My command remained in the rear of General Cheatham, where we reformed after being repulsed for more than an hour. The time was spent in obtaining water and ammunition. The canteens and cartridge boxes being filled, I moved, in obedience to orders, by the right flank for about a mile in a northern direction, where I halted, and line of battle was formed a little to the right of the ground over which we had fought in the morning, facing to the west. Skirmishers were thrown forward about 250 yards in our front, but, except a few skirmishers, no enemy was found. I remained in this position for nearly an hour, when Colonel Govan, commanding brigade, told me that all of his staff officers were absent on duty, and requested me to ride to the left of the brigade and order Colonel Gillespie, commanding Sixth and Seventh Arkansas, to cease firing.
It may be proper to state that pretty heavy firing had been going on on the left for some time. I carried the order to Colonel Gillespie, and found his men lying flat on the ground and firing very rapidly. Though I was immediately in rear of the line of battle and on horseback, I could not see at what they were firing.
Having transmitted this order to Colonel Gillespie, I immediately returned to my regiment. I had hardly reached it when I saw the troops on the left, from which point I had just returned, falling back. I was wholly unable to see any reason for this extraordinary movement, and therefore ordered my men to stand fast. This the two companies on the right, commanded by Captain E. A. Howell and First Lieutenant T. O. Mosby, did; the others, after the troops upon their left had given way, commenced falling back. They did not, however, fall back more than 100 yards before I halted them and reformed my line. I am still unable to account for this panic [which was, it is true, of short duration], as during all this time nothing more than a few musket shots, with an occasional shell, were passing over my line, and I could not see any enemy.
After remaining here for a short time the command was moved forward and to the left, in order to establish the command on a line with General Walthall, who was on our left. We bivouacked in this position for the night.
Early on the following morning [September 20], my command was moved, by order of Colonel Govan, about 1 mile to the left of the position where we bivouacked on the night of the 19th. After remaining here for about an hour, I was ordered to move back, and then took up a position on the extreme right of the army. In a short time I was ordered to move forward, which I did until I came to the Chattanooga and La Fayette road. Immediately after crossing this and entering an open field which lay on the west side of it, the enemy fired on my command from the woods on the west side of the field, where they were posted, and threw it into momentary confusion. I immediately rallied my men, however, and again moved forward through the open field, gradually changing direction to the left as I moved and driving the enemy before me. After reaching the woods I drove the enemy before me without difficulty, and doubled their left around until my command was facing nearly south, when I was notified by Lieutenant-Colonel Harvey, Second Arkansas, that the enemy had succeeded in flanking the brigade on the left and were then in my rear. As I had the enemy in my front so hardly whipped as to render it improbable that they would attempt to follow me, I proposed to turn upon the enemy in rear, but finding that the men were opposed to this, and somewhat demoralized on account of the enemy's