In front of Gregg's brigade the woods presented a thick undergrowth, in which hat brigade at once becoming hotly engaged, its progress was impeded, while Johnson's brigade advanced some 600 yards before the enemy opened fire upon it. The artillery advanced and fired by section, keeping well up with the infantry. Greeg's brigade advanced some 300 yards, obliquing in endeavoring under fire to keep the connection to the right. The connection, however, was broken in the thick woods between the second and third battalions, the two right regiments preserving their connection with the line of their right, and wheeling with it to the right; the third and fourth regiments, advancing less obliquely, faced more to the south, while the left regiment of that brigade (the Fiftieth Tennessee Regiment, under Colonel Sugg) moved more directly to its front, which was in a southern direction, owing to its left having been thrown back to connect with Preston's division, and at the same time it stretched out to the right just north of Vineyard's fields to cover the increasing interval, until nearly the whole regiment was deployed in open order as skirmishers. This movement of the Fiftieth Tennessee Regiment was induced by the heavy attack of the enemy on that flank, but it did not succeed in preserving the connection, and it became separated from the brigade. In this condition the brigade fought gallantly and kept up a heavy fire all along its broken line, and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy.
Two regiments of McNair's brigade, the Thirty-ninth North Carolina Regiment, under Colonel Coleman, and the Twenty-fifth Arkansas Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Hufstedler, were sent forward between the Fiftieth Tennessee Regiment and the brigade to which it belongs. These two regiments came up to the left of the front of the position form which my line had moved, and advanced gallantly to the road from Chattanooga to Lee and Gordon's Mills, north of Vineyard's farm, and left still a wide interval on the right of the Fiftieth Tennessee Regiment, which regiment continued to present an extended line and to fight gallantly and persistently the heavy forces in front, while its ranks were being continually thinned.
It will be seen by the report of Colonel Coleman, of the
Thirty-ninth North Carolina Regiment, forwarded herewith, that the two regiments from Gregg's brigade drove the enemy in rapid flight across the Chattanooga road, and passed a small house in a
corn-field west of the road and north of Vineyard's house; and that here, though the enemy in their front were in flight and broken, those regiments fell back for want of support and on account of
re-enforcements received by the enemy and a flank fire on the left.
In the meantime, the brigade of Brigadier-General Robertson, of Hood's division, was brought up and advanced on the right of the Fiftieth Tennessee Regiment, which now contracted the line and concentrated its fire upon the enemy on the left in the vicinity of Vineyard's. Under the spirited charge and heavy fire of Robertson's brigade the enemy were driven back some distance. The operations of this brigade will be more properly reported by its division commander. It will, however, be proper for me to state that during a halt, before Robertson's brigade reached the Chattanooga road, Brigadier-General Gregg rode out in front to reconnoiter the enemy's position. He very soon found himself near the enemy's line, and was suddenly halted by the Yankee skirmishers. Turning his horse to ride back to the rear he was shot through the