C. H. Walker, Third Tennessee Infantry.
I was posted near the graveyard, and ordered to hold myself in readiness to move in any direction that necessity might require. At about 12 o'clock I was ordered to move on the Lower Gallatin road to a field, where I formed a line of battle in a ravine to the right of a scope of woods, and about 200 yards in front of another body of timber occupied by the enemy, the Seventh Texas being on my right. I was ordered by General [John] Gregg to advance to the woods in line of battle, with skirmishers in front, and on reaching the woods to move the regiment by the right of companies through it to the open field beyond, where the enemy were supposed to be in line. I advanced as ordered until my skirmishers reached the woods, when I discovered that the enemy were in strong force near its edge. I then ordered a charge, which was made in the most gallant manner under a galling fire, driving the enemy before us. They attempted to rally behind a deep ravine, with almost perpendicular banks, but our advance was so rapid (the men jumping into the ravine and climbing up the opposite side) that the enemy again gave way and fled out of the woods into the open field. There they planted their colors in the ground, and made another effort to rally around them, but a sharp volley from our side speedily dispersed them. Upon reaching the edge of the woods, I received a heavy volley into the rear of my left flank. Not being able to see, on account of the thick brush, and supposing that the Tenth and Thirtieth Tennessee were there for my support, as General Gregg had assured me would be the case, I did not order a change of position, but directed the whole line to be held firm, until I went to the left and became satisfied that the enemy was in the rear, and at the same time a new column made its appearance in front. On discovering these positions of the enemy, I withdrew the regiment in as good order as the nature of the ground and thick undergrowth would admit, but not soon enough to prevent the capture of many of the men, who were in the most advanced positions. I reformed the regiment to the rear and right of the point from which we had advanced into the woods, and again formed a line on the same ground formerly occupied. Here, learning that the enemy were still flanking my left, I moved by the left flank to the rear of the scope of woods, and again formed the regiment on the Lower Gallatin road. While at this point, Lieutenant Gardin reported a probable approach of a cavalry force on my rear. Not knowing the position of any other of our regiments except the Seventh Texas, I moved to the left and rear, intending to join it, when I met Captain [T. W.] Hall, assistant adjutant general, who ordered me to retire slowly toward town, concealing my movements as much as possible.
I cannot speak in too high terms of the conduct of the officers and men of my command during the action. Every one did his duty. I reproached many men for not halting and firing as they retired, but learned afterward that they had no cartridges, having fired the last one in their boxes before they were ordered from the front. I herewith append a list(*) of casualties.
C. H. WALKER,
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