The enemy first advanced his sharpshooters, then a heavy line of skirmishers, and directly in rear of these a line of battle. Indeed, the force was so heavy that I had no idea my picket-line could resist it without re-enforcement, and placed two regiment in readiness to be advanced as soon as I observed the least wavering in my line. This, however, did not occur, and to the First Alabama is due the whole credit of the most brilliant affair it has ever been my fortune to witness. The steady, well-directed fire of the men drove the enemy back on the right. Moving, however, by the right flank to a point on my left where they had cover, they concentrated in three lines of battle. Major Knox re-enforced his left with his whole reserve, and without giving ground at any point repelled several obstinate and daring assaults. The Federal officers with great gallantry endeavored to bring their men up to a last and final charge, but succeeded only on the right, where the effort was as feeble as it was abortive. I am satisfied Major Knox underestimates the number of the enemy's killed and wounded. At one point, some distance, but in easy range of my line, the enemy was compelled to uncover his line in advancing across a clear field. It was here we had a cross-fire on them, which was so destructive that their line always broke and retire in confusion. In Major Knox's estimate he only includes those he could see from his line and counted near be, because he could not reach the clear where so many fell without great exposure, and Captain Wakefield, the Federal prisoner captured, told me that their chief loss was at this point. I therefore think it safe to estimate the enemy's loss at 500 in killed, wounded, and prisoners.
I respectfully and most earnestly recommend the promotion of Major Knox. The colonel and lieutenant-colonel of this regiment are and have been for twelve month prisoners of war, and upon Major Knox has devolved the responsibility of commanding the regiment. He has exhibited his capacity for higher rank on the field where commissions are most worthily won, and I am certain the interest of his regiment would be observed by giving it its proper quota of field officers, and he has two officers fully competent to fill the other hard position.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. A. QUARLES,
[Captain W. R. BARKSDALE,
July 25, 1864.
CAPTAIN: In accordance with circular order of this date, I have the honor to report that my brigade was not actively engaged with the enemy on the 20th instant. Early on that morning I relieved Brigadier-General Reynolds' brigade from picket duty on the Peach Tree Creek line. About 2 p. m. I received notice of the intended attack on the enemy's position, and was ordered to await the advance of our division past my front, when I was to from immediately in its rear and keep within easy supporting distance. The line of battle expanding so much farther to the right than was anticipated (the left of the line not being visible from the right of my skirmish line), the