On the morning of the 20th, the troops were aroused at early dawn, the line rectified, the skirmishers in front relieved, and everything made ready to engage the enemy. Ammunition had been replenished during the night. Shortly after daylight a day's rations of cooked provisions were brought up and distributed. The morning was cold, and the men were allowed to have small fires and eat their breakfast. At 10 o'clock I was notified the line was about to move on the enemy, and that the movement would commence on my right. I had already heard that it was probable that my brigade overlapped troops to my left not of this division, and that some irregularity existed in the lines as formed.
At a few minutes past 10 the brigade on my right moved forward and I moved with it. Its left soon crowded on my right, when I obliqued to the left to give room. In a few minutes it made a rapid movement obliquely to the right, leaving a gap. The brigade was at once ordered to follow this movement, and every exertion was made to do so; but we were now under fire of artillery, and had advanced but a short distance when my right was within short range of the enemy's rifles. They were hidden behind logs covered with bushes. The whole line to the right was now at a halt and firing. This was followed by the right of my brigade-Hawkin's sharpshooters and Colonel Lowrey's regiment. The major-general passed me at this moment and I informed him that my left had passed over some of our troops lying down and were in front of them. The whole front of the brigade to my left was covered by other troops. He directed me to see to the left of my command, and said that Deshler's brigade would be taken to the right. The Sixteenth and Thirty-third Alabama Regiments were ordered to lie down on a line with the troops in the front line to my left, who were also lying down. I found Brigadier-General Brown at the right of his line, and told him that the batteries now firing on us would enfilade me if I advanced without a corresponding advance to my left. He said he had no orders to advance, but would send to Major-General Stewart for orders. Major-General Stewart came to that position, and having ordered his division forward, I immediately ordered the Forty-fifth Alabama Regiment supporting my battery, up into line with the Sixteenth and Thirty-third Alabama Regiments and ordered that all forward.
About this time the line to the right had fallen back, and the position occupied by Colonel Lowrey and Major Hawkins was taken by Deshler's brigade. The peculiar character of the enemy's works, represented by a diagram* annexed, will show that while the right of my command was very near them, an angle was formed in its front and the enemy's line was thrown back, so as to give them the cover of woods and compel us to advance through a wide field. My brigade advanced into this field. The Thirty-third Alabama Regiment, under the lead of its gallant colonel, crossed the field and the Chattanooga road. The fire of the enemy at this point was most destructive, and though this movement was supported by Brown's, Clayton's and Bate's brigades, it was not long before all had to retire, and were again assembled and formed at the position from which they last advanced. My command, being the right of the line advancing against this retired line of the enemy, was subjected to a cross and enfilading fire which was very severe on all, but
11 R R-VOL XXX, PT II