Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/98

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
88
Southern Historical Society Papers.

as it had begun to move, directed the same orders to be given to the several brigade commanders. The whole army, except this division, Pettus' brigade of Stevenson's division and the Thirty-ninth Georgia regiment of Cummings' brigade, also of Stevenson's division, which had a short time before been sent to me as a support and held in reserve, was then in complete rout. Some confusion existed even in these commands, though scarcely perceptible in Stovall's brigade and the Thirty-ninth Georgia regiment above referred to, which latter deserves great credit for the manner in which it responded to my appeal to halt and check the advance of the enemy's, skirmish line, which had then reached the top of the hill. Having gone about a half a mile I found the Eufaula light artillery about to move off from a position in which it had been halted. Halting the Thirty-ninth Georgia regiment as a support to the battery, I ordered it to continue the firing. Sending my staff to halt their division and Lieutenant Jones, Aide-de-Camp, especially to Brigadier-General Stovall to halt his brigade and put it in position, I soon after ordered the battery and regiment supporting it to withdraw,, and rode off to take command of the division. Too much praise cannot be awarded the officers and men of this battery for the coolness and deliberation with which they managed their guns under these trying circumstances.

Upon coming up with the division, being unable to find Brigadier-General Stovall, I ordered Colonel A. Johnson, the senior colonel, to take the command and halt it in a position which I indicated. In a few moments the whole division and Pettus' brigade were in line. This occurred in about one mile of the breastworks. Night soon coming on, Holtzclaw's brigade was placed across the road with skirmishers in front, and the balance of the command moved off towards Franklin. About 2 o'clock at night it was halted seven miles from Franklin, and bivouacked until 5 o'clock.

Daylight on the morning of the 17th found us in position at Hollow-Tree gap, five miles from Franklin—Stovall's brigade and a section of Bledsoe's battery being upon the right and Pettus' brigade upon the left of the road, and the other two brigades in rear.

About 8 A. M. the enemy's cavalry made their appearance, driving in our own cavalry in a most shameful manner, a few pursuing them even through the line of infantry and cutting with their sabres right and left. A few shots from the infantry, however, drove them back with the loss of a stand of colors. About