War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0590 KY., MID. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXV.

Search Civil War Official Records

his seeming intention to withdraw, and advanced in line of battle upon the skirmishers of these two regiments. To relieve the pressure which I now plainly saw coming on these regiments, I directed the skirmishers of Colonel Govan's regiment, which were posted nearly at right angles with this attack of the enemy, to move down to the base of the hill no the Wartrace Creek, and divert his attention by throwing a galling fire upon his left flank. He, however, notwithstanding, continued to press the skirmishers of my left wing with is line of battle until they were compelled to retire to their old position, both sides discontinuing their fire on reaching their former positions, where each remained stationary.

The attention of the enemy now seemed directed to Colonel Govan's skirmishers, and a fresh regiment was pushed rapidly forward from the cover of timber in the valley, with a line of skirmishers in its front, both of which were promptly driven back. This attack was made across an open cornfield. The fire at Colonel Govan's skirmishers and line of battle on the hill was so intense as to cause the enemy to double up in confusion and retire hastily to the opposite side of the corn-field. Again two more regiments were moved successively forward to the attack, both of which were repulsed. A fourth line of two regiments now advanced, and this time succeeded in gaining the base of the hill at Wartrace Creek. The main body of Colonel Govan's regiment, being on the sides and crest of the hill, was fired upon by the shattered lines of the enemy at different distances at the as same time. Our soldiers were exceedingly eager and excited, and gallantry maintained the contest for some time after the enemy had reached the base of the hill, at which he halted, seemingly disinclined to ascend. I had previously ordered up the Sixth and Seventh Arkansas Regiments (which were held in reserve) to the support of the Second, where Colonel Govan informed me that his ammunition was nearly exhausted. I instructed him to try to hold his place until I could get the reserve into position and the ammunition of this regiment could be brought up. There was some difficulty, however, in getting the ammunition, on account of the boggy nature of the ground, caused by so much rain.

Meanwhile the Sixth and Seventh had become hotly engaged. Two color-bearers of the Second were killed, and the third, standing on the declivity of the hill, was fatally struck, and falling forward headlong, cast his colors toward the base, in close proximity to the line of the enemy. The colors were not missed until the regiment had retired over the crest of the hill, and having now no ammunition, it was useless to renew the attack for their recovery. This is a source of great mortification to the regiment as well as the brigade.

Finding now that the Sixth and Seventh would have to bear the whole brunt of the conflict of six to one against it, which no reserve in supporting distance, I deemed it v), to withdraw the right of my line altogether to the next range of hills, about 400 yards distant, where the battery was placed.

It was not apparent that the enemy occupied the position left by the Second Arkansas next morning. On executing this retrograde movement, I found that General Wood had just arrived with his brigade, and being my senior, the command now devolved upon him. It becoming now quite late, by the order of the division commander we fell back to Bellbuckle with our commands, leaving Colonel [Samuel] Adams' regiment, of General Woods' brigade, on picket.

Early on the next morning (the 26th) we resumed the positions of the day previous, except that my brigade took post on the heights on the left of the Wartrace. Late in the afternoon about 60 or 70 of the enemy's