nish fatigue parties to help forward disabled or stalled wagons, having first reconnoitered the position and thrown out two companies on each road leading to the ford to guard against surprise by the enemy.
About 9 a.m. the whole train had crossed and was put in motion, with the Twenty-fifth Georgia Regiment and a section of the battery ahead as an advance guard and the rest of the brigade in rear. In this order we had marched about 2 miles from the ford to the intersection of the road from Alexander's Bridge with the road to Lee and Gordon's Mills, when I received from one of General Forrest's staff an order from division headquarters directing me to go with General Forrest and obey his orders. The train was thereupon sent forward alone, and the brigade field to the right on the Alexander's Bridge road, conducted by the staff officer who had brought me the order. One company, however, of the Thirtieth Georgia Regiment, which had been thrown out as skirmishers from the ford, had not yet overtaken the regiment, and did not until the fight was over, but fell in on the left of General Ector's brigade and behaved gallantly, as I am informed, during the engagement of that day. This was Company B, Captain R. M. Hitch.
Riding forward with General Forrest he informed me that the enemy in considerable force were engaging his cavalry to the right and front of my position, and he directed me to select a position and form line of battle on the left of the road. I formed my line on the ridge of the long hill, which from the northeast overlooks and commands the plain where our first encounter with the enemy took place, posting the artillery by sections on the most elevated positions and opposite to the intervals between regiments. We had not remained in this position long when an order General Forrest informed me that the enemy were pressing him sorely in front and directed me to move up on his left. This order was promptly executed, the brigade moving off by the right flank, and, filing up the Alexander's Bridge road about three-eights of a mile, was formed forward into line. The line was scarcely formed when firing commenced on the left. The order was given to move forward at once, and the line stepped off with the enthusiasm of high hope and patriotic determination, and the precision and accuracy which only disciplined and instructed troops can attain. The enemy's skirmishers were encountered at once and driven in on their first line, which opened upon us a terrific fire. Steadily the line moved forward and poured into the enemy's ranks a well-directed fire, which very soon caused his line to break and flee from the field in confusion, leaving dead and wounded covering the field over which we marched. The command still pressed forward on the retreating foe and soon encountered a second line of battle, which seemed to have been drawn up 300 or 400 yards in rear of the first. Then again the contest was renewed with great energy and the position disputed with stubborn resolve. The firing at this point was terrific, and many brave officers and men fell while gallantly discharging their duties. For a time our line wavered, and the overwhelming force of the enemy seemed determined to drive us from the field. Rallying from the shock of this new encounter, our line again moved forward with determination and energy, and finally succeeded in driving back the enemy's second line in confusion to his breastworks, which had been erected of fallen trees about 400 yards in rear of his second line. At this time an order from General Forrest directed me not to press the enemy farther; but in the mean-