War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0167 Chapter L. REPORTS, ETC.-ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE.

Search Civil War Official Records

hours' rest, at about 3 a.m. July 28, 1864, I received orders to advance with my brigade by the right flank, in rear of Second Brigade, and after the Second Brigade went into position by fronting and closing up on the First Brigade on their left. We marched by the Second Brigade and took position on its right, thus forming a line of battle, whereof the First Brigade held the left, the Second the center, and the Third the right. Immediately after arriving, the Twelfth, Thirty-first, and Thirty-second Missouri, which formed my first line, threw up log breast-works and then sat down to a hasty breakfast. A strong line of skirmishers had been thrown forward as soon as our position had been assigned to us, who soon commenced exchanging shots with the enemy, whose skirmish line they encountered. About one hour after, a forward movement of all the troops being ordered, with instructions to keep well closed up on Second Brigade, as the forward movement was somewhat in the nature of a left wheel of the Army of the Tennessee, we advanced steadily. The thick underbrush through which we had to pass made the movement very difficult. I contrived, however, to be close up with Second Brigade on arrival before a large open field, which was crossed in line of battle by the whole division. The whole line still swinging to the left and closing up on the left, I had to move the brigade by a march by the left flank to its final position, a few paces beyond a frame meeting-house. The Fourth Division closed up on my right, refusing their line to cover our flank, and commenced fortifying. Some concentration of the troops on our left caused the whole line to close up some distance to our left again, which created a gap between my right regiment, the Twelfth Missouri, and the Fourth Division, which I had to fill up by the third battalion of the brigade, composed of the Seventeenth and Twenty-ninth Missouri, which formed part of the second, or reserve line. Immediately after the permanent establishment of the line I caused breast-works to be thrown up, which was performed as good as circumstances would admit, not being in possession of any tools whatever. Benches were taken out of the church and filled with knapsacks to serve as breast-works, and doubtless did better service than ever before.

The country in our immediate front was covered by a thick growth of small trees, which our skirmish line was ordered to penetrate as far as possible, keeping in connection with the line of Fourth Division on our right and Second Brigade, First Division, on our left. About 1 p.m. our skirmish line was driven in by the enemy. The men reported that the enemy were advancing in three heavy lines ready to charge our works. Some apprehension being felt that the report was exaggerated, as usual in such cases, the men were not allowed to fire until the enemy appeared in sight, which brought them to the distance of some eighty yards, when such a terrific fire was opened upon them that no mortal could stand, and the enemy fell back. Rallying his troops, however, the enemy advanced again and to strengthen my defensive powers, I caused my last reserve regiment, the Third Missouri, to fill up all weakly manned points on the right of my line, which was principally attacked, thereby securing such a strong line, which was principally attacked, thereby securing such a strong line that all apprehensions were put at rest. The enemy attacked again and again, and although the brunt of the attack was directed against the Fourth Division, their lines overlapped this division and attacked the right of this brigade, but all and every assault was repulsed as speedily as their first main charge. Thus, with more or less firing, the day passed, and tools having been