I take great pleasure in bearing testimony to the efficiency and gallantry displayed by the field officers of this brigade, 6 of the 8 present having been wounded in the various engagements.
To Captain John P. C. Whitehead, assistant adjutant-general; Lieutenants T. H. Cahal, assistant inspector-general, and William P. Dearing, aide-de-camp, all three of whom had their horses shot under them, I am greatly indebted for valuable services rendered, all of whom were conspicuous for their coolness under fire, and assisted the few field officers present in the management of the men.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. A. STOVALL,
Major R. A. HATCHER,
September 16, 1864.
CAPTAIN: In obedience to circular order of this date I respectfully submit the following brief report of the part taken by my brigade in the action at Jonesborough on the 31st of August last:
After a long and fatiguing march from near East Point, which occupied the entire night of the 30th instant, I reached Jonesborough about 11 o'clock the following day, and halted on the east side of the railroad about half a mile from the station. At 1 o'clock I received orders to report with my brigade to Major-General Stevenson, who had already gone into position on the left of General Anderson's division. General Stevenson instructed me to form my brigade on the left of General Cumming (he being in the second line), with General Pettus' Alabama brigade in my front. Soon after taking the position assigned me General Stevenson directed me to be in readiness to move forward upon the enemy, dressing upon Cumming's brigade. I had scarcely given the necessary orders before that brigade commenced the movement, which was immediately taken up by myself, although no order to do so had reached me. The alignment was very well preserved until reaching the works of the front line, which I found still occupied by troops, who, being urged to move forward, replied "they had no orders to do so." I then ordered my brigade forward and over the works (at which they had halted for a moment), and which was promptly obeyed, with a few individual exceptions. Being now in full view of the enemy, a heavy fire of musketry and artillery was directed at my line, which continued to advance until within forty paces of the enemy's works, when the firing became general on both sides, and which was particularly galling on the left and subjected to a cross-fire from that portion of the enemy's line extending beyond my left, and which was not directly engaged. After half an hour thus occupied, and being satisfied that the effort to dislodge the enemy, both on my right and left, had failed, the firing having almost entirely ceased, I withdrew my brigade to the first line of intrenchments, which I found still occupied. Ascertaining that Cumming's brigade had resumed its position in the second line, I fell back and occupied my original ground.