communicated with Major-General Clayton, who ordered Baker's brigade up, and though the distance was only 400 or 500 yards, the undergrowth was so dense and difficult to march through that he did not reach me in time to carry the position by a combined charge. I moved my command into the ravine near by and reformed, and under orders placed my line of battle upon the crest of the hill about 400 yards from the enemy's line. General Baker was posted upon my right.
I have to regret the loss of some of my best and bravest officers and men in this unsuccessful assault. None fell more lamented than Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Shields, of the Thirtieth Louisiana Volunteer, and Major Charles J. Bell, of the same regiment, both of whom breathed their last at the head of their regiment, the former falling with the colors in this hands within a few feet of the enemy's breastworks. Lieutenant W. B. Chippendale, Company C, Thirtieth Louisiana Regiment, like his superior officers, died gallantly and nobly on the field of honor and duty. Captain Becnel has since died from wounds receive in this action, in which the Thirtieth Louisiana Volunteers suffered largely, but distinguished itself for conspicuous valor. Lieutenant W. J. Clark, Company E, Nineteenth Louisiana Regiment, and Lieutenant W. G. Jeter, Company F, Fourth Louisiana Regiment, were also killed on this day, and, like them, in the thickest of the fight, fell Captain W. H. Sparks, of the First Louisiana Infantry [Regulars]. He was a very promising officer.
I have the honor to refer you to the reports of regimental commanders for details and for further mention of those who died heroically to whom I have briefly alluded, as well as of those who bore themselves with extrodinary intrepidity and escaped. The woods were so dense that I could see but a few paces, and can make no special mention myself. All the offices and men bore themselves with becoming gallantry.
A report* of casualties already forwarded shows my loss to have been severe.
Yours, very respectfully,
R. L. GIBSON,
Captain J. M. MACON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Clayton's Division.
HEADQUARTERS GIBSON'S BRIGADE,
In the Field, September 16, 1864.
CAPTAIN: After reaching Jonesborough on the morning of August 31, having made a night march, I was ordered to form line of battle west of the railway and prepare to attack the enemy. I supported Brigadier-General Deas' brigade,and in the charge followed his line at the distance of thirty or forty yards. His line struck the enemy's works and recoiled. My line moved forward with great enthusiasm and went beyond the fence into the thicket in which the enemy's rifle-pits were, when a few men, halting at the fence and lodging in the skirmish pits, began to fire, and soon the whole line fired, halted