discovered who we were and exclaimed, "The rebels have the field." Upon hearing that the ladies threw off the planks that covered them, rushed out of the house, and came bounding toward us, clapping their hands, and shouting as I had never seen women shout before. The tear of joyful sympathy started from many a soldier's eye, and you might have read in their countenances, "We will save you or die."
We advanced up a spur of Missionary Ridge to near the top, where we halted and waited for our battery to come up. I kept flankers well out on my left, as an occasional shot from the enemy's sharpshooters indicated danger from that quarter. The order to advance was given about 2 o'clock. We received the enemy's fire before we had gone 100 yards. I continued to advance until I got a favorable position to make a standing fight, and halted. We held the enemy in check in our front, but I soon discovered that he was advancing to my left. As soon as he made his appearance I directed my men to fire to the left oblique. About the time I got them all to firing in that direction I discovered that the regiments on my right were falling back rapidly. I had several men badly wounded here.
On reaching the position from which we advanced, I discovered
re-enforcement coming. They were then passing the Vidito house, which was about 400 yards off. I thought that if we could hold the hill until they came up, the remnant of my regiment would get some rest, but I soon learned that I was mistaken. These troops came up in fine order. Two brigades were on my left. At the command "forward" they started off well, but when they had advanced about 50 yards they received the fire of the enemy's sharpshooters and fell back. The command was then given to forward Johnson's brigade, and forward we went. Mcnair's brigade was now on my left.
I advanced my regiment to the summit of the hill and got my men in line. Here we had a long and desperate struggle. During this awful struggle over the spur of Missionary Ridge hundreds were skulking behind trees in our rear. Myself and several officers of our brigade went back at one time to try to rally these men-we succeeding in rallying enough to increase the strength of our fire smartly. Lieutenant-Colonel Reynolds, of the First (dismounted) Arkansas Regiment, was rendering good service in driving the men out from behind the trees. I am proud to say that not a single man from Johnson's brigade was found behind in this last fight.
About 5.30 o'clock the enemy gave way and left the field, which closed the fight of the ever-memorable 20th.
I carried into the fight this day 14 officers and 141 enlisted men, and had several men severely wounded.
From the beginning of the fight on the 18th up to the close on the 20th, every officer and man did his duty, particularly the noble little band that I carried into the fight on Sunday, the 20th. Every officer and man this day made himself a hero, and I cannot discriminate by making special mention of any one. I inclose a list* of killed, wounded, and missing.
WATT W. FLOYD,
Lieutenant Colonel, Comdg. Seventeenth Regt. Tennessee Vols.
Colonel JOHN S. FULTON,
Commanding Johnson's Brigade.