The fifth position was in the field west of the enemy's concentrated artillery, where we fought them until we had exhausted our ammunition, losing in this engagement one of our bravest and most expert No 1 cannoneers. The enemy turned a triple number of pieces upon us, and the missiles of death fell among us singing, whizzing, bursting, and crashing through the trees, as if Mount Vesuvius had at one instant poured all its pent-up furies into our midst. Our escape from beneath those powerful guns was fortunate, if not miraculous.
The sixth and last action was near that same intertwined and matted grove of cedars. Here also the contest was unequal. It was in this engagement that Lieutenant Fitzpatrick lost his left hand by a canister, and a cannoneer's head was shot off, and a number of horses were killed, and one howitzer slightly damaged. Finding that we could not move the enemy from his strong position, and that smooth-bore guns could not cope with Parrott and rifled guns, we withdrew from the contest.
The battery lost 3 men killed, 1 officer and 4 men wounded, 10 horses killed and wounded, and 4 sets of harness. We drove the Abolitionists from three positions, and in turn were driven from a like number.
The officers on Wednesday, the 31st, passed through the battle-storm with cool and lofty courage, and the men stood firmly to their guns, and showed their devotion to their country's cause by overcoming and extinguishing fear.
THOMAS J. KEY,
[Lieutenant] Commanding Helena Battery.
No. 256. Report of Brig. Gen. St. John R. Liddell, C. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS LIDDELL'S BRIGADE, Wartrace, Tenn., January 10, 1863.
MAJOR: On the evening of the 30th ultimo my command was placed, by order of Major-General Cleburne, on the extreme left of the division, on the prolongation of Major-General Cheatham's line, with orders to move, by continued change of direction, to the right, to conform to the movements of General Cheatham's command in advancing upon the enemy. The line of battle I judge to have been over 2 1/2 miles in length, and my movements had necessarily to be rapid to keep pace with the wheel of the line of battle, the pivot being on the right. This movement commenced a little after daylight, and after marching about 1 mile we came upon a brigade of Major-General McCown, which had just repulsed a regiment of the enemy. In a moment's conversation with General McCown, he wished me to take position in advance, as his men were somewhat exhausted by the flight. I proposed, instead, that he should move by the left flank and allow me to move up in line with his command, thus placing him on my left, which was readily consented to and done. We then moved forward in line, and almost immediately engaged the enemy. This, I suppose, was about 8.30 a.m. My battery was immediately placed in position on an eminence in rear of the line, and opened fire upon the enemy, who were posted behind a fence in front of us, about 75 yards distant, with another line 150 yards farther in their rear, in the