In this charge our loss was trifling. Continuing to press the enemy back, we came in sight of the Chattanooga road, about 100 yards distant, on the west side of which the enemy had a section of artillery. Here we had, owing to the open character of the ground over which this regiment passed, gotten very slightly in advance of the regiment on our left and considerably in advance of the left of Stovall's brigade on our right, when Colonel Lewis, then in command of the regiment, ordered it to charge the battery, which was immediately in our front, and himself led the charge. The battery was abandoned by the enemy and the colors passed between the two pieces, when the line was promptly formed in rear to resist an attempt [should one be made] by the enemy to recapture it. At this point of time notice that the command of the brigade had devolved on Colonel Lewis by the wounding of the gallant Helm reached us, and from this forward the command of the regiment devolved on me.
The captured guns being removed to the rear, and discovering the enemy in line to my left and rear, I withdrew about 50 yards to the Chattanooga road, but while rectifying the alignment, being opened upon by a battery in the road south of me and immediately on my flank, I withdrew out of the road under cover of intervening timber, when I received from Colonel Lewis, through Captain Millett, of the Fourth Kentucky, and order to retire still farther to the rear, in doing which I became separated in the dense undergrowth from the residue of the brigade, but regained my place before it became engaged with the enemy again. Line was then formed nearly perpendicular to the road, the right about 150 yards from it, where a slight random fire was kept up for a short time, when we were ordered back to a ridge a little in front and to the right of our first line of battle. We remained in this position until between 3 and 4 p.m., when we moved out to the south and west to support a column of attack on the enemy's stronghold in front of Cleburne's right. Moving up to support this column we were in the midst of a raging contest, in which for the greater part of the time we could take no part because of lines in our front. Ultimately, however, as in the headlong charge these lines became exhausted, broken, or out of ammunition, we came nearer and nearer the front, until, at the conclusion of the charge, we had distanced all competitors and gained the very front. The enemy having been driven over a mile, and completely routed from his stronghold, we were halted at the Chattanooga road, and rested for the night.
Throughout the long and arduous day's struggle both officers and men behaved with the steadiest and most unflinching gallantry. Though often exposed to the most galling fire, marching and countermarching over rough ground and through dense underbrush, not a single man straggled from the command.
To Major W. L. Clarke I am indebted for most constant, active, and efficient assistance throughout the entire day. Also to Adjt. Samuel H. Buchanan, who, though receiving a severe confusion from a fragment of a shell early in the morning, from which he suffered severely, continued at his post throughout the day. Sergeant-Major McKay is also entitled to special commendation for his good conduct.
Asst. Surg. J. L. Vertrees, in charge of the hospital department, was efficient and attentive, and deserves mention.
I desire also to mention especially the efficiency of Quartermaster Sergeant Kennady, in charge of ambulances, in removing the