On the night of the 15th, at 11 p.m., this division forming the rear guard of the army and covering its retreat, this brigade moved with it across the Oostenaula at the railroad bridge. The period from this to the 25th ultimo was occupied by marches by day and by night in the direction of the Etowah River at Cartersville. Stands were made and the line of battle formed at Adairsville and Cassville, but this brigade was not engaged. Its skirmishers were closely pressed at Cassville, and narrowly escaped being cut off by the cavalry of the enemy.
Crossed the Etowah River at the railroad bridge on the [20th] ultimo.
Wednesday morning, 25th ultimo, formed line of battle at New Hope Church, Paulding County. At 5 p.m., after a heavy cannonade, the right regiment (Colonel Higley) and two companies of the left regiment (Lieutenant-Colonel Greene) became engaged in the action caused by an assault of the enemy upon this division, the brunt of which was borne by Clayton's, Gibson's, and Stovall's brigades. He was handsomely repulsed at the points where he showed himself to us, with a loss to us of 24 men.
On the 26th ultimo Lieutenant-Colonel Lanier, the gallant commander of the Forty-second Alabama Regiment, was severely wounded in the leg, and the brigade, for the time being, loses his services.
On the evening of the 27th ultimo the enemy made a feeble assault upon the right of my line, held by the Fortieth Alabama, Colonel Higley, which was easily repulsed by that regiment, two of the enemy having been killed within thirty yards of our breast-works. Immediately after this repulse the enemy opened a heavy and destructive fire of artillery upon the left of my line, held by the Thirty-seventh Alabama Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Greene. With heroic fortitude did these men for an hour and a half sustain this fire, returning it deliberately with their Austrian rifles, with which they endeavored without effect to silence the enemy's batteries. I sent to their relief the Fifty-fourth Alabama Regiment and a small detachment armed with Enfield rifles, whose longer range disturbed the aim of the enemy's guns and greatly diminished the effect of their fire. The Thirty-ninth Georgia Regiment (Cumming's brigade), also armed with Enfield rifles, afterward gallantly came up, and at length the battery was silenced and driven off. Having received information from an officer of the Thirty-ninth Georgia Regiment that their ammunition was nearly exhausted, it was relieved about sundown by the Thirtieth Louisiana Regiment.
In this action the Thirty-seventh Alabama Regiment lost 50 men killed and wounded, among the latter their brave and skilful commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Greene.
The conduct of officers and men in this trying ordeal, and especially of the Thirty-seventh Alabama Regiment, who bore the fire so long, is worthy of all honor, and demonstrates how confidently they may be relied upon in any emergency.
At daylight on the morning of the 28th ultimo I left the breast-works at New Hope Church and occupied a position on the right of the army, during which time we have been engaged in throwing up breast-works and in skirmishing with the enemy.
During these operations my staff officers, Captain James M. Loughborough, assistant adjutant-general; Captain Hugh M. Pollard, assistant inspector-general, and Joseph F. Dennis, acting volunteer