Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 13.djvu/413
412 Southern Historical Society Papers.
to put their commands in the same position without the support of fresh troops.
Over three hours passed in this conflict, in which officers and men toiled on and manifested more perseverance, determination and en- durance than I have ever before witnessed on any field. We had now slowly driven the enemy on the left, up the gradual ascent about half a mile to the coveted crest of the ridge, where they made the last desperate resistance ; and our lines gradually grew stronger and stronger under the animating hope of victory so nearly within our grasp. It was finally nearly sunset when a simultaneous advance swept along our whole lines, and, with a shout, we drove the enemy from the ridge, and pursued them far down the northern slope to the bottom of the deep hollow beyond. We had now completely flanked and passed to the rear of the position of the enemy on the ridge to our right, and I am convinced we thus aided in finally carrying the heights south of Snodgrass' house.
About the time the ridge was carried, Colonel Trigg, of Preston's division, reported to me with a part of his brigade. I sent Captain Terry, of the Seventeenth Tennessee regiment, who was wounded and mounted on horseback, to place Trigg's command on our right, and it relieved Gregg's brigade, which was out of ammunition.
I now proceeded to reform my line, which, in the pursuit, I regret to say, was entirely broken, owing in part to the peculiar conforma- tion of the ground over which we passed. I still hoped to follow up the retreating foe.
After I ordered McNair's and Johnson's brigades to form on Trigg's, this brigade suddenly disappeared called away, no doubt, to co-operate with Kelly's brigade in capturing the two regiments of General Granger's corps which surrendered to them about dark. I felt now that it would be unsafe to advance, disconnected as my com- mand was, and it being now dark, nearly eight o'clock, P. M., I with- drew it some two hundred and fifty yards to a good position near the top of the ridge, threw out pickets to the front and sent scouts to find the enemy.
My line was arranged for the night in the following order:
The two regiments of Manigault's brigade, under Colonel Reed, of the Thirty-fourth Alabama regiment, and the left thrown back to protect our flank, and in succession to the right were aligned John- son's, McNair's, and Gregg's brigades. On my right, Trigg's and Kelly's subsequently formed. About eight o'clock at night, aband- oning all hopes of advancing further, I rode away and searched until