War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0773 Chapter L. REPORTS, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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by all, contributed to induce a degree of straggling which I do not remember to have seen exceeded in any former march of the kind. In this plight the division, well closed up on Cheatham's rear, reached the vicinity of Jonesborough at about 11 a. m. on the 31st of August, and was halted on the railroad north of and abut half a mile distant from the village. The enemy in apparently strong force was plainly visible on both sides of Flint River (an inconsiderable stream at this point), in a westerly direction from where we halted, and distant from 1,000 to 1,500 yards. The column was closed up, faced to the right, skirmishers were thrown forward, and hasty preparations made for commencing at the proper time.


The troops were advanced to a position parallel with and about 200 yards west of the railroad, and immediately began strengthening the line with logs, rails, and such other material as could be procured at hand, without tools of any kind. The skirmish line was about 150 yards in advance of the main line, and had already begun to exchange frequent shots with the enemy, who was in easy Enfield range of their position. A hasty reconnaissance revealed the fact that the enemy was strongly posted on the crest of an irregular ridge, and that his position was rendered still stronger by a line of breast-works which he had thrown up before our arrival, and upon which he was still at work. Our order of battle was in two lines. The first was a continuous line, and was composed of three brigades from each division, posted about 200 yards in rear of the first-at least this was the disposition in my own command-and shortly before going into action I was directed by the lieutenant-general commanding the corps to relinquish the command of my supporting line to Major-General Clayton and to devote myself exclusively to the tree brigades in the first line These were Sharp's, Deas', and Brantly's, from right to left, in the order named. At the same time it was explained to me by Lieutenant-General Lee that his corps (of which my division composed the right) was not to attack until Cleburen, commanding Hardee's corps on the left, had hotly engaged the enemy at close range in his front. Preparations for the attack having been completed throughout the corps, the division commanders assembled at the side of General Lee, awaiting the report of small-arms on Cleburne's line and the signal from the corps commander for the action to begin on our part. At about 2.20 p. m. the quick and heavy rattle of musketry on Cleburne's line, mingled with the rapid discharges of artillery in the same direction, indicated the time appointed for our advance. The order was given and the troops moved forward deliberately and with resolution. The enemy's line of skirmishers was pushed back upon his main line at the top of the ridge before alluded to, and our first line was soon under a heavy fire from his breast-works. There was but little cover for our assaulting lines, and the ascent in some places was moderately steep, but not rugged, affording the enemy great advantages in the ground in addition to those derived from his breast-works. The troops, however, moved forward with a spirit and determination that threatened, in spite of all odds, to crown the hill and drive the enemy from his place. Slowly but resolutely they advanced up the ascent to within pistol-shot of the enemy's works. At this point