and a section of Cobb's battery at Glass' Mill, with instructions from Major-General Breckinridge to dispose of my command so as to repel any attack of the enemy, and remain until I should be relieved.
During the afternoon a force of cavalry and infantry appeared across the creek, threw out a line of skirmishers, and began to advance; but finding us ready to oppose them, they fell back at the first fire of our skirmishers and made no further demonstrations.
At 9 p.m. I received an order from Major-General Breckinridge to join the division, so I left the position in charge of a detachment of Wharton's cavalry, which had just come up, and hastened on with my command. Unfortunately, soon after leaving the main Chattanooga road the guide lost his way, and with my best exertions I was unable to reach the division until about 8 o'clock the next morning after marching constantly all night, a distance of not less than 18 miles. I, however, arrived just in time to take my position as the brigade was being formed in line of battle.
A little before 10 o'clock the order was given to advance. My regiment was on the right of the brigade and Adams' brigade was on my right. We pushed forward through the woods and were in a few moments engaged. As we charged the enemy fell back through the woods and an open field beyond, leaving three brass pieces in front of the right wing of my regiment and many prisoners to fall into our hands. One of these pieces I sent to the rear, but judging it to be imprudent to withdraw many men from the ranks, as the guns were already safe, I left them on the field and they were removed subsequently by Adams' brigade, which came up a little after us.
I was then ordered to take a new position to thwart an anticipated flank movement of the enemy from the left, rendered practicable by the advance of our division. This movement was not attempted, and soon the whole brigade was formed on the prolongation of my line, throwing me on the extreme left. In a few minutes we were ordered to move forward, and a line of skirmishers was thrown out and they immediately opened a brisk fire. It became apparent that the right of the enemy extended considerably beyond my left, and as there was no support for my left I feared that the enemy would turn my flank; but the order to advance was positive, and we advanced up the hill at a double-quick under a galling fire from the enemy, who was fighting behind some hastily constructed breastworks. The colors were not more than a dozen steps from the enemy, and in another minute we would have driven them from their works, but the regiments to my right were already falling back, and, as I had anticipated, the enemy was getting in my rear and pouring a destructive fire upon my left flank. I therefore gave the order to fall back, and by obliquing to the left I withdrew the regiment in safety and rallied it at the foot of the hill. Lieutenant J. Cabell Breckinridge, of Major-General Breckinridge's staff, was here of essential service to me. Riding fearlessly along where the balls fell thickly about him, he cheered the men by his noble example and rallied them by his encouraging words.
My loss in this charge was very heavy. Samuel Neeley, the color bearer, fell near the breastworks, and Robert McKay, of the color guard, close to his side, both severely wounded, and 4 of the color company were left dead on the field. The infirmary detail did its duty faithfully, and by removing the wounded as they fell prevented the enemy from capturing them.
The brigade was now withdrawn and was not brought into action