War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0276 KY.,SW.VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA. Chapter XLII.

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could reach him, the attack had been made in such force that he was unable to withstand it, and I met his men coming back in disorder, driven by the enemy across the rear of what had been our previous position. For the particulars of this attack, and the manner in which it was met, I refer to the lucid report of Colonel Scribner. Our troops behaved with gallantry and yielded only to overwhelming force. Assisted by my staff officers, Major Fitch, Captain Cary, and Captain Williams, I strove to restore confidence to these men, and induce them to make another stand, but it was only after they had passed far to the rear that I could do so. Complete destruction seemed inevitable. Four pieces of Colonel Scribner's battery were captured after firing sixty-four rounds, and the enemy, sweeping like a torrent, fell upon the regular brigade before it had got into position, took its battery, and after a struggle in which whole battalions were wiped out of existence, drove it back upon the line of General Brannan. We are indebted to the Ninth Ohio Regiment, of Brannan's division, for recapturing this battery.

In this onslaught of the enemy General Starkweather was brought into action a little after Scribner, and more to his rear and right. His brigade suffered severely, and his battery was almost entirely disabled by the loss of horses and men; the guns, however, were saved. The appearance of other forces upon the left of the enemy caused further pressure upon us to cease, and probably saved us from destruction.

Having collected my forces, they were united to those of General Brannan, in a strong position on the road leading from McDonald's house to Reed's Bridge, and this post we were ordered by General Thomas to hold to the last extremity. A period of quiet to us then ensued, during which a fierce conflict was going on upon the ground we had fought over in the morning, and, as we learned later, with the division of General Johnson.

I would here testify to the high qualities for a commander exhibited by General Brannan, for the moment [a trying one] the commander of our united divisions.

Toward evening I received orders to support General Johnson, while General Brannan was withdrawn for the assistance of General Brannan was withdrawn for the assistance of General Reynolds, to the right of the cross-roads, near Kelly's. Leaving the small brigade of King to hold the road where we were, I moved with those of General Starkweather and Colonel Scribner to the right, and caused them to be posted under the direction of a staff officer of General Johnson, nearly in prolongation of his left. We were then upon the very ground from which we had driven the enemy in the morning, and from which we had subsequently to fall back. We found a number of our dead there stretched upon the ground. With the exception of and occasional shot from rebel sharpshooters, entire quiet prevailed along the line, and I remained with General Johnson until toward dark, when the general commanding arrived, and directed us to retire some half mile to a better position for the night. Orders were given accordingly to have the troops withdraw after nightfall, and General Johnson and myself rode back with the general to ascertain the position we would occupy. I was returning, when, just as the light of day began to disappear, I heard the sounds of a fierce battle in front. The enemy attacked with both artillery and infantry, in apparently large force, and with greater determination than previously, shelling at the same time the entire woods which we occupied, as far back even as the road where