engagement, which I had been cautioned to avoid until our line could be established. Brigadier-General Bate formed on my right, but at an angle with my line, his right retired. In a short time afterward Brigadier-General Wood, of Cleburne's division, formed on my right a little in front of Bate. We erected temporary defenses of logs, rocks, brush, and such other material as could be hastily collected.
At about 10.30 a.m. the enemy commenced shelling us from two positions-one immediately in my front about 400 yards distant, and the other more to my right-doing but little damage.
At about 11 o'clock, when ordered to advance, I moved in line to the front, preceded by my skirmishers, who, soon driving in the enemy's skirmishers, rallied upon the command. We moved at double-quick nearly 300 yards through an open woods, the enemy retiring before us, when the brigade on my right broke in confusion. My line still advanced 50 or 75 yards farther, and to within 50 yards of the enemy's battery and line of defenses, when the right, wholly unsupported and receiving a terrible cross-fire of musketry and artillery upon its flanks, broke and retired in disorder to our temporary defenses. I found all effort to rally the Eighteenth and Forty-fifth Tennessee short of the defenses in vain, and, indeed, impracticable, under the storm of grape and canister which prevailed upon every part of the field over which these two regiments passed. The center and left continued steadily to advance until they crossed the Chattanooga road 200 or 300 yards, and passed the battery in our front, but on the right flank of the Thirty-second Tennessee Regiment; but being unsupported on the right in consequence of the retreat of the Eighteenth and Forty-fifth Tennessee Regiments, it became necessary to retire the remainder of the line, because to have advanced farther would have sacrificed the men without obtaining any compensating advantage. I therefore ordered it to retire, which it accomplished in comparatively good order, to the original line. While reforming my line I received a slight wound, which disabled me from duty for the remainder of the day, and I refer to the report of Colonel Cook, upon whom the command devolved, for the conduct of the brigade in the evening.
It would give me pleasure to mention the distinguished valor exhibited by many officers and men throughout the action, but the limits of this report will not permit it, and by implication injustice might be done to others not named. With but few individual exceptions, the whole command did credit to the noble State which sent it to the field, and added new luster to the cause for which it fought.
To the regimental commanders and to Lieutenant-Colonel Hall, of the Forty-fifth, and Major McGuire, of the Thirty-second, who respectively commanded the skirmishers, I cheerfully accord the highest meed of praise for bravery and skill.
In the death of Colonel Lillard, the county lost one of her best men and bravest soldiers, and his command an officer whose place cannot be supplied.
I felt deeply the loss of Colonel Palmer's services on the field, for with him on the right, the gallant Cook in the center, and the brave Lillard on the left the utmost confidence in the unwavering steadiness of my line.
I beg leave to refer to the accompanying report of my regimental commanders (marked A, B, C, D, and E) for detailed accounts of the part borne by those several commands.