retreat of the foe, the shouts of the hosts of our army, the dust, the smoke, the noise of fire-arms - of whistling balls and
grape-shot and of bursting shell - made up a battle scene of unsurpassed grandeur. Here General Hood gave me the last order I received from him on the field, "Go ahead, and keep ahead of everything." How this order was obeyed will be best determined by those who investigate all the details of this battle.
The unusual depth of our columns of attack in this part of the field, and the force and power with which it was thrown upon the enemy's line, had now completely broken and routed their center and cast the shattered fragments to the right and left. Everett's battery was here ordered into action on the right of Johnson's brigade and opened upon the retreating foe, while my line continued to advance.
There was now an interval of about 800 yards between Hindman's division, on my left, and my command. Johnson's brigade, on the left, bore but slightly to the right, its left regiment stretching across the road from Dyer's house to Crawfish [Spring] road and passing on both sides of the house. Gregg's brigade, in the center, moved a little to the right, so as to flank and capture 9 pieces of artillery on its right, posted on the ascent to the eminence in the corner of the field north of Dyer's house. McNair's brigade, now somewhat in rear of the two left brigades, moved obliquely to the right and directly upon this eminence. My line was here uncovered by Hood's division, which must have changed its direction to the right.
The 9 pieces captured by Gregg's brigade are reported by Colonel Sugg, commanding, as having been taken from the field by a detail under Adjt. Fletcher Beaumont, of the Fiftieth Tennessee Regiment, who caused the Yankee drivers to drive some of the teams to the rear. Four of these pieces (3-inch rifles) belonged to the First Missouri (Federal) Battery and are now in possession of the First Missouri (Confederate) Battery (Bledsoe's), attached to Gregg's brigade. A statement made by Adjutant Beaumont in regard to the capture is herewith inclosed.*
In this advance Brigadier General E. McNair, commanding the right brigade, and Colonel Harper, of the First Arkansas Regiment, of that brigade, were wounded, the latter mortally, and the command of McNair's brigade devolved upon Colonel Coleman, of the Thirty-ninth North Carolina Regiment. Colonel Coleman reports that McNair's brigade charged and carried the eminence in the corner of the field to our right, capturing the 10 guns, 8 of which were immediately carried off, and 2 were subsequently removed; and that the brigade fell back for the want of ammunition and support and formed on the left of Robertson's brigade of Hood's division. Whether Colonel Coleman's report has any reference in this connection to the 9 guns reported as captured by Gregg's brigade, or whether there is any point of dispute between these two brigade as to captured artillery, I cannot now determine. McNair's brigade had been detached from this army and I am unable to communicate with it in time to make my report explicit on this point.
In the meantime, I discovered what I conceived to be an important position directly in our front - an elevated ridge of open ground running nearly north and south beyond the narrow strip of woods on the western borders of open fields in our front, and about 600 yards