The right of the enemy's infantry works rested on the river at a point to the right of where my right rested when the move commenced. It would have required a complete change of front to leave formed a line parallel with the enemy's infantry works, and no assault could have been made on the flank, as it rested on the river. I did not swing as much to the right as I intended to do, for the reason that the enemy was farther to my left than was expected, and to have done so would have left the enemy in works on this side of the river on my left flank and in my rear. My left brigade encountered the strongest force of the enemy and sustained the greatest loss. A few moments previous to the advance a battalion of engineer troops and the Third Mississippi Cavalry (dismounted) were sent to report to me, and were by me ordered to report to Brigadier-General Granbury. Of the conduct of these troops General Granbury makes favorable mention in his report. Captain Key advanced with the division with two batteries, which were efficiently handled and used with as much effect as the formation of the ground and the circumstances would admit.
At 1.30 a. m. the 1st instant I received an order from Major-General Cleburne to relieve Lee's corps with Cleburne's division. This threw me on the right of the line, and to relieve the whole corps I had to form on one rank. This I did with the brigades in the following order: Mercer's brigade on the left and uniting with the right of Brown's division, Lowrey's brigade left center, Granbury's right center, and Govan's brigade on the right. The general direction of the line was almost due north and south and parallel with the railroad, the right of Govan's brigade turning back into a skirt of woods nearing the railroad. Mercer's, Lowrey's, and a portion of Grandury's brigades found an inferior line of intrenchments incomplete on ground badly selected, and very near the enemy, and a portion of Granbury's and the whole of Govan's found no works at all, but a few fence rails scattered along on a line that had been marked out. The pickets of Mercer's brigade, in deploying in thick woods near the enemy, were attacked and 33 of them captured. In consequence of the nearness of the enemy and the unfavorableness of the ground, a few vedettes had to suffice for a picket-line that day. The men of all the brigades went vigorously to work, and amid shelling and sharpshooting soon had a tolerably good line of works. Early in the afternoon, information having been received that the enemy was moving to our right, I was ordered by Lieutenant-General Hardee to select a line on the right of Govan's brigade for two other brigades which had been ordered to report to me. On making a hasty examination of the ground I found it absolutely necessary to change a portion of Govan's line in order to get good ground and the proper direction for the two brigades. Having the line hastily marked out by a small detail from Govan's brigade, I ordered Brigadier-General Govan to place his right regiment on the rear line, prepare new works, and destroy the old work in his front. I urged him to have this work done at once, assuring him that there was no time to lose. Brigadier-General Lewis soon reported to me with his brigade, and Colonel McCullough, in command of Gist's brigade. I placed Lewis' brigade in position, with his left connecting with Govan's right, and his right resting on the railroad, and continued the line with Gist's brigade on the east side of the railroad, turning his right back almost parallel with the railroad. These brigades were formed in thick woods, and going vigorously to work soon had temporary works,