soon as they emerged from their cover they were repulsed by a deliberate and well-aimed fire.
The Forty-sixth Alabama Regiment, belonging to this brigade, after a most exhausting march during the afternoon of the preceding day and night, had arrived on the field by 8 o'clock with about 160 effective men, and formed on the left of the Thirty-first Alabama Regiment.
About 11 o'clock heavy columns of the enemy could be distinctly seen, and it appeared evident that if they could be brought up to make a charge that our slender force would be overwhelmed by vastly superior numbers. The ammunition of the Thirtieth Regiment was now becoming exhausted, and that of the left wing of the Twentieth was growing short. Adjutant [John S.] SMITH, of the Twentieth Regiment, was then dispatched to Brigadier-General Bowen to advise him of our situation, and to ask for instructions and re-enforcements, and that ammunition might be sent us. The general being on a distant part of the field, the adjutant did not return until about 2 o'clock, when he brought the order our position must be held at all hazards and that re-enforcements would be sent. The enemy had attempted to make, up to this time, several charges on our center, defended by the Thirtieth and left wing of the Twentieth Alabama Regiments, and had been each time heroically repulsed. The Thirtieth Regiment, commanded by the cool, brave, and gallant Colonel Shelley, and the five left companies of the Twentieth Regiment, under the immediate command of the fearless and chivalrous Lieutenant-Colonel [E. W.] Pettus, had obstinately resisted every effort of the enemy to dislodge them.
Finding that the enemy were advancing in the direction of the skirt of woods to our right and front, Captain [J. McKee] Gould and Lieutenant [J. W.] Parish, of the Twentieth Alabama Regiment, with their companies, had been sent forward to prevent their obtaining possession of this wood, and well and bravely did Captain Gould and the said companies discharge this duty. Learning after 12 o'clock that these two companies were severally pressed, Captain [R. H.] Pratt, of the Twentieth Alabama, with his company, was sent to their support, and they promptly and cheerfully advanced to the assistance of their comrades. The enemy's fire on the center not being at all diminished, it became necessary to order one company from the right, which was not so heavily engaged, to sustain it, and Captain [B. D.] Massingale, with his company, was ordered on this duty, and advanced in good order under the enemy's fire, and took the position previously occupied by Captain Pratt's company. The four companies on the right, under the immediate command of Captain [J. N.] Dedman, after the death of General Tracy, had resisted all attempts of the enemy to flank us on the right, and after the withdrawal of Captain Massingale's company still maintained their ground, but a little after 3 o'clock large bodies of the enemy could be distinctly seen advancing on our slender forces on the right, our center being still heavily pressed.
In the mean time the Sixth Missouri Regiment had formed near the left of our brigade, and the Forty-sixth Alabama not yet being engaged, no alternative was left but to be overwhelmed by the masses of the enemy or re-enforce the center and right with that regiment. Five companies were therefore ordered to re-enforce the extreme right, and the other five the center. Colonel [M. L.] Woods being placed in command on the right, this regiment, thus divided, promptly and eagerly advanced to their positions under a galling fire from the enemy. The enemy having now reached the woods near the line on the right, Colonel Woods, with half his regiment, was posted at the road a little beyond the gap