Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 12.djvu/572

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

Snodgrass' house and Chattanooga. On the northeast the undulations were gentle, and cleared fields and farms stretched away to the eastward to open and wooded plains.

Upon these plains the battle had raged during the day, and the heights were the key of the enemy's position, and his last stronghold. As soon as the advance brigade of Gracie reached Dyer's field, I ordered him to form in line of battle, with his left wing resting near a tall pine on the summit of the hill near the edge of the field, and in front of the enemy's strongest position. This was done with great animation and in admirable order. I then directed Colonel Kelly to form his brigade on the left of Gracie, and to change direction to the right as he advanced. The owner of the farm, John Dyer, one of my couriers, gave me a most accurate and valuable description of the local topography, and I directed Kelly to cover and protect Gracie's left. Whilst engaged in bringing Kelly into position, Gracie's brigade disappeared in the wood, advancing against the battery hill. I ordered Captain Blackburn, my volunteer Aid-de-Camp, to follow and ascertain from General Gracie by what authority he had moved. General Gracie replied that he had been ordered to advance by Brigadier-General Kershaw, who was in the ravine just beyond the field. The movement was slightly premature, as Kelly was not formed, but I at once ordered his brigade forward, and sent Captain Blackburn to direct him to oblique to the right again, so as to press toward the slope of the hill in the rear, while Gracie was attacking in front. The enemy had kept up a rapid artillery fire from the hill and across the field, but Gracie, passing through Kershaw's ranks, which were halted in the first ravine beyond the field, dashed over the ridge beyond and into the hollows between it and the battery hill.

The brigade advanced with splendid courage, but was met by a destructive fire of the enemy from the cover of their field works on the hill. The Second Alabama battalion stormed the hill and entered the entrenchments. Here an obstinate and bloody combat ensued. Brigadier-General Gracie, whilst bravely leading his men, had his horse shot under him. Lieutenant-Colonel Fulkerson, commanding the Sixty-third Tennessee; Lieutenant-Colonel Jolly, of the Forty-third Alabama; Lieutenant-Colonel Holt, of the First Alabama battalion; and Lieutenant-Colonel Hall, of the Second Alabama battalion, were severely wounded whilst gallantly leading their respective commands in the assault on the hill. Many brave officers and men here fell. The brigade carried into action about two thousand and three officers