The left of Johnson's troops, supposing that they were attacked in the rear from the effect of this rear and right-oblique fire, and not being aware, as I suppose, of the position of my brigade and the First Brigade, faced about and fired into my right with a right-oblique fire, they believing my command, as I think, to be the enemy. This fire from the front, right, and rear left no alternative save that of retirement in confusion and disorder. No blame can be attached to any of the troops for these mistakes, as they were unavoidable.
Line was immediately reformed at the foot of the ridge east, where it remained until all the troops had retired, when it moved back in good condition, going into bivouac in an open field on the left of General Johnson's ammunition train, from which point the command was moved by order of the general commanding, at 3 a. m. on the 20th, taking position on a ridge; formed in two lines, with two guns in the center of the two lines and two guns upon the left, my right resting upon General Johnson's division and my left upon the right of the First Brigade. I immediately commenced felling trees, and formed two barricades, one to the front of my first line and one to the front of my second line. This first line so formed was supported by a second line, and to my right and rear was the Fifth Indiana Battery, covering with their fire to the front the point where my right rested on General Johnson's left. Skirmishers from my lines were kept continually to the front, retaking again and again their positions when driven to the breastworks, holding their positions faithfully and well until the whole line retired at night. This position was held and retained during the whole day under repeated attacks from the enemy in heavy columns supported with batteries, repulsing and driving the enemy back from time to time; driving the enemy also back from the extreme left with my artillery, thus supporting the left with my battery and portions of my command thrown into position for that purpose, until peremptory orders were received through Captain Cary, one of the general's staff, that I should fall back as well as possible from my position.
While holding this position the ammunition of my first line was expended, and most of that of the second line, together with all the ammunition of the battery except 3 rounds of canister. While working the battery at this point my guns, caissons, and limbers from time to time were made unserviceable from the shot and shell of the enemy's batteries, and from the fire of his infantry; so that I retired guns, limbers, and caissons when necessary, refitting and replacing those portions thereof damaged from the two guns left unused, so keeping four guns in continuous operation. When ordered to retire, I instructed the two rear regiments to fall back upon the second line together with the battery; and when such was accomplished, for the first line to retire upon the second, which had been retired, no knowing that the Fifth Indiana Battery, together with the second line, was also being retired. When the movement was made, the enemy opened upon my position three batteries with grape and canister. On reaching the second line, and finding the troops retiring and retired, with the battery gone, the enemy charging my front line with the bayonet, supported by their batteries, the troops gave way and a portion only rallied at the point where General Willich's command rested near sunset. Was then moved and ordered to proceed to Chattanooga. On arriving within a mile and a half the order was countermanded and a position reassigned me to the front, where we remained during the 21st until 3 a. m. on