had been strengthened, was formed awaiting the development of the enemy's purpose, it being uncertain whether the would pass across the creek on the right, as the movements discovered would seem to indicate, or would approach from the left after crossing the creek above the angle in my picket line with the troops which had already moved in that direction. Soon after the firing commenced across the creek, two batteries, which had previously been erected on the ridge beyond Lookout Creek (of which, in conversation with brigadier-general commanding, I had more than once made mention), opened upon my main line, less than three-quarters of a mile distant, and while these batteries were shelling two pieces of artillery were planted at a point between the creek and the river, which, though across the creek from my picket line, was yet, by reason of the course of the stream, in rear of much of that part of the line which took the direction of the creek.
Major Johnson, commanding Thirtieth, and Colonel Brantly, commanding Twenty-ninth Mississippi Regiments, occupying positions nearest to it, had been instructed to support that part of the picket line which extended up the mountain side from the railroad bridge should the enemy approach from that direction, and the other regiments, Twenty-seventh Mississippi, under Lieutenant-Colonel Jones, and Twenty-fourth Mississippi, under Colonel Dowd, were held ready to move to the right or left, as occasion might require.
While writing a communication to inform the brigadier-general commanding of the position of the pieces in the angle of the creek, with the suggestion that a single piece in a position which had been prepared for artillery could silence them, and that, this done, I thought I could hold the force in check, I received information through scouts sent out up the creek to observe the movements of the enemy that a force had crossed the creek above the angle in the picket line. I added this to the communication and sent it to brigadier-general commanding by one of his staff officers.
In the meantime, Brigadier-General Moore had applied to me to know the position of my line, as he was ordered to form on my right, and I learned from a staff officer of brigadier-general commanding that such would be General Moore's position. I informed both where my line then was, and Captain Moreno, of the staff of brigadier-general commanding, went with me, at my request, and looked at my position, but that the direction which would ultimately be given my line would necessarily depend upon the direction from which the enemy-then engaging my pickets on the right and threatening my left almost at right angles to the part engaged-might make his main attack.
Meanwhile, the firing from the batteries beyond the creek, which before had been irregular, became constant and heavy, and soon the enemy advanced on the left in three lines running across the mountain side. Such resistance as I could offer a force like this-consisting, as the Federal General Thomas in an official dispatch to his Government says, of Geary's division and two brigades of another corps-was made with my small command, nearly one-third of which was covering a picket line more than a mile in extent. While Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Mississippi Regiments, in support of the picket line, were resisting the enemy in the positions assigned them-to cover which it had been necessary to take intervals, and where the immense numbers of the enemy had been discovered-the Twenty-seventh and part of the Twenty-fourth Mississippi Regi-