across the bend of the river, which it would have been necessary to cross twice, with an open field intervening swept by their artillery, had the advance been continued straight forward. Having halted Gracie, I drew up Kelly's brigade 300 yards in the rear upon a declivity in the field, and Trigg's brigade about 300 yards in rear of Kelly on the prolongation of Bate's brigade, of Stewart's division, which was on the right, thus forming my division in a column of three brigades. A rocky hill near Gracie's right overlooking the field below offered an excellent position for artillery. Upon it I posted Jeffress' battery. The enemy commenced shelling my lines rapidly,and I lost a commissioned officer killed and a few men of the Sixth Florida, with Lieutenant Lane and others, of the Sixty-third Tennessee, wounded. A shot or two was fired by Jeffress, but I ordered the battery to cease firing, as the distance was too great to assure proper accuracy. My troops remained in ranks without further reply patiently enduring the fire.
About 12 o'clock, in compliance with an order received from
Major-General Buckner, I moved my command by the right flank about 600 or 800 yards to a position somewhat of north from Hunt's field. Trigg's brigade occupied the front in a woodland near a small cabin. Gracie was formed near Trigg, and Kelly was posted in the rear supporting Leyden's battalion of artillery. No further event of importance occurred during the day to Gracie's or Kelly's brigades. Soon after Trigg occupied his position, some 300 yards in advance of Gracie and Kelly, his skirmishers (under Colonel Maxwell) engaged those of the enemy with spirit,and some two hours after were driven in by the enemy's artillery. There was a small corn-field 300 or 400 yards in front of Trigg, in which the enemy were posted.
About 2 or 3 o'clock a continuous and heavy fire of infantry and artillery,and their shells exploding beyond our rear lines, announced a conflict near the field in front. I was informed that Hood's division was attacking the enemy in the field, while my division was held in reserve. Soon after, I received an order from Major-General Buckner to detach a brigade and re-enforce General Hood. For this purposed Colonel Trigg was ordered to advance in the direction of the firing and to give the required support. The action soon became hot in front. Trigg joined Brigadier-General Robertson, of Hood's division, and attacked the enemy. They were broken in confusion. The Sixth Florida, under Colonel Finley, sustained heavy loss, but owing to some misapprehension of orders the brigade failed to capture the enemy's battery or to reap the fruits of their repulse. As I was not personally superintending the attack, I refer to the report of Colonel Trigg for details. Riding forward, however, I found the evidences of a stubborn and sanguinary conflict in the margin of the woods and the corn-field beyond, from which the enemy were retiring their lines. Night coming on Trigg bivouacked in the woodland near the edge of the corn-field, while Gracie and Kelly occupied a position in front of a little hut near which Major-General Buckner had established his headquarters.
I have no means of ascertaining with accuracy the loss sustained by my division on Saturday, but estimate it at about 150 or 175 killed and wounded, nearly all of whom were from Trigg's brigade.
During the night Gracies' and Kelly's brigades were vigorously engaged in constructing defenses to strengthen the left, and in the morning Williams' and Leyden's battalions of artillery were supported by my infantry under cover of good field intrenchments.