War of the Rebellion: Serial 051 Page 0384 KY.,SW.VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA. Chapter XLII.

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Colonel A. F. Rudler; Fifty-eighth Alabama, Colonel Bushrod Jones, and Fifteenth and Thirty-seventh Tennessee, Colonel R. C. Tyler, constituting the supporting line. I had thrown out no skirmishers. The whole command moved forward with spirit and zeal, engaging the enemy hotly before it had proceeded 200 yards, his lines extending in front and to the right and left of us. A battery in front of my extreme right played constantly and with terrible effect upon that wing until my right pressed within less than 50 paces of it, when it was rapidly removed to prevent capture. Another revealed its hydrahead immediately in rear of this, supported by a second line, hurling its death-dealing missiles more destructively, if possible, upon our still advancing but already thinned ranks. Having driven the first line back upon its support, a fresh battery and infantry were brought to play upon my right, which, by its advanced position had become subject to an enfilade fire, and gave way, but not until Major Caswell, Colonel Smith, and Colonel Rudler, the three officers commanding, respectively, the three right battalions, were wounded, and at least 25 per cent. of their numbers killed and wounded.

When the right gave way the enemy sought to follow it up, and pressed his sharpshooters beyond the right flank, who, finding it well aligned and in the attitude of resistance, precipitated themselves back and out of reach. The men were easily rallied and promptly reformed a short distance in the rear of the point to which they had advanced. In this dash the enemy captured one of my pieces and one of my couriers. It needed, however, but a moment to retake the piece, which was handsomely done. In this contest my right retook the battle-flag of the Fifty-first Tennessee Regiment, General Wright's brigade, which but a moment before had been wrested from them by superior numbers and flank movements of the enemy. I was rejoiced to deprive him of his trophy so recently won, and to return it to its gallant owners hallowed, as it is, by its baptism in the blood of Shiloh, Perryville, and Murfreesborough.

My left in the meantime, composed of the Fifty-eighth Alabama, Colonel Jones, and the Fifteenth and Thirty-seventh Tennessee Regiments (consolidated), Colonel Tyler, not being so much harassed by the enfilade fire from the right, pressed steadily forward in fine order, driving the enemy, who contested every inch of ground with dogged and persistent obstinacy until forced beyond the Chattanooga road and several hundred yards back into the woods, thus deranging his compact lines and breaking his center. In this charge Colonel Tyler captured three guns, and Colonel Jones participated with the Thirty-eighth [Thirty-sixth] Alabama (Colonel Woodruff) in the capture of three, for particulars of which I refer to their reports.

It being nearly night, and having advanced so far beyond the enemy's lines as to make them liable to a flank movement, they returned from farther pursuit to the point on the battle-field to which I had ordered the Eufaula Light Artillery, and where General Clayton and I were reforming our shattered commands, Colonel Tyler bringing with him his captured guns, and Colonel Jones in such fine order as to elicit my public commendation. Owing to a movement of the enemy to our right, the front of General Clayton's command was changed by Major-General Stewart to meet an expected attack from that source, and my line was left fronting the Chattanooga road. General Brown's command subsequently intervened. Thus we bivouacked for the night upon the field of carnage enveloped by the smoke of battle and surrounded by the dead of friend and foe.