mished with the enemy on the 9th ultimo; moved thence to a position in the breast-works at Mill Creek Gap, north of the railroad, and threw out into some advanced rifle-pits as skirmishers the Fifty-fourth Alabama Regiment and a company of the Thirty-seventh Alabama Regiment, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Minter, of the Fifty-fourth Alabama. At 4 p.m. the enemy made a determined assault upon the rifle-pits occupied by these skirmishers, but was thrice repulsed with an estimated loss of 50 killed and wounded, our own loss being 1 killed and 3 wounded.
At 3 a.m. on the 10th ultimo upon relieving these skirmishers Captain E. Marsh, Company E, Fortieth Alabama Regiment, a valued officer, was killed. At 10 p.m. the army falling back from Dalton toward Resaca, this brigade brought up the rear.
On the 14th ultimo at Resaca formed line of battle, being on the right of the army and my right resting on the Oostenaula River. At 5 p.m., an advance being ordered upon the enemy's left, the brigade moved forward in fine order, driving the enemy, who made but feeble resistance, rapidly before it for a mile and a half, when, being ordered to halt, I held this advanced position until 12 p.m., when I returned to the original position of the Oostenaula.
The conduct of the officers and men in this affair, in which a few prisoners were captured, was excellent. We lost but 1 man killed and a few wounded. Captain Loughborough, assistant adjutant-general, had his horse shot under him during the charge, and the horse of one of my couriers was killed.
On the 15th ultimo, at 4.30 p.m., again charged the enemy, being in support of Brigadier-General Stovall, who was about 250 yards in advance. The movement was made through a very dense thicket of undergrowth, in which it was impossible to see more than ten paces ahead, and almost equally impossible to hear. For these reasons the advance was not made in good order. It was impossible to see more than a few paces of the line, or to discover who went forward or who lagged behind. Very soon the brigade passed through General Stovall's line, which had been repulsed and was retreating. Pressing forward it was soon under a severe fire, which was returned with not equal effect I think. I found the enemy strongly intrenched, and after advancing on the left within thirty yards of his breast-works was forced to fall back, with a loss in a few minutes of 176 killed, wounded, and missing.
The standard-bearer of the Fortieth Alabama Regiment (Sergt. Preston S. Gilder) acted with the highest gallantry, and when the advance of his regiment was checked, promptly bore his colors forward under a dreadful fire, and fell in front of his comrades pierced by the bullets of the foe.
We have to mourn the loss in this sanguinary conflict of many brave men, among whom was First Lieutenant Garrett L. Young, commanding Company C, Fifty-fourth Alabama Regiment, who fell within a short distance of the enemy's entrenchments gallantly leading his command. Nor can I forbear to allude to the heroic death of the Rev. J. P. McMullen, a missionary to this brigade, an aged Presbyterian clergyman of spotless and exalted character, who, having been to our soldiers the preceptor and the example of all that is admirable in the Christian, won upon this bloody field that crowning honor with which the martyr patriot alone is worthy to be wreathed.