this time discovered the Twentieth Tennessee Regiment, which has been posted on the Puncheon Camp road, moving out into the open field, quite a mile distant, in a direction toward the right flank of the enemy. Nearly directly in rear of and about 600 yards from the hill occupied by the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-third Tennessee Regiments, and of about equal height with it, is an open eminence toward which the enemy's line was advancing. I ordered Colonel Hughs to leave his skirmishers behind, and to move his regiment with the section of the Eufaula Battery on to that eminence, and sent to Colonel [T. B.] Smith, of the Twentieth, to inform him of the nature of my movement, and suggest to him the propriety of uniting with the left of my command.
At the same time I ordered the Twenty-third Tennessee Regiment to move to the hill occupied by the Forty-fourth, and change front, so as to face and resist the enemy. To Colonel Floyd I sent instructions to fall back with the Seventeenth Tennessee Regiment, having early in the day informed him in regard to the position he should take if compelled to abandon the hill on which he was stationed. Through Lieutenant-Colonel [John L.] McEwen [jr.], I ordered Colonel Fulton, of the Forty-fourth, to hold his position as long as it was safe, and then follow the movement of the other regiments of the brigade.
In the mean Captain O'Neal held his position according to instructions received from Lieutenant-Colonel Floyd, keeping up a rapid fire until the enemy reached a fence some 40 yards in his front, and then he retired over favorable ground with the loss of 1 man wounded, who fell into the hands of the enemy. While the Seventeenth was engaging the column moving around our left flank, the enemy's skirmishers advanced to the edge of the field in its former front, and opened a brick fire on the right of the regiment, and on its skirmishes, still deployed on the hill. Colonel Floyd held his position until the enemy had made a partial wheel to their left, and had passed the prolongation of his line, and he then retired by the left flank in excellent order, moving nearly parallel to the enemy's lines under the in effectual fire of a battery of artillery and the enemy's advancing skirmishers. Immediately after he Seventeenth commenced retiring, a column of the enemy advanced from the woods in front of the hill it was quitting, and the enemy were seen all over foot of the slope. The Seventeenth was engaged here some twenty-five or third minutes, and lost 1 man killed and 7 wounded. The skirmishers of the Twenty-fifth, under Captain [J. H.] Curtis, engaged those of the enemy in front, and held possession of the hill which that regiment had occupied and abandoned until the knob, abandoned by the Seventeenth, was overrun by the enemy and the flank of the Seventeenth was under their cover. Corpl. J. J. Robinson, of Company E, Twenty-fifth Tennessee Regiment, was severely wounded here during the skirmishing.
Captain O'Neal, of the Seventeenth, and Captain Curtis, of the Twenty-fifth Tennessee Regiments, deserve great credit for the manner in which they commanded their skirmishers.
As soon as the orders were distributed for the change of positions in my brigade, I hastened tot he eminence, which I had ordered to be occupied, and found the Twenty-fifth and the Eufaula Battery taking their position on it. I soon discovered that the enemy's line extended beyond the hill, and was moving still farther to my left. I consequently ordered Colonel Hughs to move the Twenty-fifth Tennessee Regiment by the left flank along the edge of the woods, extending out to our left and bordering the open fields, through which the Federals were advanc-