War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0500 Chapter XIII. KY.,SW.VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA.

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den's troops were moving to the front, a fact of which I had not been informed. Closing my left on General Van Cleve's right I moved forward, conforming my lines to his, until the open field a few hundred yards in front of my original position was reached, when I received orders from General Rosecrans, through Captain Morrison, of my staff, to move forward and take position along the skirt of timber bordering the field in my front. On reaching this point I received orders from General McCook to move forward into the timber and take position on General Wood's right, occupying a line of rude breastworks erected by troops previously occupying this position.

Carlin's brigade was ordered to and at once took position on the right of Colonel Buell's brigade, then forming the right of General Wood's division.

Heg's brigade, now commanded by Colonel Martin of the Eighth Kansas Volunteer Infantry, took position, in accordance with my instructions, in rear of Carlin's brigade as a reserve.

Colonel Buell at this time informed me that he had just received orders to move to his left in order to close up with our lines in that direction. Colonel Buell's brigade commenced the movement, and, in compliance with orders from General McCook, I directed Martin to move his brigade into the position thus being vacated. This brigade moved promptly into position, but had scarcely reached the line when the enemy, advancing in heavy force, opened fire on its and Carlin's front. These brigades received the fire with veteran coolness and returned it with deadly effect for several rounds, and in some instances the musket was used in beating back the enemy before the position was yielded.

The sudden withdrawal of troops from my left and the absence of any support on my right, just as the attack was being made, made my position little better than an outpost and perfectly untenable against the overwhelming force coming against it. Nothing but precipitate flight could save my command from annihilation or capture. Observing the critical condition of my flanks I rode up to Colonel Laiboldt, commanding one of General Sheridan's brigades posted in an open field a few hundred yards to my rear and right, and informed him that if he was there for the purpose of supporting my troops it must be done immediately. He at once commenced deploying his troops to form line on my right, but before the movement was fully completed his brigade received a heavy attack from that part of the enemy's line which had passed thus far unopposed around my right flank. My troops were by this time compelled to abandon their position, falling back rapidly. A few hundred yards brought them into the open field and exposed them to the full effect of the pursuing enemy's fire.

Laiboldt's brigade did not seem sufficiently strong to check the enemy's advance, and a general rout of our troops on the right was manifest.

Ineffectual attempts were made by the different commanders to reform the lines on a rocky ridge in the open field a few hundred yards to the rear.

The heavy loss sustained by my troops in the two days' conflict, particularly among the commissioned officers, rendered a reformation of my command very difficult, and was only accomplished after falling back to a small farm some 2 1/2 miles to the rear. This place offered a suitable position for the use of artillery, and I ordered on of my batteries to be posted there and the troops to be formed with