War of the Rebellion: Serial 051 Page 0318 KY.,SW.VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA. Chapter XLII.

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momentarily to a stand. Three pieces of his artillery, strongly posted about two-thirds of the way up the hill and supported by infantry, were causing Deas' left regiment to waver, when I ordered an advance. The command was most gallantly responded to, the artillery captured, the heights carried, and the enemy so badly routed as to be unable to make any real stand again upon that part of the field. I continued in pursuit, however, for half a mile or more, follow faster that others, I rode to those in advance and soon succeeded in halting them till the line could be perfected. Here Colonel Coltart, of Deas' brigade, with a portion of his (Fifteenth Alabame) regiment, and another colonel of some other command, whose name I have forgotten, with a few men reported to me, having lost their proper commands. Before the new alignment had been completed, a staff officer from General Hindman recalled me from farther pursuit on account of a flank fire which had been opened by the enemy with artillery and small-arms on my rear and left regiments, the Forty-first and Ninth Mississippi, Colonel Tucker and Major Lynam commanding respectively.

After reforming, the command was marched back, by General Hindman's order, in the direction from which it had advanced, a distance of about a half or three-quarters of a mile, then changed direction to the right over an open field toward a position where Kershaw was reported to be heavily pressed. My brigade reached this position about 3 in the afternoon, and was ordered to form line on Kershaw's left to support him in an attack upon a wooded hill in his front, where the enemy was strongly posted.

In taking position, it was found that the command of Brig. General Bushord R. Johnson was in line on the extreme left with not sufficient interval between his right and Kershaw's left for my whole command. The interval, however, was filled and the overplus held in reserve. The attack was soon made by the whole line. It was stubbornly resisted from a very strong position just behind the crest of the hill and planted colors there, but the position was a hot one, and some breaking to the rear on the left caused the whole to give way for a time. The troops were rallied on the slope of the hill, lines reformed, and all in readiness to resume the attack, when the enemy advanced his line immediately in my front down the hill with some impetuosity. The line was instantly ordered forward to meet this charge and the command quickly responded to. The enemy was met by a volley and a charge which did much execution, his line broken, and his troops fled in some confusion; but as there was no corresponding forward movement by the brigades on my right and left, and as the hill near the crest was very difficult to ascend, he had time either to reform or to bring up a second line before we reached the top of the hill, and another repulse was the consequence. Troops never rallied more promptly and without confusion or clamor.

On taking position near the foot of the hill, it was found necessary to distribute ammunition, and while this was being done Colonel Kelly came up with his brigade and moved forward to the assault. The Seventh Mississippi, Colonel Bishop commanding, of my brigade, having some ammunition in the cartridge boxes, was ordered in with Colonel Kelly to strengthen his command as much as possible. Soon after two Florida regiments, under Colonel Finley, also