War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0456 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter XLIV.

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front and closed up well on Morgan, just in time to receive a share of the enemy's artillery fire, which had by this time checked the advance. The enemy's fire was exceedingly well directed, his shells bursting with great accuracy ear our lines while moving onward to the different positions assigned them.

Accompanied by the brigade commanders I proceeded to the front and ordered the skirmishers to push forward and take possession of a range of mound-shaped hills which intervened between us and the enemy's position, and through which the roads meander at Buzzard Roost. These hills were soon carried by our skirmishers, both on the right and left of the road. The enemy's skirmishers yielded with little resistance. From these hills the enemy's position was easily reconnoitered, and from the fire of his artillery the position of two strongly posted field batteries was plainly discovered.

The sun was now near setting, and an attempt to push our advance farther could not be done without bringing on a general engagement, which the lateness of the hour and the nature of the expedition, as understood by me, forbade. Making such disposition of the troops as I thought would secure them from the enemy's batteries and at the same time enable them to resist an attack, I ordered the brigade commanders to put out strong pickets and to place the troops in bivouac for the night.

Reporting to the general commanding the result of the days' operations, I received orders to hold my position, supported by Johnson's division, while Baird's and Cruft's divisions, under the immediate command of the general commanding, prosecuted the reconnaissance on the east side of Rocky Face Ridge on the following morning. It was thought this movement would turn the enemy's position at Buzzard Roost and enable our forces to unite south of Rocky Face Ridge.

Brisk skirmishing commenced between the picket-lines early in the morning and was kept up with considerable vigor during the forenoon, notwithstanding the thick smoke and haze which obscured the sight at very short range. The sound of Baird's and Cruft's cannon announced their arrival on the opposite side of the ridge early in the forenoon and gradual approach to the enemy's position in my front.

About 3 p. m. the increase of firing seemed to indicate what might be a general engagement, and in order to be sure that my troops were not being held at bay by the enemy's skirmishers only, while his main forces had concentrated on Baird and Cruft, I determined to throw forward strong lines of skirmishers and feel of his position.

Giving the necessary order to the brigade commanders, I took a commanding position which enabled me to see the general movements of the troops as well as the supposed position of the enemy. A battery commanded by Captain Harris, of General Baird's division, had opened fire for some half an hour previous from an excellent position in front of the enemy's rifle-pits, but had, after several attempts, failed to elicit a reply. The heavy line of skirmishers thrown forward by Morgan on the left and McCook on the right soon became warmly engaged, the enemy resisting their strong points with great vigor. Under the immediate direction of the brigade commanders the lines were pressed forward with great spirit until the enemy's rifle-pits and batteries were being brought within range of our musketry. The continued advance and well-directed fire of the skirmishers, and the persistent manner in which a section from