swing back around our left flank over the strong position we had won, and here, as at Murfreesborough, where all our movements on the left had been very similar, a chance for victory might be lost.
About this time my aide (Captain W. T. Blakemore) reported to me some 200 men of Benning's brigade in our rear, under command of a major whose name is not recollected. Upon going to it the officer in command reported it utterly unserviceable on account of its having been cut up and demoralized. I consequently did not put it in the fight.
The enemy were not whipped, and the conflict still raged with varying fortune. Repeatedly our men advanced, and were in turn forced to yield a portion of the ground they had gained. I directed our men to advance as far as possible, then hold their position and never retreat. We thus gradually approached the crest of the ridge.
At about 5 p.m. I sent my acting aide-de-camp (Lieutenant George Marchbanks, C. S. Army) back to the foot of the ridge to request Brigadier-General Deas and Manigault to bring up their brigades to my support. Lieutenant Marchbanks reports that Brigadier-General Deas replied, that on consultation with Brigadier-General Manigault they had decided that it would not be safe to put their commands in the same position without the support of fresh troops.
Over three hours passed in this conflict, in which officers and men toiled on and manifested more perseverance, determination, and endurance than I have ever before witnessed on any field. We had now slowly driven the enemy on the left up the gradual ascent about half a mile to the coveted crest of the ridge, where they made the last desperate resistance, and our lines gradually grew stronger and stronger under the animating hope of victory so nearly within our grasp.
It was finally nearly sunset when a simultaneous advance swept along our whole lines, and with a shout we drove the enemy from the ridge and pursued them far down the northern slope to the bottom of the deep hollow beyond. We had now completely flanked and passed to the rear of the position of the enemy on the ridge to our right,and I am convinced we thus aided in finally carrying the heights south of Snodgrass' house.
About the time ridge was carried, Colonel Trigg, of Preston's division, reported to me with a part of his brigade. I sent Captain Terry, of the Seventeenth Tennessee Regiment, who was wounded and mounted on horseback, to place Trigg's command on our right, and it relieved Gregg's brigade, which was out of ammunition.
I now proceeded to reform my line, which, in the pursuit, I regret to say, was entirely broken, owing, in part, to the peculiar conformation of the ground over which we passed. I still hoped to follow up the retreating foe. After I ordered McNair's and Johnson's brigades to form on Trigg's, this brigade suddenly disappeared - called away, no doubt, to co-operate with Kelly's brigade in capturing the two regiments of General Granger's corps, which surrendered to them about dark. I felt now that it would be unsafe to advance, disconnected as my command was, and it now being dark (nearly 8 p.m.), I withdrew it some 250 yards to a good position near the top of the ridge, threw out pickets to the front, and sent scouts to find the enemy. My line was arranged for the night in the following order: The two regiments of Manigault's brigade (under Colonel Reid, of the Thirty-fourth [Twenty-eighth] Alabama Regiment) and the left