War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0322 KY., SW., VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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the road in the direction of Tupelo, which admonished me that General Buford was also attacking the enemy's flank. As night approached the enemy became more obstinate in his resistance, but I attacked his rear with renewed energy until 9 o'clock, when I reached a point two miles from Harrisburg, where I was joined by my entire command, which halted for the night. Being anxious to learn, the exact position of the enemy, I moved Mabry's brigade forward and opened upon the enemy with four pieces of artillery. At a late hour in the night, accompanied by one of my staff officers, I approached Harrisburg and discovered the enemy strongly posted and prepared to give battle the next day.

Colonel Mabry's brigade having been on duty for twenty-four hours, I ordered General Buford to send the Kentucky brigade to its relief.

On the morning of the 14th Lieutenant-General Lee ordered the attack to be made, and the troops were disposed for that purpose. The enemy had selected a strong position on a ridge fronting an open field, gradually sloping toward our approach. During the night he had constructed fortifications, and his position being naturally strong it was now almost impregnable. The entire command was dismounted. General Roddey's troops were placed on the extreme right, Colonel Mabry's brigade on the left, and the Kentucky brigade, commanded by Colonel Crossland, in the center. Bell's brigade was formed in the rear of Colonel Crossland, in the center. Bell's brigade was formed in the rear of Colonel Mabry's brigade as a support, but was subsequently moved forward and formed between Mabrys' and Crossland's brigades. General Chalmers' DIVISION of cavalry and General Lyon, who had been placed in command of about 700 infantry, were found formed in the rear to be held as a reserve to support the entire front line. Lieutenant-General Lee gave the order to advance, and directed me to swing the right around upon the enemy's left. I immediately repaired to General Roddey's right with all possible speed, which was nearly a mile distant, and after giving him the necessary orders in person I dashed across the field in a gallop for the purpose of selecting a position in which to place his troops, but on reaching the front I found the Kentucky brigade had been rashly precipitated forward, and were retiring under the murderous fire concentrated upon them. I seized their colors, and after a short appeal ordered them to form a new line, when they held their position. The terrific fire poured upon the gallant Kentucky brigade showed that the enemy were supported by overwhelming numbers in an impregnable position, and wishing to save my troops from the unprofitable slaughter I knew would follow any attempt to charge his works, I did not push forward General Roddey's command when it arrived, knowing it would receive the same concentrated fire which had repulsed the Kentucky brigade. I ordered forward four pieces of artillery and formed a new line on the Tupelo and Verona road. Mean time the troops on my left were hotly engaged.

Mabry's, Bell's and Rucker's brigades were steadily advancing. They drove a heavy line of skirmishers to their fortifications, from which point the enemy opened a furious cannonade and terrific fire of small-arms.

Mabry's brigade advanced to within sixty yards of the enemy's fortifications, but the weather was so oppressive that hundreds of men fell fainting with exhaustion, and so deadly was the concentrated fire of small-arms and artillery upon the advancing column that it was compelled to fall back. The troops thus engaged, having exhausted their ammunition, were relieved by McCulloch's brigade, which moved forward and covered their retreat. The enemy still remained behind his works and made no effort to pursue. About 1 o'clock Lieutenant-General Lee ordered me to fall back to the residence of Mrs. Sample, and to form a new line fronting a large open field. The position selected was a strong one. There being no timber in front, it commanded every approach for