War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0999 Chapter L. REPORTS, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

road near this point and held their position. The other portion was used for some time in dislodging the enemy from the houses on the ground in our rear.

At this juncture, owing to the early hour and smoke, I mistook a party of the enemy as friends. I rode up to them until I was too near to escape with safety, and was held a prisoner for a few moments, when an opportunity offered for escaping, which I did without injury to myself or horse. I at once, having freed myself, fell back to the line of dismounted men, commanded by Colonel C. P. Ball, about 100 yards distance, ascending the crest of a hill from which I had previously dislodged the enemy. The line of dismounted men was moved forward in admirable order, the regiments occupying the following position, viz: Ninth [Eighth] Alabama on right, Armistead's in center, and Major Lewis' battalion on left. (Major Lewis, on account of difficulties previously mentioned, was unable to follow my instructions, dismounted his command, and moved forward to the position stated above.) I here directed Colonel Ball to the position occupied by the enemy, and moving his command forward a short distance opened fire upon and drove them in confusion to the court-house. Colonel Ball then moved forward to the Chattanooga road and changed front on the right of the line in order to face the court-house. The line being thus changed and moved forward, the enemy were driven to the court-house, jail, and other contiguous buildings. Two successive charges were then made upon the court-house, but the doors were too strongly barricaded to be forced without the necessary implements. Our position, however, was still held, encircling the court-house from north to east at a distance at no time greater than fifty yards. Here we were exposed to a galling fire from the enemy from the window of the court-house and other buildings. Finding their mode of warfare cowardly and unprecedented, I ordered the buildings occupied by them to be fired; but before my order could be commenced I was wounded, taken from the field, and the command devolved upon Colonel C. P. Ball, Ninth [Eighth] Alabama Regiment, to whose report I refer for full particulars during the remainder of the day.

I cannot close this, however, without expressing my admiration of the coolness and gallantry of both officers and men under my command. All orders were obeyed with the alacrity and promptness of old troops; no intimidation or fear was exhibited. When all did so well it is difficult to discriminate the actions of a few, but to Colonel C. P. Ball the command is greatly indebted for the good order and promptness with which it carried itself in the fight. by the death of Major Redwood and the wounding of Lieutenant-Colonel Hatch, he was thrown entirely upon his own resources in maintaining the good order and efficiency of his command and the discipline of his troops. More especially was this duty onerous when the whole command devolved upon him. I would also mention Lieutenant Colonel P. B. Spence and Major Yerger, of Armistead's regiment, and Lieutenant-Colonel Hatch, of the Ninth [Eighth] Alabama.

Majors Lewis and Redwood have tested their devotion to our cause by sealing it with their blood. The precise spot where Major Lewis feel is unknown to me, but somewhere on the left nobly doing his duty.

The number of killed and wounded of the brigade, I am informed, has already been furnished.*


*See p. 997.