War of the Rebellion: Serial 051 Page 0462 KY.,SW.VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N.ALA., AND N.GA. Chapter XLII.

Search Civil War Official Records

in check some time by our troops firing obliquely to the left. The advance of Brigadier-General Anderson on our extreme right was a gallant and impetuous charge. It encountered a heavy force of the enemy posted in a strong position, from which they poured a volume of fire that speedily repulsed the charge. Gregg's brigade gained the crest of the ridge after a sharp contest, driving the foe down the northern slope of the ridge and delivering a damaging fire in the retreating masses; but the enemy returned to the attack, and there being now no support on our right, the line commenced falling back on that flank just after Lieutenant-Colonel Tillman, commanding the Forty-first Tennessee Regiment, was disabled by a wound.

The third Tennessee Regiment, with about 40 men of the Fiftieth Tennessee and Seventh Texas Regiments, on the left of this brigade, claims to have held its advanced position until Johnson's brigade fell back under the flank movement of the enemy on its left. In retiring this regiment had 6 men captured. As my line fell back our artillery opened with canister, and was gallantry served under fire of the enemy's infantry until the troops, rallying in line at the batteries, repulsed the charge of the foe.

I now gave orders to hold the hill and await the re-enforcements from Hindman's division momentarily expected. Soon Manigualt's brigade was seen advancing in line of battle through Vidito's corn-field in the cove in our rear. As it came up the left of my line Brigadier-General Deas reported in person, having with his brigade swept the ridge west of the Crawfish [Spring] road. Having sent a staff officer to place these two brigades in line on my left, I rode toward the right and met General Hindman, who directed me to take command of the left wing and wheel to the right, making the right of my division the pivot. McNair's brigade, under Colonel Coleman, now came up and formed a line in rear of the left of my division. I also detailed 10 men from Johnson's brigade to assist in working the guns of Dent's battery.

Our line, from left to right, was formed of brigades in the following order, viz, Deas', Manigault's, Johnson's, Gregg's, and Anderson's, with McNair's brigade in rear of Johnson's. Deas' brigade occupied the brow of the steep spur which forms the north side of the gorge through which the Crawfish [Spring] road passes Missionary Ridge. Manigault's stretched across the ravine and extended up the side o the adjacent spur to the right, on which Johnson's and McNair's brigades, with seven pieces of artillery, were posted. Gregg's brigade was formed on a spur of some greater length, extending more toward the east, and separated in part from the main ridge by a hollow, with a piece of table-land at its head to the west. Anderson's brigades was formed in two lines on the right, the front line extending up the slope of the spur on which Gregg's brigade was formed on the left and across the hollow on the right. The section of Dent's artillery with Gregg's brigade in the last attack was now moved to the hollow on the right, ready to be run up by hand on the main ridge as soon as it should be carried. Kershaw's brigade was somewhere on the right of, but not connected with Anderson's brigade.

I proceeded in person to put the line in motion. Commencing with Deas' brigade, and giving careful instructions to preserve the dress and the connection to the right I passed along the line until I saw it all moving gallantly forward. A most obstinate struggle now commenced for the possession on this spur of Missionary Ridge, the last stronghold of the enemy on the battle-field of Chickamauga.