Moving down the creek 1 1/2 miles, I crossed at Byram's Ford and bivouacked about 1 mile from the ford.
Early on the morning of the 19th, I moved in a southwesterly direction and halted in a position nearly opposite Alexander's Bridge. While here awaiting orders it was ascertained that a heavy column of the enemy was moving around to turn our right flank. Wilson's and Ector's brigades were already engaged and were being heavily pressed. About 12 m. I was ordered to move forward to their support. Walthall's brigade being on my right, forming a line of battle facing northward. Moving forward about one-quarter of a mile I engaged the enemy, and succeeded by a charge in driving him from his position, capturing his artillery and 300 or 400 prisoners. Pursuing this advantage, I encountered his second line, which was also routed after a hotly contested fight, again leaving his artillery in our possession. I had previously been cautioned by General Liddell to look well to my left flank, as a force of the enemy were reported advancing in that direction. I accordingly instructed Colonel Gillespie, commanding the left regiment of the brigade, to protect his left by throwing skirmishers well on his flank, and in case of being attacked from that direction to change his front so as to meet the attack.
About the time, or just previous to engaging the third line, a heavy column of the enemy moved on my left flank. The left regiment, according to my instructions, changed front so as to meet it, while the other regiments of the brigade engaged him in front. The overwhelming force which attacked my left flank and had gained my rear forced me to retire, which movement I executed by the flank in order to prevent the capture of a portion of the brigade, and reformed my line in rear of General Cheatham's division, then moving into position. It was afterward ascertained that we had engaged the whole of General Thomas' [Federal] corps. The two lines which I had driven back in confusion were composed in part of the Fifth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Twenty-first Regiments Regulars, U. S. Army. Four hundred men and some officers belonging to these regiments were captured and safely sent to the rear, together with three Parrott guns, composing a part of Loomis' battery, designated as Company H, Fifth Artillery,* U. S. Army, which were sent to the rear under charge of 3 men, belonging to the First Louisiana Regiment and delivered to Major Palmer, chief of artillery, Walker's corps. One piece, a James rifled gun, captured by the Second and Fifteenth Arkansas Regiments, was carried to the rear by hand by men belonging to that regiment and delivered to Lieutenant Shannon, commanding Swett's battery. The other pieces from which the enemy had been drive [the horses attached to them being either killer or disabled] we were compelled to leave behind when we retired. This engagement lasted nearly two hours.
In the fight many gallant officers and privates were killed and wounded. Among the first was Colonel L. Featherston, commanding Fifth and Thirteenth Arkansas Regiments, who fell mortally wounded while gallantly leading his regiment, and Lieutenant-Colonel Baucum, commanding Eighth Arkansas and First Louisiana Regiments, severely wounded while carrying the colors at the head of his regiment.
Late in the evening I was ordered to the extreme right on the prolongation of the line occupied by General Cheatham, facing west-
*A mistake. See foot-note on p.268.