short time, when orders were received from the same source* to report to General Bushord Johnson, whose command was then heavily pressed on a succession of ridges which lay east of our present position, about a half a mile to our right and to the east of the Rossville road. The command was immediately moved and formed on the summit of one of the ridges before alluded to, the line being at right angles with that occupied in the morning and running east and west. My right covered the battery of Captain Dent, which we found already in position; the center rested in a gorge between the ridge on which the battery stood and the left, which crowned a second ridge, having the brigade of General Deas on the left-the right of his brigade,however, covering six companies of the Thirty-fourth Alabama Regiment. Skirmishers having been thrown forward, immediately developed the enemy not more than 150 or 200 yards in our front with a batter in position.
About 3.30 o'clock, having received orders from General Bushord Johnson, under whose supervision the movement was to be made, to swing my line round, making a right half-wheel-which wheel was to be continued, if practicable, in order to envelop the enemy in our front and to drive him back upon the center of our lines, General Deas, on my left, to commence the movement and each successive brigade to conform to the wheel, keeping the touch to the right and dressing to the left-the troops were set in motion, and here commenced one of the most desperate contests of the day. The movement was scarce begun ere the entire line became engaged, and a deadly fire of musketry and canister was opened upon it at short range. The line for a short time was thrown in much confusion, but was quickly rallied and again advanced. Again and again were they driven back, but as promptly rallied and moved forward again, at each advance driving the enemy still farther from their original position. Nothing but the determined valor of our soldiers could have withstood the withering volleys poured into them by the enemy, who at this point certainly fought with great obstinacy.
The field and company officers were, as a general rule, conspicuous for their good conduct urging and cheering on the men, and themselves setting an example to which their men nobly responded.
After a contest of nearly three hours victory crowned their efforts, and the foe were baffled and beaten and many taken prisoners. Owing to the exposed position of the Thirty-fourth Alabama Regiment, and to the fact that a large number of the enemy still remained on our left, this regiment could never get ahead, and was, together with a large number of men form other regiments of the brigade, held in hand number of men from other regiments of the brigade,held in hand to prevent any demonstration of the enemy on our flank. It was after sunset when the firing ceased, and night ended the contest. The men, completely exhausted by their longcontinued efforts, had the proud satisfaction of knowing that they had been victorious in every part of the field, and that their efforts had contributed no small share to the earning of this great victory.
I would respectfully refer you to the lists of killed and wounded, already handed in.
We have to deplore the loss of many brave officers and men who fell on that bloody field. The loss of no one will be felt more keenly than that of Captain D. E. Huger, assistant inspector-general, of my staff, who fell about half an hour before sunset, pierced through the
*Note on original: To move to the support of General Johnson.