enemy's skirmishers at a distance of 40 paces, wounding 7 men. The companies lay down and returned the fire, and the enemy quickly retired out of range. I immediately ordered Captain Wood's company (B) to the front as skirmishers, and formed the regiment in line to the field, and turned three companies of the left wing back down the fence to protect them. Hearing the enemy advance again in the darkness, and deeming my skirmishers too weak in front, I threw out a small company (C) under Lieutenant Hannon, and they had just gained their position when the enemy again opened a brisk fire upon them, which they returned with vigor, causing the enemy to retire again. We had two men wounded in this last affair. We were not again molested, and retired soon and formed in rear of the Twenty-eighth Alabama Regiment, in column by battalion, and rested for the night.
Sunday, September 20.-My command was early formed in line of battle. Our companies (E and H) joined us this morning. Having been deprived of the services of Captain Fielder, as acting major, by an accidental wound, I appointed Captain J. C. Carter, next senior captain, to the position by order of the brigadier-general commanding.
At 10 a.m. we moved forward under the same orders of the evening previous, Captain Wood's company (B) having been thrown forward as skirmishers. We marched in line of battle across the Chattanooga and La Fayette road near an old house, charged through a field in front to the woods beyond, where we received a desultory fire from the enemy's skirmishers, thence through the woods to a second field, and through it over the enemy's breastworks into a second body of woods, some 50 yards in advance of the Twenty-eighth Alabama Regiment, and halted.
Finding the position a strong one, having a ravine, and short, low bluff in front, over which the men could rise and fire and be protected while loading, I concluded to form the regiment, and did so, in the ravine. I had commenced reconnoitering the enemy's position, when I received orders from Captain Huger, inspector-general, to retire with the Twenty-eighth Alabama Regiment, with which we fell back to the [Chattanooga and La Fayette] road, formed, and were placed temporarily under the command of Colonel Reid. All these movements had been performed at a run, and our men were very much exhausted, some so much so that they could not return with the regiment, and were captured.
In falling back we lost 2 men killed, 28 wounded, and 28 prisoners.
My men were much chagrined at being compelled to fall back, and it was difficult to urge them back, stopping and rallying at every favorable position for defense.
We remained in our new position for some hours, when we moved with the brigade in a northwesterly direction and formed in line near the base of Missionary Ridge. Moving forward across the abrupt spurs of this ridge, we ascended the steep and high hill on which the enemy were posted, formed in line, and lay down some hundred paces from the top of the hill. While lying in this position, Deas' brigade marched forward and formed 60 paces to our front, his right regiment overlapping the left of mine six companies, and lay down. Previous to this I had thrown out Lieutenant Colquitt's company (E) as skirmishers to our front.