War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0278 KY.,SW.VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA. Chapter XLII.

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upon King and Scribner on the left, while they likewise assailed Starkweather furiously in front, to crush that portion of our line. I judge the general direction of all the attacks made upon us to have been from the northeast. This attack continued about an hour, during which repeated efforts were made to dislodge us from our position, but in vain. The battle-flags of the rebel generals, borne with the lines of troops, approached quite close to our position, but each time those lines exposed themselves they were broken and driven back. When they withdrew, our skirmishers were thrown to the front and took many prisoners, by whom we were informed that it was the division of Breckinridge which we had been fighting, together with troops from Virginia.

An interval of about an hour now elapsed, during which there was but little fighting upon our portion of the line. Warned, however, by the previous attack, of the vulnerability of my left, I strove to obtain forces to secure it. There were regiments lying in reserve in rear of General Johnson's division, I know not what, which I thought might be of more service on the left. I went to their commanders, and explaining to them the danger of an attack from that quarter, and that it might certainly be looked for, I asked them to keep a lookout in that direction, and, should the regiments on the left seem to waver, to rush to their assistance. As all had different orders, I received no satisfactory reply. I then went to General Johnson and got him to visit with me the left of his own line, where I pointed out the condition of things, and asked him to take his left regiment of the second line and place it in column in rear, so as to be ready to move to whatever point should require it the most.

While speaking of this matter the attack came, as I had anticipated, and was made with large force and great impetuosity. General Beatty's line was cut in two in the middle, two regiments being driven beyond the road to the west; the other two were forced back into the open field toward my rear. My own left was also forced back, and our line seemed ready to crumble away on this flank. The rebels were already in the field behind us, and the column which had forced Beatty's center was pushing down the road toward Kelly's house. I immediately caused the second line to rise and face about, and then to wheel forward toward the right, so as to support our men and meet the advancing enemy. This line was composed of regiments from various commands, a part only my own. The unexpected direction of the attack, the facing to the rear, and the crowd of our retiring troops coming upon them caused some disorder in their line, but, riding to their front with a cheer, two regiments took it up, formed a good line, and advanced gallantly. The rest followed, and the rebels were driven back into the woods. The column upon the road was at the same time driven back by troops, I believe, of General Brannan's division, and at this juncture Colonel Barnes, commanding a brigade of General Wood's division, came up and pushed his brigade in line into the woods on the north side of the field.

I saw at once that this attack was at an end, and requested Colonel Barnes to withdraw two of his regiments, to be held in reserve in the northeast corner of the field, near my own position, to be used upon the next point assailed. He complied, and brought the two regiments commanded by Colonel Swaine, which remained near me until the close of the fight.

My line was re-established as it had been in the morning, and was not for some four hours again attacked in force. Immediately that