in the line of march, I supposed that he would be ordered up to the left, and, indeed, in the act of executing the forward movement in line of battle, I was informed by General Smith that we were a supporting force to Major-General Walker, who was supposed to be in our front.
My brigade is composed of the following regiments, which moved in line from right to left in the order named: Sixteenth Tennessee Regiment, Colonel D. M. Donnell commanding; Eighth Tennessee Regiment, Colonel John H. Anderson commanding; Fifty-first and Fifty-second Tennessee Regiments, Lieutenant Colonel John G. Hall commanding; Twenty--eighth Tennessee Regiments, Lieutenant Colonel John G. Hall commanding; Twenty-eighth Tennessee Regiment, Colonel S. S. Stanton Commanding; Thirty-eighth Tennessee Regiment and Murray's (Tennessee) battalion, Colonel John C. Carter commanding, with the battery of light artillery commanded by Captain William W. Carnes.
The men moved up in splendid style, obeying all orders with the alacrity and precision which is their habit on parade. With the information I had received, believing Major-General Walker in our front, I had directed each regiment to throw out skirmishers, and thus guard against the too frequent and often criminal folly of pouring a fire into the rear of our own comrades in arms when engaged against a foe in front. This order I immediately countermanded when it became quite evident that a most galling fire had been opened by the enemy's batteries and infantry upon my right flank and a portion of the center. This fire continued for some minutes before the left flank was engaged, and was the result of my line of battle being advanced obliquely toward the right, instead of being parallel to the enemy's line. It was certainly due, also, somewhat to the fact that the Sixteenth Tennessee and Eight Tennessee Regiments-extending their line into a corn-field in open view of the enemy, whose position was concealed by timber and undergrowth-were compelled to advance into the wood in front, thus finding a better and more secure position and some cover for their men from the murderous fire which they were gallantly sustaining. The center and left, however, soon became earnestly engaged. Having no eligible position for artillery near the center, I was compelled to post Carne's battery (Steuben Artillery) on the left of the Thirty-eighth Tennessee Regiment, being the extreme left of my position, supposing, too, at that time that I would be supported on the left by the brigades both of Brigadier- General Maney and Brigadier-General Strahl. My position was near the foot of a declivity gently rising toward the left, and presenting on that flank the highest ground on our line, and therefore the best position for artillery, while that of the enemy was on an eminence rising from the drain or low ground just in our front, many feet above ours and protected by works probably thrown up the previous night. Immediately after the enemy's fire was opened,. I dispatched the order to commence firing to each of the commanding officers of regiments, which was executed promptly and with coolness and precision.
I have reason to believe that the effect of our firing upon the
enemy was terrific, from the report of a wounded officer who fell into the hands of the enemy and subsequently escaped, and from a careful survey of the battle-ground by some of the men after the action.
The enemy opened upon us a cross-fire of two batteries and a concentrated shower of musket shot from a greatly superior force, their line extending the full length of a brigade beyond my unsupported left. Our men met the terrible fire which was hurled upon them