Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 24.djvu/133

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

Tin 11,111, nf SIM,. L2f

Hardee and \Vitlu-rs, I moved forward towards the river and soon met tin- advanrini; enemy.

By General Harder'* orders I deployed the entire n>th Alabama Regiment as skirmishers, and with this regiment thus deployed, re- sisted tin- a time the advance of a solid line of battle.

1 \vas soon driven back upon the main body of my brigade; my entire line became warmly engaged, and continued to fight with more or less s t -verity during the entire battle.

It rained during most of the morning, and the air being still, both armies were much of the time enveloped in clouds of smoke.

Twice, in conjunction with General Chalmers, I charged up a hill and drove the enemy from a favorable position, but both times they were re-enforced and retook the position from us.

General Chalmer's Report, Vol. 10, page 552, in discussing these charges, says:

"Colonel Wheeler, of the iQth Alabama Regiment, was fighting with the Mississippians and bearing the colors of his command, in this last charge so gallantly made.

In reference to this part of the battle, William Preston Johnston, page 645, says:

"Chalmers was at one time detached from the command of his own brigade by General Withers in order to lead one of these con- glomerate commands, and Colonel Wheeler had charge of two or three regiments thrown together. * * * Chalmers seized the colors of the gth Mississippi and called on them to follow. With a wild shout the whole brigade rushed in and drove the enemy back until it re-occupied its first position of the morning. In this charge Wheeler led a regiment;, carrying its colors himself."

The ist Missouri Regiment having been added to my brigade, I continued engaging the enemy with varied severity until about 3 o'clock, when my command was increased by the addition of the Crescent Regiment, under Colonel Marshall I. Smith. At this time the entire line withdrew to the crest of a hill and, pursuant to orders from General Withers, I took position in advance of the other troops. General Withers in his report, Vol. 10, page 535, in referring to this, says:

"The command slowly and in good order retired and formed line of battle as ordered, the advance line under Colonel Wheeler."

A little later the bulk of our army commenced withdrawing from the field, and I was instructed to act as the rear guard with the igth