with a constant and well-directed fire of sharpshooters. At length, collecting in large numbers behind these houses, he made a charge on Govan's skirmishers on the left of the railroad. Lieutenant Goldthwaite quickly trained round his guns and swept them at quarter range with a load of canister and a solid shot. They ran back, leaving several dead and a stand of colors on the ground. Lieutenant Goldthwaite then shelled the houses, and greatly relieved us of the firing from that quarter. The stand of colors lay temptingly within 60 yards of my line, and some of the officers wanted to charge and get it, but as it promised no solid advantage to compensate for the loss of brave soldiers, I would not permit it.
About 12 m. I received a dispatch from Lieutenant-General Hardee, to the effect that the train was now well advanced, and I might safely withdraw. On consultation with Generals Breckinridge and Wheeler, both of whom were present lending me their personal assistance, I determined to withdraw from Taylor's Ridge, and take up a new position on some wooded hills 1 miles in rear.
About 1 p.m. I rebuilt the screen in front of the artillery, which had been partially blown away, and then withdrew both pieces by hand without loss. By this time the enemy had concentrated a large portion of his army at Ringgold, and was doubtless preparing to throw an overwhelming force on my flanks. He opened a rapid artillery fire down the gap and on the crest of the ridge, but showed no disposition to advance in front. I now simultaneously withdrew the brigades, leaving a few skirmishers to hold the front, which they did without difficulty.
Soon after 2 p.m. I withdrew my skirmishers, fired the bridges in my rear, and proceeded to form line of battle in my new position. The enemy was visible on the ridge in about half an hour after I had withdrawn my skirmishers. He saw my new dispositions for defense, but showed no further inclination to attack, and ceased from all farther pursuit of our army.
I took into the fight; In Polk's brigade, 545; Lowrey's brigade, 1,330; Smith's (Texas) brigade, 1,266; Liddell's brigade, 1.016 effective men, making a total of 4,157 bayonets.
My loss was 20 killed, 190 wounded, and 11 missing. I am confident the enemy's loss was out of all proportion greater than mine.
The conduct of officers and men in this fight needs no comment; every man, as far as I know, did his whole duty.
To Brigadier-Generals Polk and Lowrey and Colonels Govan and Granbury, I must return my thanks. Four better officers are not in the service of the Confederacy.
Lieutenant Goldthwaite, of the artillery, proved himself a brave and skillful officer.
The following officers of my staff have my thanks for the efficient manner in which they discharged their responsible and dangerous duties: Major Calhoun Benham, assistant adjutant-general; Major J. K. Dixon, assistant inspector-general; Captain Irving A. Buck, assistant adjutant-general; Captain C. S. Hill, ordnance officer; Surg. D. A. Linthicum; Lieutenants L. H. Mangum, S. P. Hanly, aides-de-camp;
Captain C. H. Byrne, volunteer aide-de-camp; also Messrs. Henry Smith and William Rucker, of the signal corps, who volunteered their services, and who I found very efficient and useful.
I forward herewith the reports of the brigade, regimental, and battery commanders. General Liddell was absent on leave, but hear-