War of the Rebellion: Serial 051 Page 0401 Chapter XLII. THE CHICKAMAUGA CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

his artillery engaged the enemy, who were then near Alexander's Bridge, my brigade being exposed to the fire, by which I lost 1 man killed. I advanced three companies from the Eighteenth Alabama Regiment across the creek as skirmishers, under command of Major Hunley, of that regiment, and rode over myself for the purpose of making observations. Placing the three companies as pickets in a piece of woodland, I crossed my whole brigade over the creek (the men wading) soon after nightfall, at a point a short distance above Thedford's Ford, being the first troops to cross the creek in that vicinity. I put the battery in position on the left, supported by the Thirty-eighth Alabama Regiment, and direct the other regiments to bivouac immediately upon the bank of the creek.

On the morning of the 19th, the other brigades (Brown's and Bate's) of the division (Stewart's) having crossed the creek and formed in my rear, my brigade moved forward in line of battle at an early hour a distance between 1 and 2 miles, until it reached a position from which the enemy could be seen upon the distant hills. The brigade, and, so far as I could learn, the whole army, except upon the extreme right, where the engagement had already begun, halted until 1.30 p.m., when it was ordered to the right about 1 mile.

Having received instructions as to the point upon which I should direct my brigade, with the further admonition after having more definitely located the enemy I would have to act for myself and be governed by circumstances, I moved forward in line of battle with skirmishers in front. Having proceeded a few hundred yards through a dense undergrowth, and being about to enter a cultivated field, I halted for the purpose of correcting the alignment, when Colonel John C. Carter, of the Thirty-eighth Tennessee Regiment, Wright's brigade, Cheatham's division, came on foot from my left in great haste an informed me that my brigade my direction nearly perpendicularly to the left, my brigade would enfilade my lines, and that as I then stood the right of the enemy was in rear of my left. i immediately changed my direction, and, marching by the left flank and filing obliquely to the left and rear (the nature of the ground not admitting of any other movement), had scarcely changed for the purpose of moving forward in the new direction when the enemy opened fire upon us, which was promptly returned. The firing seeming to be too much at random, I passed down and up the line, calling the attention of officers to the fact. I then directed my staff to inform regimental commanders that I was about to order a charge. Passing again down the line, I was informed by several officers that their ammunition was expended, and I therefore reconsidered my first intention to charge the enemy, being unable on account of the thick undergrowth to form a satisfactory idea of his strength, and withdrew for the purpose of replenishing the ammunition. This was done in good order and with little loss, the enemy having almost simultaneously ceased firing.

In this engaged the brigade lost near 400 officers and men killed and wounded. It began about 2.30 o'clock and lasted one hour. The enemy was formed in a semi-circle around and over a slight elevation or hill, which gave him great advantage in position, and the manner in which both ends of my line were cross-fired upon induces the opinion that we were greatly outnumbered.

26 R R-VOL XXX, PT I