few hundred yards in rear. Major Slaughter, commanding the Thirty-fourth Alabama Regiment, had also withdrawn his command from the left of the line occupied by this regiment, and halted at the point above designated. From orders received from brigade headquarters, the undersigned was placed in command of this part of the brigade.
Meantime, Lieutenant Watkins, commanding Waters' battery and attached to this brigade, had moved up well nigh to the line occupied by this command and on its right, and in attempting to withdraw his battery, from the heaviness of the enemy's fire, was forced to leave one of his pieces. This fact being called to the attention of the undersigned, he believed the rescue of the piece practicable, and accordingly called for two companies in his command to volunteer as skirmishers to reconnoiter the locality on which the piece stood. Companies A, I, and K, Lieutenant Graham, Captains Hopkins and Ford, forthwith responded to the call; the last two named being the first to announce themselves ready, were selected. Their captains were ordered to deploy their companies to the right and left and move forward to feel the strength of the enemy in possession of the gun, and if prudent to rescue it. These companies were followed by the piece's limber. Without difficulty the enemy were driven off and the piece brought out.
We then moved by the right flank a few hundred yards and joined the balance of the brigade. When the brigade was formed we moved by the right flank toward the extreme left of our lines, the enemy having fallen back from the hill upon which we left them to that point.
About 3.30 o'clock the line was formed, the Tenth and Nineteenth South Carolina Regiments on the right, the Twenty-fourth, Twenty-eighth, and Thirty-fourth Alabama Regiments on their left, at the base in front of an abrupt ridge of hills on which the enemy had posted his reserves to make his final stand. Company A [acting] as skirmishers, the command moved forward about one-quarter of a mile, when the skirmishers attacked the enemy, who were in position on the top of Missionary Ridge with a heavy battery supported by infantry in front. This was one of nature's strongest positions. The enemy were so situated behind the top of this ridge that we could do him little damage until we got to the extreme top of the ridge, while he could strew death and destruction into our lines for a distance of 150 yards as we advanced. This company fought the skirmishers of the enemy, with the battery pouring shot and shell into their ranks, for an hour.
About 4 o'clock the brigade, being ordered to the attack, executed a half-wheel to the right and soon became furiously engaged with the enemy; and this was the most desperate and hotly contested field of the day. Twice did we reach the summit of the hill in close proximity to the enemy, and as many times forced by weight of numbers, canister, shell, and grape-shot, to retire.
Meanwhile the troops on our left had well nigh all given way, as had the troops on the right several times done. The regiment was under heavy fire from the enemy in its front and on its left flank. At this critical moment, when humanity itself almost prompted a retreat, the Forty-fourth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, General Bushord [R.] Johnson's brigade, moved up on the right of our brigade, and with the troops on our right at sunset we made one last desperate