He sent me word that General Hardee, who was in command of that corps of our army, desired I should continue to move in this way. The enemy were in ambuscade in this cedarbrake on the left of my command. They had a very formidable battery planted about 250 yards in a northeast direction from us; one nearly in a north direction about the same distance off, and the third one in a field a quarter of a mile northwest of us. All these batteries turned loose upon us. About the same time their infantry, whose position had been ascertained by my skirmishers, unmasked themselves and opened fire. The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Texas Regiments were soon in a desperate struggle; the regiments on the right of them were equally exposed to their artillery. I immediately sent Major [F. M.] Spencer to Colonel Harper, who was in command of the brigade on my right (General McNair having become too unwell), to move his brigade up to my assistance. I hastened to the left of my command. My men had driven back one line of their infantry upon the second line; still them was a third line. I have since learned that a short distance behind these was General Rosecrans' headquarters. The cedars were falling and being trimmed by bombs, canister, and iron hail, which seemed to fill the air. My men had not yielded an inch, but, sheltering themselves behind the rocks, would lie down and load, rise to their knees, fire into the closed blue line not over 60 yards from them. I saw their officers several times trying to get their men to charge us, but they would not. Believing it to be impossible to bring my entire brigade to bear with full force, and that an attempt to do it would be attended with great sacrifice of life, I ordered them to fall back. The enemy did not, so far as I was able do discover, follow us. On reaching the woods, I formed the brigade and ordered the men to rest. In a short time, in obedience to orders, I moved it to the left and took position behind a fence, where my men could rest themselves and check any attempted advance of the enemy in that direction.
It is due to my brigade to say they had been under almost constant fire for eight hours; that one-third, almost, of my command had been killed or wounded,and most of the rest were very much exhausted.
About two hours by sun I was ordered to move farther to the east and to the right. We were halted in a dense cedar forest, where the ground was covered with large rocks. This ground had been three times fought over during the day. The battle continued to rage with uninterrupted fury until long after dark farther to the right. For over twelve long hours it had continued from the time it had opened on their right wing in the morning. We occupied all the ground at night which had been fought over during the day, except on his extreme left. Most of his dead and wounded were left within our lines. We occupied a very strong position, and one, with a little on our part, from which we could not be easily driven. Our line of battle was formed; we threw out our pickets, built small
fires-which were very acceptable, as we had been without them for two days and nights - and were permitted to rest undisturbed during the night.
Early the next morning the men made then a secure breastworks of rock. This completed, every man took his position ready to receive the enemy in a proper manner. The day passed off quietly until in the evening, when an effort was made to shell us out of our position. The timber being so thickened our breastwork substantial, they could effect nothing. Our pickets would exchange shots with them frequently during the day and night.
On the second day, about night, the enemy again shelled the woods for some time. Their pickets advanced, and there was considerable