War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0580 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter XLII.

Search Civil War Official Records

gades from right to left until the point designated was arrived at. The picket lines were then withdrawn.

On the morning of the 20th I rearranged my lines and found myself in a strong position on the extreme right, but disconnected from the troops on my left.

About 9 o'clock the engagement again opened by a heavy assault upon the left, while everything was quiet in my front. To resist the assault that was being made on the left the interior divisions were again moved.

About 11 o'clock the brigade of Colonel Laiboldt, composed of the Second and Fifteenth Missouri, Forty-fourth and Seventy-third Illinois, was directed to move to the left and occupy a portion of the front which had been covered by General Negley. Before getting into this position, however, the ground was occupied by Carlin's brigade, of Davis' division, and Laiboldt was directed to take position on a very strong ridge in his rear, with directions to deploy on the ridge and hold it, so as to prevent Davis' flank form being turned. Word was then sent to General McCook of the disposition which had been made. which he approved.

Immediately afterward I received orders to support General Thomas with two brigades. I had just abandoned my position, and was moving at a double-quick when the enemy made a furious assault with overwhelming numbers on Davis' front, and, coming up through the unoccupied space between Davis and myself, even covering the front of the position I had just abandoned, Davis was driven from his lines and Laiboldt whose brigade was in column of regiments, was ordered by Major-General McCook to charge, and the inability of Laiboldt's command to fire on account of the ground in his front being covered with Davis' men, who, rushing through his ranks, broke his brigade, and it also was driven[sic]. In the meantime I had received the most urgent orders to throw in my other two brigades. This I did at a double-quick, forming the brigade of General Lytle, composed of the Thirty-sixth and Eighty-eighth Illinois, Twenty-fourth Wisconsin, and Twenty-first Michigan, and Colonel Bradley's brigade, now commanded by Colonel N. H. Walworth, to the front under a terrible fire of musketry form the enemy. Many of the men were shot down before facing to the front. After a stubborn resistance, the enemy drove me back nearly to the La Fayette road, a distance of a bout 300 yards. At this point the men again rallied and drove the enemy back with terrible slaughter, regaining the line of the ridge on which Colonel Laiboldt had originally been posted. The Fifty-first Illinois captured the colors of the Twenty-forth Alabama. A number of prisoners were also captured at the same time.

Here, unfortunately, the enemy had strong supports, while I had none to relieve my exhausted men, and my troops were again driven back to the La Fayette road after a gallant resistance.

In this engagement I had the misfortune to lose General Lytle, commanding my First Brigade, and many of the best and bravest officers of my command.

After crossing the road my division was again formed on the ridge which overlooked the ground where this sanguinary contest had taken place, the enemy manifesting no disposition to continue the engagement further. I here learned positively what I had before partially seen, that the divisions still farther on my left had been