the time of crossing the pike, and at this time did not number 500.
The enemy was now driven out of the cedars in our front, but to the right of my division he still remained undisturbed, and as I again attempted to advance I found myself flanked on the right and again exposed to an enfilading fire. I therefore determined to advance on a line farther to the left, and where my right flank would not be so fearfully exposed. With this view, I ordered General Johnson to move his brigade to the left, where Liddell's brigade would again connect with him.
But here it would be proper to give a statement of the doings of Liddell's brigade since last mentioned as having driven back a line of the enemy on the south side of the Wilkinson pike. While my other brigades inclined to the right, as stated, Brigadier-General Liddell moved diagonally to the left for a considerable distance through open woods. He met the enemy on the far edge of these woods and drove him over the crest of the high ground beyond. Throwing forward skirmishers, it was found he had made another stand in the valley of Overall's Creek, 400 or 500 yards beyond the crest. Liddell moved his battery to the crest and drove him back until he disappeared from view behind the embankment of the Nashville railroad. From the high point where his battery now was, Liddell was in full view of the Nashville turnpike and the enemy's trains. He opened with his artillery on one portion of the train, while General Wharton, with the cavalry, charge another. The trains disappeared in haste and confusion. At this time Liddell's brigade was the extreme left of the infantry of the army, and there was a gap of three-quarters of a mile between his right and the left of the other portion of the division. I determined to unite the division opposite this gap and advance. I ordered Johnson to move on the left of Polk's brigade, and at the same time sent orders to Brigadier-General Liddell to move his brigade by the right flank until he had reconnected with Johnson's brigade.
While these commands were being executed, I met a brigade of McCown's division retreating in great disorder. I think this brigade must have attempted to advance through the gap in my division and been repulsed.
By moving inward and uniting in the gap mentioned, my division again advanced on a line midway between the diverging lines which the two portions had before pursued. I advanced with four brigades, disposed as follows: Polk's brigade on the right, Liddell's on the left, Smith's brigade, of Cheatham's division, the right center, Johnson's the left center. I had not moved 100 yards when Liddell's brigade became hotly engaged with a line of the enemy drawn up across a neck of woods and prolonged into the fields on each side. This, I think, was a continuation to the left of the same line which my other brigades had defeated farther to the right, or it may have been the line which had caused the repulse of McCown's division [just mentioned] and which was pursuing. However this be, Liddell met the enemy here in force and engaged in the most obstinately contested and [to the enemy] most destructive fight which had yet occurred. Not until Liddell had closed within 25 paces of him would the portion of his line in the woods give way.
Colonel Kelly, of the Eighth Arkansas, and Colonel [S. G.] Smith, of the Sixth and Seventh Arkansas, were wounded here.