position of the enemy was not discovered by Colonel Colquitt until the left was within a short distance of the breastworks. The right, however, changed front sufficiently to become directly engaged. Colonel Colquitt did not reconnoiter the position, as he was instructed that our troops were in his front.
The enemy now poured forth a most destructive and well-aimed fire upon the entire line, and though it wavered and recoiled under the shock, yet, by the exertions of the gallant Colquitt, nobly seconded by Colonels Stevens, Capers, and other brave and true officers, order was promptly restored, and for some twenty-five minutes the terrific fire was withstood and returned with marked effect by the gallant little band.
It was here that the lamented Colquitt fell mortally wounded while cheering on his command, and in quick succession the iron-nerved Stevens and the intrepid Capers were seriously wounded, and many others who deserve to live in their country's memory yielded up their life's blood. One-third of the gallant command was either killed or wounded. Reeling under the storm of bullets, having lost all but 2 of their field officers, the brigade fell back fighting to the position from which they advanced. The brigades of Ector and Wilson kept up their fire from the cover [the enemy did not venture beyond their works, so severely had they suffered] until I was directed by General Hill to withdraw them to the positions they occupied before advancing and reform my whole line in rear of the batteries some few hundred yards distant from the enemy's position. This order was gallantly extended [executed] under a heavy fire by Captain M. P. King, my assistant adjutant-general.
Our lines being re-established, we remained in position until about 4 p.m., when a general advance was ordered. Major A. M. Speer, with seven companies of the Forty-sixth Georgia Volunteers, having come up, my own brigade, now under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Napier, was increased to some 1,400 men and officers. I was directed by Major-General Walker to support the advance of General Liddell's division. Upon reaching the Chattanooga road, General Liddell found his command exposed to a heavy fire upon both flanks and fell back to my rear. The gallant Forty-sixth Georgia Volunteers, occupying the right of the brigade, eager to avenge their beloved colonel, the brave Captain Cooper, and other true officers of the regiment, with a loud cheer, led by their brave major, charged through the wood before them, driving the enemy and capturing some 40 prisoners. The remainder of the brigade followed up handsomely the advance upon the left. Upon reaching the Chattanooga road, the force of the enemy that engaged and fired upon the flanks of General Liddell's division had retired from view, and not being aware of any support upon my right, I at once halted the command, threw out skirmishers to my front and upon my right flank, and sent information of my position to Major-General Walker. The brigades of General Ector and Colonel Wilson advancing, took up positions to the left of the First Brigade without encountering any serious opposition. Not receiving any further orders and night being nearly upon us, we bivouacked upon the field of victory. General Liddell, whose command was promptly reformed, came up and took position on my right. The firing ceased, loud cheers went up to heaven, and the grandest, most important battle of the war was fought and won.
I would respectfully refer the major-general commanding to the