War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0744 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

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the Third Mississippi Cavalry (dismounted), Colonel Harris commanding, both battalions under command of Colonel McGuirk, Gholson's brigade, were ordered to report to me, and were formed 150 paces of the rear and on my left in echelon. I ordered General McGuirk to preserve that distance and relative position in advancing, and if the attack upon the enemy developed forces extending beyond my left to move up at double-quick time to the main line. Our skirmishers being already engaged, an advance of 400 paces brought the line under fire and a charge was ordered. The enemy were posted behind barricades made of rails in an open field 300 paces east of Flint River, supported by batteries on the first hills beyond that stream. After a brisk fight of about thirty minutes, in which my command had to charge through open fields, the enemy in my front were routed. Seeing them endeavoring to rally at a crossing opposite my left flank, I ordered Colonel McGuirk to advance his two battalions in double-quick time, which was executed by that officer promptly and gallantly, and in time for his command to deliver a few volleys before the enemy escaped beyond the river. My orders were to drive all opposing forces beyond Flint River and halt on this side. This arrangement had been explained to regimental commanders previously to advancing. In crossing the field from the first barricade taken to the edge of the bottom, I passed from my right toward the point where the enemy were crossing opposite my left flank, and was with Colonel McGuirk's right battalion when I reached the creek. I ordered him to halt and dress his lines, and proceeded with the intention to superintend the alignment of my own brigade proper from the left. I found a few of my left battalion in the act of crossing the river; all on the right had already crossed. I dispatched runners to Lieutenant-Colonel Young, Tenth Texas Infantry, senior officer of my brigade, to withdraw immediately to the east bank of the river, and ordered those who had not crossed to dress on Colonel McGuirk's line. The reason given by Lieutenant-Colonel Young for advancing beyond the stream was that the enemy's battery was so near the river and commanded it that it was necessary to capture or drive it away in order to occupy a line along the river with safety. This battery and its supports fled precipitately, and in half an hour I had my entire line formed on the east bank of the river. I received orders from Brigadier-General Lowrey, commanding the division, to withdraw to our former position along the Jonesborough and Fayetteville road, and did so.

The loss of my brigade in this affair was 16 killed and 62 wounded. The enemy's loss must have been slight, as we passed over but few dead bodies.

My officers and men deported themselves with their usual courage.

The responsibility assumed by Lieutenant-Colonel Young in crossing the river under the circumstances I consider as having been eminently proper, evincing the gallantry and discretion of that officer. The result was that our withdrawal across the open field was entirely unmolested.

At 3 o'clock on the morning of the 1st of September I received orders to follow Lowrey's brigade to the right. My brigade went into position at daydawn about one mile north of Jonesborough, Lowrey's brigade being on my left and Govan's on the right. The enemy's line of earth-works was not more than 300 paces distant, and their sharpshooters commenced their work of annoyance at sunrise. Goldthwaite's battery had position in the center of my left regiment.