War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0833 Chapter L. REPORTS, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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tenant Irwin. Nor must I omit to mention the gallant T. J. Stanford, whose battery was posted along my line, and who fell during the charge of my brigade. This battery rendered valuable assistance in enabling me to regain my position, and it was under these circumstances I learned, with the deepest grief, that its brave captain had yielded up his life.

In this connection I take pleasure in mentioning a circumstances which attracted my attention. The gunners of the gun at which Captain Stanford fell having been ordered to bear his body to the rear, Private John S. McMath, of Stanford's battery, continued to serve the gun alone until the infantry began to retire to the breast-works when at his solicitation they aided him, and I am informed by officers who witnessed the firing that it was done with fine effect.

Soon after night the brigade was withdrawn from its position, and with the balance of the division took up a line about one mile in rear, covering the movement of the army in crossing the Oostenaula River. Later in the night the march was resumed in the direction of Cassville, where on the 17th the line of battle was again formed, but nothing of interest transpired beyond the capture of a portion of my line of skirmishers by a sudden dash of the enemy's cavalry through the line.

About 10 a.m. on the 25th the command was halted near New Hope Church and rapidly placed in position. I was informed that the enemy was near by and advancing from the right, and a regiment [was] called for my the lieutenant-general commanding to advance up the road in the direction from which the enemy was said to be approaching. I accordingly ordered Colonel Bush. Jones, commanding Thirty-second and Fifty-eighth Alabama Regiments, who moved forward promptly and soon engaged the enemy. For further particulars I refer to his report,* accompanying this. My remaining three regiments hastily threw up log breast-works and awaited the approach of the enemy. Gibson's brigade, which had been subsequently ordered forward, and Colonel Jones' regiments having both been withdrawn, I ordered Captain Darby, of the Eighteenth Alabama Regiment a gallant and zealous officer, to move forward with a line of skirmishers. A little before 5 p.m. my skirmish line was driven in, and the enemy soon made his appearance in force, engaging my whole line. Three lines of battle of the enemy came forward successively and in turn were successively repulsed. Men could not have fought better or exhibited more cool and resolute courage. Not a man except the wounded left his position. The engagement lasted uninterruptedly until night, or more than two hours, and when the enemy finally withdrew many of my men had their last cartridges in their guns.

For its conduct in this engagement too much praise cannot be awarded to Fenner's battery, which occupied a position along my line. Although the enemy came to within fifty or sixty yards of their guns, every officer and man stood bravely at his post.

On the 27th the enemy again attacked my brigade in the same position, but were again promptly repulsed.

On the morning of the 28th the brigade, with the balance of the division, was withdrawn and moved to another part of the field.

In concluding this report it is in no formal manner that I desire to allude to the valuable services of my staff. I regretted deeply

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*See p. 841.

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53 R R-VOL XXXVIII, PT III