At midnight on September 18, the last of my brigade arrived at the terminus of the railroad near Catoosa Station, and next morning marched, under orders from the general commanding, to Ringgold, at which place the command united with that of Brigadier-General Humphreys.
About nightfall orders were received from the lieutenant-general commanding to join General Hood with the command conducted by Colonel Dilland [?] We moved at once across Alexander's Bridge, over Chickamauga and bivouacked at 1 a.m. on the 20th.
At 9 o'clock we were ordered by the lieutenant-general commanding to a position in reserve to Hood's division, near the headquarters of the commanding general.
About 11 o'clock I was ordered forward with the command to report to Major-General Hood. Arriving I found his troops engaged in front and a line of battle just going in. General Hood directed me to form line in his rear, with my center resting of the spot where I found him, which I suppose, was his center. Forming line (Humphreys on my left) as rapidly as possible under fire of the enemy and in a thick wood, I moved, as directed, to the front. I had been directed to occupy a line of breastworks, but before reaching that point a staff of the lieutenant-general commanding was sent to direct me to a point farther in advance. I crossed the La Fayette road near a house, and, crossing the open ground, entered the woods beyond and proceeded nearly to what I understood to be the Cove road. While passing through the last wood Lieutenant-General Longstreet directed me to look out for my right flank, and I had disposed of Colonel Henagan's Eight South Carolina, my right regiment, in such a manner as to cover me in that direction, as I supposed.
Having reached the point last mentioned the firing on my right became very heavy, and a portion of General Hood's division fell back along my line. I changed front almost perpendicularly to the right on Colonel Nance's Third South Carolina Regiment, my left center, which I had indicated as the directing battalion. This movement had just been accomplished when an officer of Brigadier-General Law's staff informed me of the unfortunate loss of Major-General Hood, and suggested that as senior brigadier I should assume the direction of the two brigades of that division on my right. General Bushrod R. Johnson was present,and called for a comparison of rank, which seemed to satisfy him. Major Cunningham, assistant inspector-general, General Hood's staff, who had been sent by the general to conduct me, made the opportune suggestion that the lieutenant-general commanding be informed. Relieved by this, I requested him to direct General Humphreys to move up and support me on my right, he having been thrown in my rear by my change of front. General Johnson had undertaken to advance a brigade on my left. The enemy occupied a skirt of wood on the farther side of the field around Dyer's house, his right extending into the wood beyond the field, his left crossing the Cove road. His colors were ostentatiously displayed along the lines.
The last of Hood's division, engaged in my front had just retired when I ordered the advance, directing Colonel Henagan to extend to the right and engage the enemy in that direction until Humphreys' arrival, who was then in motion. The distance across the field was about 800 yards, with a fence intervening about one-fourth of the distance. As soon as we crossed the fence, I ordered bayonets fixed,