their arms, and at 4 a. m. on the 12th I had them in line of battle, and just as day dawned the enemy opened on my position with six pieces of artillery. At that moment I happened to be in our principal battery, and suspecting that their artillery fire was intended as a feint, I directed our artillery to remain quiet. We were not kept long in doubt as to the point of the main attack. About 6 a. m. our picket on the extreme left was attacked. I immediately concluded that the enemy were endeavoring to turn our extreme left and get in rear of the battery. Lieutenant-Colonel Ingerton, of the Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, was ordered to hold the left of one ridge and Major Deakins, with six companies Eighth Tennessee Cavalry, the other left of the ridge on which the battery was placed. As the enemy continued to mass on our left Lieutenant- Colonel Brown and Colonel Miller were ordered to that point with one piece of Patterson's battery. The enemy, led by Generals Breckinridge and Duke, assaulted with great fury, many of them actually entering the rude works behind which our troops were posted, but every man knew that if these hills were taken all was lost, fought with desperation, and finally repulsed the enemy, who left 27 dead and many wounded in front of our lines. Some of their dead were inside of our breast-works. Whilst this assault was being made a strong force advanced against our front, evidently to prevent our weakening that point by sending re-enforcements to our left. At the same time General Vaughn made an attack in our rear on the Knoxville road. This attack was handsomely repulsed by Colonel Parsons with Ninth Tennessee Cavalry, the enemy leaving 1 captain and 8 privates dead on the field. Although skirmishing and artillery firing continued during the day, the enemy did not again renew the assault. During the entire day I had been anxiously expecting the arrival of a train at Russellville with bread, my men having had none for two days. I dispatched messengers to General Ammen urging him to send me ammunition and bread, and if possible re-enforcements.
Early on the morning of the 13th the firing began along the entire front, but the day wore away without an assault. My ammunition, both for artillery and small-arms, was almost exhausted, and orders were given not to throw away a single shot. The forage in the vicinity having been exhausted, the horses were failing fast, as we were unable to forage except at night. The men having fought for four days without bread or salt, and as I could see re-enforcements of infantry arriving in the enemy's camp, I determined to evacuate the gap on the night of the 13th, but still hoping that ammunition and bread might arrive I sent down beyond Russellville to ascertain. The messenger returned at 7 p. m., not having heard of any train. The moon shone brightly, and at 8 p. m. my forces moved out in the following order: Two companies of the Ninth Tennessee Cavalry, under Major Hornsby; the train, followed by the remainder of the Ninth Tennessee Cavalry, under Colonel Parsons; the artillery; two battalions of the Eighth Tennessee Cavalry bringing up the rear, under Colonel Patton. Colonel John K. Miller, with the Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry and one battalion of the Eighth, was left in our position at the gap to prevent the enemy obtaining a knowledge of our movements until the train should be well on its way. Colonel Miller had orders to move at 10. 30 p. m., and act as a rear guard. When the advance of our column had moved out about four miles and the head of the train near Whitesburg, I learned that the rebels in strong force were moving on the Arnett road, which runs almost parallel and in about two miles distant from the road on which I was marching. I was confident that the rebel commander was ignorant of the real