on Thursday morning, September 17, from La Fayette, Ga., in the direction of Chattanooga. We bivouacked for the night on Pea Vine Creek, and resumed the march next morning, with Bate's brigade in front, Clayton's following, and Brown's in rear, the column taking the direction to Thedford's Ford, on the West Chickamauga.
Arriving during the afternoon of Friday, the 18th, within a mile or less of the ford, Major-General Buckner directed me to occupy the high ground in its vicinity commanding the approaches to it, but not to bring on an engagement with the enemy, who were near at hand, unless necessary. With the aid of Major Nocquet, of the Engineers, Bate's and Clayton's brigades, with their batteries, were placed in position on the wooded heights, respectively, below and above the ford, Brown's being drawn up in reserve in rear of Clayton's. The Eufaula Battery, Captain Oliver commanding and Caswell's battalion of sharpshooters, both of Bate's brigade, opened fire upon the enemy in the direction of Alexander's Bridge, who soon retired. Three companies from Clayton's brigade were then sent across the stream to occupy as skirmishers, a wooded hill beyond, and after nightfall his entire brigade crossed.
Early Saturday morning, the 19th, the other two brigades passed over and formed in rear of Clayton's. The commanding general coming up soon after, and receiving information that the troops which had crossed the stream lower down had advanced and established their line in front of and nearly at right angles to Preston's whose division had passed the stream above and was then on my left, General Buckner directed me to move forward and form on the left of this line. This was done, Clayton forming on the left of McNair, whose brigade constituted part of an impromptu division, commanded by Brig. General B. R. Johnson, Brown and Bate in rear. Preston's division was then formed on my left, also in three lines, all fronting nearly or quite to the west. While in this position the Eufaula Battery (3-inch rifled guns) was sent forward, by General Buckner's order, as I was informed, and opened fire on the enemy's position in front. The enemy replied with shell and round shot, wounding a few of our men. A subsequent change, made also by order of General Buckner, moved us a space equal to brigade front directly to the right. Soon after making this charge of position, and, as I supposed, near noon, Major Pollok B. Lee brought me an order from the commanding general to move to the point where firing had commenced, which seemed to be a considerable distance to the right and somewhat to the rear of us.
Before moving, I went to General Bragg himself, who was near by, in order to get more specific directions. He informed me that Walker was engaged on the right, was much cut up, and the enemy threatening to turn his flank; that General Polk was in command on that wing and that I must be governed by circumstances. Moving by the right flank in the direction indicated, from half a mile to a mile, we arrived near a corn-field, beyond which the heaviest firing was heard. Messengers were sent in search of General Polk, but without success, and fearing to lose too much time, I determined to move upon the enemy across this corn-field. Lieutenant W. B. Richmond, aide to General Polk, confirmed me in this design. He came up in search of the general himself, and told me that from
what he knew of the nature of the ground and situation of the enemy, a better point at which to attack them could not be found. Accordingly, Brigadier-General Clayton was directed to advance, and it is