General Liddell, who was then advancing. The whole line moved forward, gently swinging to the right. We were engaged in a sharp running skirmish fight over the space of a fourth of a mile, but at length halted to give the troops rest, sheltered by a rail fence. General Liddell's brigade (Arkansas), on our right, and at this time 100 yards in our rear, were attacked by a large force directly in its front and behind a double row of fences. We were ordered to charge the enemy thus on our right and front, which we did with promptness, driving him from the field again, his right in great disorder. We moved forward across a field and then a wood, and were halted near a fence. The enemy was in some force on our right and front, but, giving him a scattering fire, he fled, and we crossed a field, and finally halted to wait until the ammunition could be brought up, the troops having already expended their 40 rounds. After supplying the troops with the requisite number of rounds of ammunition, we again advanced, and, uniting with General Ector's Texas brigade, on our left, continued to advance, swinging our left around so as to make an angle of 40 with our lines in the last engagement, and make an angle of nearly 60 with our first line in the morning. It was evident that we had turned the enemy's right flank so far that our advance would now bring us in contact with his center. It could plainly be seen that the center of our army had gained but little ground during the day. It was still more evident that our extreme right had participated but little in the battle. The left had driven the enemy 5 miles, and changed the front of both armies. We moved forward through a wood which, at first, was clear of undergrowth, then a dense thicket of cedar trees and undergrowth, having to encounter now and then a rail fence. Soon the enemy's artillery opened upon us a terrific fire of shell. Our orders were to take the battery. Owing to the obstacles we had to encounter, the lines were necessarily broken, but our advance was steady until we arrived in full view of the enemy's guns. At this juncture, a battery on our left, one to our front, one to the right of front, and one on the right, poured upon us a most murderous fire of grape and canister shot. The farthest could not have been more than 400 yards distant; the nearest not more than 100 yards. This last was supported by either three or four columns of infantry, which gave way as we advanced, although in rear of their artillery; but it was impossible to maintain our position under the cross-fire of artillery. To advance and take the battery in front would have placed us in a position to be raked without any means of defense, and being unsupported on our right. Our ranks had been thinned during the day, and the troops were fatigued and worn out. We were then compelled to relinquish our attempt, and fall back to the woods in our rear.
No one who knows the nature of the ground and the great odds against which they had to contend, can reproach the gallant troops for giving at this period. They had won the day, if, indeed the day was ours. Too much praise cannot be given them for their conduct. Their retreat was their misfortune, and not their fault.
We took little or no part in the battle after this, and I deem it unnecessary to continue a report further.
To the notice of my superior officers I commend the gallant soldiers whom I have the honor to command, having no individuals to commend above others. The gallant men who have won laurels wherever and whenever they have been called to battle to not expect me to notice particular individuals among them. Were I to mention one for gallant conduct, I should have to mention all.
My color-bearer (John B. Bryant) was wounded in the first engagement,