Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 13.djvu/371
370 Southern Historical Society Papers.
sundry sudden elevations rising up like redoubts; his infantry be- tween these, behind the crest and further sheltered by breastworks of trees and rocks.
At 3 P. M., a force of the enemy, probably that which I had re- cently confronted west of the Crawfish Spring road, appeared on my left, capturing several men of my infirmary corps, and others who had fallen out from fatigue or wounds. I was apprehensive of an attack in rear, and sent to General Longstreet and General Buckner for reinforcements. At the same time, being the officer of highest rank present, and deeming concert of action necessary, I assumed com- mand of General Johnson's troops, and ordered an immediate and vigorous attack upon the enemy in our front. Deas and Manigault, with Johnson's command, all under direction of that officer, were ordered to wheel to the right until faced east, and then to advance, taking the enemy in flank; Anderson to move forward when the firing should begin. General Kershaw agreed to conform to the movements of the latter. I hoped to ensure the capture or destruc- tion of the enemy by driving him in confusion upon the right wing of our army.
The movement began at half-past three. Skirmishing extended along the whole line as Deas, at the extreme left, commenced swing- ing. In a few minutes a terrific contest ensued, which continued at close quarters, without any intermission, over four hours. Our troops attacked again and again with a courage worthy of their past achieve- ments. The enemy fought with determined obstinacy, and repeat- edly repulsed us, but only to be again assailed. As showing the fierceness of the fight, the fact is mentioned that, on our extreme left, the bayonet was used, and the men also killed and wounded with clubbed muskets. A little after four the enemy was reinforced and advanced, with loud shouts, upon our right, but was repulsed by Anderson and Kershaw. At this time it became necessary to retire Garrity's battery, of Anderson's brigade, which had been doing effective service. It was subsequently held in reserve. Dent's bat- tery, of Deas's brigade, was engaged throughout the struggle. Notwithstanding the repulses of our infantry, the officers and men of this battery stood to their guns undaunted, and continued firing, inflicting severe loss on the enemy and contributing largely to the success of my operations.
At twenty minutes after four, Brigadier- General Preston, of Buck- ner' s corps, in answer to my application for help, brought me the timely and valuable reinforcements of Kelly's brigade, and, within