We then received orders to fire upon him as we advanced, and the engagement now became general and the fighting on both sides desperate. Immediately in front of my regiment the enemy had planted a battery of small field pieces, from which he was pouring a destructive fire into our ranks. Colonel Lillard ordered the regiment to charge this position, and we succeeded after a severe contest, which lasted about ten minutes, in forcing him from his position and driving him back to his second line, he leaving three guns of the battery between his second line and ours. We had nearly succeeded in reaching the top of the ridge when the enemy's reserve line of fresh troops at very close range threw our line into some confusion, and I soon became convinced that by attempting to hold my position or to move forward would involve the loss of the entire remnant of the regiment, as the enemy now largely outnumbered us. I took the responsibility, in the absence of orders from my brigade commander, of ordering the colors and what remained of my command to fall back, which order was not executed in very good order, as the enemy was pouring a destructive fire of grape, canister, and musketry into our ranks. The column was halted a short distance in rear of our reserve line, commanded by Brigadier-General Bate, and the men, with few exceptions reformed in line.
This engagement lasted nearly two hours, and the regiment lost in killed and wounded-total, 66; aggregate, 73.
From this position I received orders to move my regiment a short distance to the rear, where most of the brigade had rallied after the repulse. We remained in this position until near sundown, when we were again moved to the front and thrown into position a short distance in front of Brigadier-General Bate's line. Here we deployed skirmishers and bivouacked for the night, no casualties having attended the second forward movement.
At daylight on Sunday, September 20, we were moved by the right flank about 400 yards, and took position just behind the top of a low ridge, and constructed a temporary breastwork of rotten logs, stones, and other material which we found convenient. About 8 a.m. the enemy's skirmishers were discovered about 400 yards in front of our line, and were soon after fired upon by our skirmishers. The enemy also commenced shelling us about this time, and continued to fire at irregular intervals until near 12 o'clock, when I received orders to advance. The line was accordingly moved forward in double-quick time, and after some skirmishing came upon the enemy's main line near to and parallel with the main road leading to Chattanooga. We succeeded after a short contest in driving him from his position and forcing him back across the road. We drove the enemy back steadily until my regiment had reached a slight eminence beyond the road. My attention having been directed to our right, I discovered that the right wing of our brigade had been forced back by a heavy fire of artillery; and knowing of no support near, and fearing the enemy might cut my command off, I thought it prudent to order the command back to the position we had occupied in the morning. This order was executed in good order, and the command rallied promptly behind the breastwork.
This engagement lasted nearly one hour, and the casualties in the