31st, when it moved, by direction of General French, and occupied a position with the left resting near Ward's battery and the right at the first branch which makes its exit from the works in that direction, relieving some of the militia of the State of Georgia.
About August 2 the enemy pushed forward their skirmishers, craving back the vedettes of our skirmish line in some places within the picket-pits. On the following morning they had thrown up a continuous trench for their skirmishers about 250 yards in front of the skirmish line immediately on the left of mine, and had erected a battery of five or six guns a short distance behind the trenches, both opposite to and in plain view of the center of my main line. From this battery, and another which soon after they erected a short distance to the right of it, the line occupied by the brigade and the batteries along it had almost daily a severe shelling. It may be well to mention that one gun from the last-named battery almost constantly day and night upon the city until the 26th of August.
On the 5th of August I was ordered by Major-General French to make a demonstration with as little loss as possible upon the enemy in my front. Accordingly I moved the Ninth Texas Infantry and Thirty-ninth North Carolina Infantry to the picket-line, then occupied by the Tenth Texas Cavalry (dismounted). Colonel Earp formed detachments from these first two, under Colonel Coleman, on the right of the Tenth Texas; ordered the whole line to move forward within easy range and open on the enemy's skirmishers. This drove their skirmishers from their pits and had the effect of causing the enemy to re-enforce that part of their line quite heavily. I withdrew the force after firing on them some minutes. About this time my skirmish line was strengthened by connecting the pits by a ditch, making the whole a continuous line, and also by placing along the entire front a line of stake abatis. Both of these were done under heavy fire. From the 5th to the 27th the daily routine of service in the brigade was almost unvaried. From one to two regiments constantly occupied the picket-line; they successfully prevented the farther advance of the enemy, and were constantly exposed to heavy fire of small-arms and occasionally from artillery. The other regiments lay behind the main works. In this interval I had well nigh completed a reserve skirmish or picket-line, consisting of pits of the shope of three sides of a hexagon, connected by a substantial ditch, with head-long on top and a very strong line of stake abatis forty yards in front.
Early on the morning of the 27th of August the commander of my picket-line (then Colonel Coleman, I think) informed me there were evidences that the main force of the enemy were gone. I ordered him to move forward and ascertain the truth. He did so, driving from the nearest work a small number of skirmishers. He found the enemy slowly retiring toward the river in the direction of Turner's Ferry, and kept close watch upon them during the day.
At daylight on the 28th I received orders from Major-General French to move with the brigade on the Turner's Ferry road and advance cautiously toward the river until I should fine the enemy. When arrived near Mason's Chapel, one mile from the ferry, a scout had just driven the enemy's vedettes from the chapel; formed two regiments on each side the road nearly at right angles to it, then deployed as skirmishers the Fourteenth Texas Cavalry, Colonel Camp, on the right of the road, and the Thirty-ninth North Carolina, Colonel Coleman, on the left, and ordered them to advance