Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 04.djvu/176

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

casualties, yet completely hid them from our view. On emerging from the woods their position became visible.

Before us, at the distance of six or eight hundred yards, was an oblong mountain peak or spur, presenting to us a steep face much roughened by rocks. To the right, four or five hundred yards from the peak, was the main mountain itself, with a side that looked almost perpendicular. Its summit overlooked the peak just sufficiently to command it well. On the summit of the peak were three pieces of artillery, and a little in advance of them, on a sort of uneven, irregular shelf, were three others. To the right and left of the battery, as well as immediately in its rear, were lines of infantry, as we afterwards ascertained. This formed the enemy's first line of battle. On the top of the mountain itself, and a little to the right of the peak, were five other guns. These commanded our approaches to the peak for nearly the whole way. To the right and left of these guns extended the enemy's second line of infantry. Where that line crossed the gorge running between the peak and the mountain, a point five or six hundred yards in the rear of the peak, were two other guns. This we ascertained when the right of the brigade reached the gorge by the terrible fire from them which swept down the gorge. Thus what we had to encounter were thirteen guns and two, if not more, lines of infantry posted on mountain heights. The intervening spur, over which we had to march to reach the first line was nearly all open.

Our own first line also became visible advancing about four hundred yards in our front. The part of it in our front I took to be Law's brigade, and so I followed it. In truth it was Robertson's, Law's being farther to the right. This I did not discover until late in the fight, a wood on the right concealing from me most of Law's brigade.

My line continued to follow the first line, halting once or twice to preserve its interval. At length I saw that the first line would not be able alone to carry the peak. So I advanced without halting again. When my line reached the foot of the peak, I found there a part of the First Texas struggling to make the ascent—the rest of the brigade having gone to the right and left—the Fourth and Fifth Texas to the right and the Third Arkansas to the left. The part of the First Texas referred to falling in with