Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 03.djvu/79
General S. D. Lee's Report of the Tennessee Campaign.
My men reserved their fire till they were within easy range and then delivered it with terrible effect. The assault was easily repulsed. It was renewed, however, with spirit several times, but only to meet each time with a like result. They approached to within thirty yards of our line, and their loss was very severe. Their last assault was made about 3½ P. M., when they were driven back in great disorder. The assaults were made principally in front of Holtzclaw's Alabama, Gibson's Louisiana and Stovall's Georgia brigades of Clayton's division, and Pettus' Alabama brigade of Stevenson's division, and too much credit cannot be awarded Major-General Clayton and these gallant troops for their conspicuous and soldierly conduct. The enemy made a considerable display of force on my extreme right during the day, evidently with the intention of attempting to turn our right flank. He made, however, but one feeble effort to use this force, when it was readily repulsed by Stovall's Georgia and Brantley's Mississippi brigades, which latter two had been moved to the right. Smith's division of Cheatham's corps reported to me about 2 P. M., to meet any attempt of the enemy to turn our right flank; it was put in position, but was not needed, and, by order of the Commanding General, it started to Brentwood about 3½ P. M. The artillery fire of the enemy during the entire day was heavy, and right nobly did the artillery of my corps, under Lieutenant-Colonel Hoxton, perform their duty. Courtney's battalion, under Captain Douglas, was in Johnson's front, Johnson's battalion was in Stevenson's front, and Eldridge's battalion, under Captain Fenner, was in Clayton's front. The officers and men of the artillery behaved admirably, and too much praise cannot be bestowed upon this efficient arm of the service in the Army of Tennessee. The troops of my entire line were in fine spirits and confident of success (so much so that the men could scarcely be prevented from leaving their trenches to follow the enemy on and near the Franklin pike). But suddenly all eyes were turned to the centre of our line of battle near the Gracey White pike, where it was evident the enemy had made an entrance, although but little firing had been heard in that direction. Our men were flying to the rear in the wildest confusion and the enemy following with enthusiastic cheers. The enemy at once closed towards the gap in our line and commenced charging on the left division—Johnson's—of my corps, but were handsomely driven back. The enemy soon gained our rear and were moving on my left flank when our line gradually gave away. My troops left their