Chickamauga - The Great Battle of the West
By
(1)Daniel H. Hill, Lieutenant-General, C.S.A.

    ON the 13th of July, 1863, while in charge of the defenses of Richmond and Petersburg and the Department of North Carolina, I received an unexpected order to go West. I was seated in a yard of a house in the suburbs of Richmond (the house belonging to Mr. Poe, a relative of the poet), when President Davis, dressed in a plain suit of gray and attended by a small escort in brilliant uniform, galloped up and said : " Rosecrans is about to advance upon Bragg; I have found it necessary to detail Hardee to defend Mississippi and Alabama. His corps is without a commander. I wish you to command it." " I cannot do that," I replied, " as General Stewart ranks me." " I can cure that " answered Mr. Davis, " by making you a lieutenant-general.
Your paper s will be ready to-morrow. When can you start ? " " In twenty-four hours," was the reply. Mr. Davis gave his views on the subject, some directions in regard to matters at Chattanooga, and then left in seemingly good spirits. (2)

(1) At the beginning of the Civil War I was asked the question; " Who of the Federal officers are most to be feared ? " I replied : " Sherman, Rosecrans, and McClellan. Sherman has genius and daring, and is full of resources. Rosecrans has fine practical sense, and is of a tough, tenacious fiber. McClellan is a man of talents, and his delight has always been in the study of military history and the art and science of war." Grant was not once thought of. The light of subsequent events thrown upon the careers of these three great soldiers has not changed my estimate of them ; but I acquiesce in the verdict which has given greater renown to some of their comrades. It was my lot to form a more intimate acquaintance with the three illustrious officers who I fore- saw would play an important part in the war. I fought against McClellan from Yorktown to Sharpsburg (Antietam), I encountered Rosecrans at Chickamauga, and I surrendered to Sherman at Greensboro', N.. C.-each of the three commanding an army.-D. H. H.

(2) His cheerfulness was a mystery to me. Within a fortnight the Pennsylvania campaign had proved abortive. Vicksburg and Port Hudson had fallen, and Federal gun-boats were now plying up and down the Mississippi, cutting our communications between the east and west. The Confederacy was cut in two, and the South could readily be beaten in detail by the concentration of Federal forces, first on one side of the Mississippi and then on the other. The end of our glorious dream could not be far off. But I was as cheerful at that interview as was Mr. Davis himself. The bitterness of death had passed with me before our great reverses on the 4th of July. The Federals had been stunned by the defeat at Chancellorsville, and probably would not have made a forward movement for months. A corps could have been sent to General Joe Johnston, Grant could have been crushed, and Vicksburg, " the heart of the Confederacy," could have been saved. The drums that beat for the advance into Pennsylvania seemed to many of us to be beating the funeral march of the dead Confederacy. Our thirty days of mourning were over before the defeat of Lee and Pemberton. Duty; however, was to be done faithfully and unflinchingly to the last. The calmness of our Confederate President may not have been the calmness of despair, but it may have risen from the belief, then very prevalent, that England and France would recognize the Confederacy at its last extremity, when the Northern and Southern belligerents were both exhausted. should the North triumph, France could not hope to retain her hold upon Mexico. Besides, the English aristocracy, as is well known, were in full sympathy with the South.-D. H. H.

    The condition of our railroads even in 1863 was wretched, so bad that my staff and myself concluded to leave our horses in Virginia and resupply ourselves in Atlanta. On the 19th of July I reported to General Bragg at Chattanooga. I had not seen him since I had been the junior lieutenant in his battery of artillery at Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1845. The other two lieutenants were George H. Thomas and John F. Reynolds. We four had been in the same mess there. Reynolds had been killed at Gettysburg twelve days before my new assignment. Thomas, the strongest and most pronounced Southerner of the four, was now Rosecrans's lieutenant. It was a strange casting of lots that three messmates of Corpus Christi should meet under such changed circumstances at Chickamauga.
    My interview with General Bragg at Chattanooga was not satisfactory. He was silent and reserved and seemed gloomy and despondent. He had grown prematurely old since I saw him last, and showed much nervousness. His relations with his next in command (General Polk) and with some others of his subordinates were known not to be pleasant. His many retreats, too, had alienated the rank and file from him, or at least had taken away that enthusiasm which soldiers feel for the successful general, and which makes them obey his orders without question, and thus wins for him other successes. The one thing that a soldier never fails to understand is victory, and the commander who leads him to victory will be adored by him whether that victory has been won by skill or by blundering, by the masterly handling of a few troops against great odds, or by the awkward use of over whelming numbers. Long before Stonewall Jackson had risen to the height of his great fame, he had won the implicit confidence of his troops in all his movements. " Where are you going ? " one inquired of the " foot cavalry" as they were making the usual stealthy march to the enemy's rear. " We don't know but old Jack , does," was the laughing answer. This trust was the fruit of past victories, and it led to other and greater achievements.
    I was assigned to Hardee's old corps, consisting of Cleburne's and Stewart's divisions, and made my headquarters at Tyner's Station, a few miles east of Chattanooga on the Knoxville railroad. The Federals soon made their appearance at Bridgeport, Alabama, and I made arrangements to guar d the crossings of the Tennessee north of Chattanooga.(1) On Fast Day,

    (1) A regiment was placed at Sivley's Ford, another at Blythe's Ferry, farther north, and S. A.
    M. Wood's brigade was quartered at Harrison, in supporting distance of either point. The railroad upon which Rosecrans depended for his supplies ran south of Chattanooga, and had he crossed the river above the town he would have been separated many miles from his base and his depot. But he probably contemplated throwing a column across the Tennessee to the north of the town to cut off Buckner at Knoxville from a Junction with Bragg, and inclose him between that column and the forces of Burnside which were pressing toward Knoxville.-D. H. H.

Buckner's division was promptly withdrawn south of the Hiawassee.- EDITORS.

    August 21st, while religious services were being held in town, the enemy appeared on the opposite side of the river and began throwing shells into the houses. (1) Rev. B. M. Palmer, D. D., of New Orleans, was in the act of prayer i when a shell came hissing near the church. He went on calmly with his petition to the Great Being " who rules in the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth," but at its close, the preacher, opening his eyes, noticed a perceptible diminution of his congregation. Some women and children were killed and wounded by the shelling. Our pickets and scouts had given no notice of the approach of the enemy. On Sunday, August 30th, we learned through a citizen that McCook's corps had crossed at Caperton's Ferry, some thirty-five miles below Chattanooga, the movement having begun on the 29th. Thomas's corps was also crossing at or near the same point.
    The want of information at General Bragg's headquarters was in striking contrast with the minute knowledge General Lee always had of ever y operation in his front, and I was most painfully impressed with the feeling that it was to be a haphazard campaign on our part. (2) Rosecrans had effected the crossing of the river (Thomas's corps} and had occupied Will's Valley, between Sand and Lookout mountains, without opposition, and had established his

    (1) Colonel J. T. Wilder, who led the reconnoissance, says: "The enemy opened fire upon the command from their batteries, which was replied to by Captain Lilly's 18th Indiana battery."-Editors.

    (2) My sympathies had all been with Bragg. I knew of the carping criticisms of his subordinates and the cold looks of his soldiers, and knew that these were the natural results of reverses, whether the blame lay with the commander or otherwise. I had felt, too, that this lack of confidence or lack of enthusiasm, whichever it might be, was ominous of evil for the impending battle.
    But ignorance of the enemy's movements seemed a still worse portent of calamity.-D. H. H.

headquarters at Trenton. Lookout Mountain now interposed to screen all the enemy's movements from our observation. (1) On the 7th of September Rosecrans sent McCook to cross Lookout Mountain at Winston's Gap, forty-six miles south of Chattanooga, and to occupy Alpine, east of the mountains. Thomas was ordered to cross the mountain at Stevens's and Cooper's gaps, some twenty-five miles from Chattanooga, and to occupy McLemore's Cove on the east, a narrow valley between Lookout and Pigeon mountains. Pigeon Mountain is parallel to the former, not so high and rugged, and does not extend so far north, ending eight miles south of Chattanooga. Crittenden was left in Will's Valley to watch Chattanooga.
    General Bragg had had some inclosed works constructed at Chattanooga, and the place could have been held by a division against greatly superior forces. By holding Chattanooga in that way, Crittenden's corps would have been neutralized, and a union between Rosecrans and Burnside would have been impossible. Moreover, the town was the objective point of the campaign, and to lose it was virtually to lose all east Tennessee south of Knoxville. If Bragg knew at the time of the prospective help coming to him from the Army of Northern Virginia, it was of still more importance to hold the town, that he might be the more readily in communication with Longstreet on his arrival. Under similar circumstances General Lee detached Early's division to hold the heights of Fredericksburg, and neutralized Sedgwick's corps, while he marched to attack Hooker at Chancellorsville. Bragg, however, may have felt too weak to spare even one division from his command. Whatever may have been his motive, he completely abandoned the town by the 8th, and Crittenden took possession of it next day. My corps, (2) consisting of Breckinridge's and Cleburne's divisions, had led in the withdrawal, and was halted at Lafayette, twenty-two miles from, and almost south of, Chattanooga, and east of Pigeon Mountain, which separates it from McLemore's Cove, into which the columns of Thomas began to pour on the 9th.
    I placed Breckinridge in charge of the Reserve Artillery and the wagon-train at Lafayette, while Cleburne was sent to hold the three gaps in Pigeon Mountain, Catlett's on the north, Dug in the center, and Blue Bird on the south. Cleburne pitched his tent by the road leading to the center gap. Notwithstanding the occupation of Chattanooga, Rosecrans did not attempt to concentrate his forces there, but persisted in pushing two of his corps to our left and rear.
    As the failure of Bragg to beat Rosecrans in detail has been the subject of much criticism, it may be well to look into the causes of the failure. So far as the commanding general was concerned, the trouble with him was : first, lack of knowledge of the situation; second, lack of personal supervision of the execution of his orders. No general ever won a permanent fame who was

(1) General Bragg had said petulantly a few days before the crossing into Will's Valley : "It is said to be easy to defend a mountainous country, but mountains hide your foe from you, while they are full of gaps through which he can pounce upon you at any time. A mountain is like the wall of a house full of rat-holes. The rat lies hidden at his hole, ready to pop out when no one is watching. who can tell what lies hidden behind that wall Q" said he, pointing to the Cumberland range across the river.-D. H. H.

(2) Breckinridge's division of my corps had come up from Mississippi and was substituted for Stewart's, sent to Knoxville to join Buckner. D. H. H.

wanting in these  and elements of success, knowledge of his own and his enemy's condition, and personal superintendence of operations on the field. (1).
    The failure to attack Negley's division in the cove on September 10th (2). was owing to Bragg's ignorance of the condition of the roads, the obstructions at Dug Gap, and the position of the enemy. He attributed the failure to make the attack on the same force on the 11th to the major-general [Hindman] who had it in charge,-whether justly or unjustly, I do not know.(3) All day of the 11th my signal corps and scouts at Blue Bird Gap reported the march of a heavy column to our left and up the cove. These reports were forwarded to the commanding general, but were not  edited by him.
    On the morning of the 13th I was notified that Polk was to attack Crittenden at Lee and Gordon's Mills, and the Reserve Artillery and baggage trains were specially intrusted to my corps. Breckinridge guarded the roads leading south from Lafayette, and Cleburne guarded the gaps in Pigeon Mountain.
    The attack was not made at Lee and Gordon's Mills and this was the second of the lost opportunities. Bragg in his official report, speaking of this failure, quotes his first order to Polk to attack, dated 6 P. M. September 12th, Lafayette, Ga.: "

GENERAL : I inclose you a dispatch from General Pegram. This presents you a fine opportunity of striking Crittenden in detail, and I hope you will avail yourself of it at daylight to-morrow. This division crushed, and the others are yours. We can then turn again on the force in the cove. Wheeler's cavalry will move on Wilder so as to cover your right. I shall be delighted to hear of your success."

    This order was twice repeated at short intervals, the last dispatch being :

" The enemy is approaching from the south - and it is highly important that your attack in the morning should be quick and decided. Let no time be lost."

The rest of the story is thus told by General Bragg : "

"At 11 P. M. a dispatch was received from the general [Polk] stating that he had taken up a strong position for defense, and requesting that he should be heavily reenforced. He was promptly ordered not, to defer his attack,- his force being al ready numerically superior to the enemy, -and was reminded that his success depended upon the promptness and rapidity of his movements. He was further informed that Buckner s corps would be moved within supporting distance the next morning. Early on the 13th I proceeded to the front, ahead of Buckner's command, to find that no advance had been made upon the enemy and that his forces [the enemy's] had formed a junction and recrossed the Chickamauga. Again disappointed, immediate measures were taken to place our trains and limited supplies in safe positions, when all our forces were concentrated along the Chickamauga threatening the enemy in front."

(1) Invidious critics have attributed many of Stonewall Jackson's successes to lucky blunders, or at best to happy inspirations at the moment of striking. Never was there a greater mistake. He studied carefully (shall I add prayerfully ?) all his own and his adversary's movements. He knew the situation perfectly, the geography and the topography of the country, the character of the officers opposed to him, the number and material of his troops. He never joined battle without a thorough personal reconnoissance of the field. That duty he trusted to no engineer officer. When the time came for him to act, he was in the front to see that his orders were carried out, or were modified to suit the ever-shifting scenes of battle.-D. H. H.

(2) Thomas's corps, after crossing at Bridgeport, Shell Mound, and Caperton's Ferry, arrived, September 4th, near Trenton, in Will's Valley (east of Sand Mountain). On the 6th Negley's division, with Baird's supporting, reached Johnson's Crook, and on the 10th crossed Missionary Ridge into McLemore's Cove. On the 11th Negley and Baird retired to Stevens's Gap after feeling the enemy in front of Dug Gap, in Pigeon Mountain. Meantime Davis's and Johnson's divisions of McCook's corps crossing the Tennessee at Caperton's Ferry passed over Sand Mountain and seized Winston's Gap, while Sheridan's division, moving via Trenton, was close at hand. On the 10th McCook's three divisions were at Alpine. Crittenden's corps by September 4th was across the Tennessee (at Bridgeport, Shell Mound, and Battle Creek). On the 9th Wood's division occupied Chattanooga, and Palmer and Van Cleve marched to Rossville. On the 10th Crittenden, leaving Wagner's brigade to occupy Chattanooga, pursued the enemy toward Dalton and Ringgold. Wood reached Lee and Gordon's Mills on the 11th, and Crittenden was now ordered to close up his whole force on Wood.- EDITORS.

(3) The Comte de Paris states that Bragg sent word to Hindman, at 11 A. M. September 11th, to retire if he deemed it not prudent to attack.-EDITORS.


    During the active operations of a campaign the post of the commander-in-chief should be in the center of his marching columns, that he may be able to give prompt and efficient aid to whichever wing may be threatened. But whenever a great battle is to be fought, the commander must be on the field to see that his orders are executed and to take advantage of the ever-changing phases of the conflict. Jackson leading a cavalry fight by night near Front Royal in the pursuit of Banks, Jackson at the head of the column following McClellan in the retreat from Richmond to Malvern Hill, presents a contrast to Bragg sending, from a distance of ten miles, four consecutive orders for an attack at daylight, which he was never to witness.
    Surely in the annals of warfare there is no parallel to the coolness and nonchalance with which General Crittenden marched and counter-marched for a week with a delightful unconsciousness that he was in the presence of a force of superior strength. On the 11 we find him with two divisions (Van Cleve's and Palmer's) at Ringgold, twenty miles from Chattanooga, and with his third (Thomas J. Wood's), ten miles from Ringgold, at Lee and Gordon's Mills where it remained alone and unsupported, until late in the , day of the 12th. Crittenden was at the mills with his whole corps on the 13th and morning of the 14th, moving back to Missionary Ridge during the 14th all his divisions except Wood's which remained all that day. Crittenden seemed to think that so long as the bridge there was held, there was no danger of the rebels passing to his r ear on the road toward Chattanooga, though there were other bridges and several good fords over the Chickamauga at other points. It was to the isolation of Wood that Bragg refers in his order dated Lafayette, 6 P. M., on the 12th. Captain Polk (in the Southern Historical Society papers) says :

    " General Bragg, in his official report of the battle of Chickamauga, charges General Polk with the failure to crush Crittenden's forces in their isolated position at Ringgold. It will be noted, however, that General Polk was ordered to take position at a particular spot,- Rock Spring,-thence, if not attacked, to advance by daylight of the 13th of September, and assume the offensive against the opposing forces, which were expected from the way of Ringgold. But Crittenden was at Gordon's Mills behind the Chickamauga on the evening of the 12th.
    The order was simply impracticable."

    The concentration at Rock Spring, seven miles south-west from Ringgold and four and a half miles south-east from Lee and Gordon's Mills, was apparently to interpose between Crittenden's columns, and to strike in detail whichever should present itself. But General Crittenden, unaware, apparently, of his danger, crossed the Chickamauga at the mills, and united with Wood about nightfall on the 12th. General Polk discovered that there was a large force in front of him on the night of the 12th, and not a single division, and hence he thought only of a defensive attitude. It is probable that, from his long experience of Bragg's ignorance of the situation, he was skeptical in regard to the accuracy of the general's information on the present occasion.
    Bragg certainly did not know of the union of Crittenden's forces in the afternoon and night of the 12th. But, even with that knowledge, he would have acted wisely in falling upon the combined forces on the 13th and 14th.
    The truth is, General Bragg was bewildered by " the popping out of the rats from so many holes." The wide dispersion of the Federal forces, and their confrontal of him at so many points, perplexed him, instead of being a source of congratulation that such grand opportunities were offered for crushing them one by one. He seems to have had no well-organized system of independent scouts, such as Lee had, and such as proved of inestimable service to the Germans in the Franco-Prussian war. For information in regard to the enemy, apparently he trusted alone to his very efficient cavalry. But the Federal cavalry moved with infantry supports, which could not be brushed aside by our cavalry. So General Bragg only learned that he was encircled by foes, without knowing who they were, what was their strength, and what were their plans. His enemy had a great advantage over him in this respect.
    The negroes knew the country well, and by dividing the numbers given by them by three, trustworthy in formation could be obtained. The waning fortunes of the Confederacy were developing a vast amount of " latent unionism " in the breasts of the original secessionists - those fiery zealots who in '61 proclaimed that " one Southerner could whip three Yankees." The negroes and the fire-eaters with " changed hearts " were now most excellent spies.
    The 13th of September was a day of great anxiety to me at Lafayette, in charge of the Reserve Artillery and the wagons trains, with only two weak divisions, less than nine thousand strong, to protect them. During the 11th and 12th my signal corps on Pigeon Mountain had been constantly reporting the march of a heavy column to our left and rear. These reports were communicated by me to the commanding general, and were discredited by him. At 8 A. M. on the 13th Lieutenant Baylor came to my camp with a note from General Wharton, of the cavalry, vouching for the lieutenant's entire trustworthiness. Lieutenant Baylor told me that McCook had encamped the night before at Alpine, twenty miles from Lafayette, toward which his march was directed. Our cavalry pickets had been driven in on the Alpine road the afternoon before, and had been replaced by infantry. Soon after the report by Lieutenant Baylor, a brisk fire opened upon the Alpine road, two miles from Lafayette. I said to my staff, as we galloped toward the firing, " It is to be South Mountain over again." This referred to the defense, on the 14th of September, 1862, of the passes of that mountain by my gallant division , reduced by fighting and marching to five thousand men: We learned, on reaching the Alpine road, that General Daniel Adams's skirmishers had been attacked by two regiments of cavalry, which were repulsed. General Adams said to me, " The boldness off the cavalry advance convinces me that an infantry column is not far oft." Lucius Polk's brigade was brought down from Pigeon Mountain, and every disposition was made to celebrate appropriately the next day - the anniversary of South Mountain. But that was not to be. General McCook (Federal) had been ordered to Summerville, eleven miles south of Lafayette on the main road to Rome, Ga. But he had become cautious after hearing that Bragg was not making the hot and hasty retreat that Rosecrans had supposed. He therefore ordered his wagon-train back to the top of Lookout Mountain and remained all day of the 13th at , Alpine. His cavalry had taken some prisoners from General Adams, and he thus learned certainly that Bragg had been reenforced. At midnight on the 13th McCook received the order to hurry back to Join Thomas [in McLemore's Cove]. Then began the race of life and death, the crossing back over Lookout Mountain, the rapid exhausting march north through Lookout Valley, and the Junction at last at Stevens's Gap on the 17th. The contemporary accounts represent McCook's march as one of fatigue and suffering.
    General Bragg returned to Lafayette on the afternoon of the 13th, and I communicated to him verbally that night the report of Lieutenant Baylor. He replied excitedly, " Lieutenant Baylor lies. There is not an infantry soldier of the enemy south of us." The next morning he called his four corps commanders, Polk, Buckner, W. H. T. Walker, and myself, together, and told us that McCook was at Alpine, Crittenden at Lee and Gordon's Mills and , Thomas in McLemore's Cove. McCook was at that very time making that famous march, estimated by Rosecrans at fifty-seven miles, to join Thomas at Stevens's Gap. But the Confederate commander did not know of this withdrawal, and possibly the fear of an attack in his rear by McCook kept him from falling upon Thomas and Crittenden in his front. The nightmare upon Bragg for the next three days was due, doubtless, to his uncertainty about the movements of his enemy, and to the certainty that there was not that mutual confidence between him and some of his subordinates that there ought to be between a chief and his officer s to insure victory. Bragg's want of definite and precise information had led him more than once to issue " impossible " orders, and therefore those intrusted with their execution got in the way of disregarding them. Another more serious trouble with him was the disposition to find a scapegoat for every failure and disaster. This made his officers cautious about striking a blow when an opportunity presented itself, unless they were protected by a positive order . (1)
    In reference to the long intervals between battles in the West, I once said to General Patton Anderson " When two armies confront each other in the East, they get to work very soon ; but here you look at one another for days and weeks at a time." He replied with a laugh, " Oh, we out her e have to crow and peck straws awhile before we use our spurs." The crowing and pecking straws were now about over. On the 13th Rosecrans awoke from his delusion that Bragg was making a disorderly retreat, and issued his orders for the concentration of his army in McLemore's Cove. Granger's corps came up from Bridgeport, occupied Rossville on the 14th, and remained there until the battle of the 24th. Rossville is at the gap in Missionary Ridge through which runs the road from Chattanooga to Lafayette and Rome, Ga. General. Rosecrans had felt it to be of vital importance to hold this gap at all hazards, in case of a disaster to his arms. On the 16th Rosecrans had his forces well in hand, extending from Lee and Gordon's Mills to

(1) General Lee sought for no vicarious victim to atone for his one disaster. " I alone am to blame; the order for attack was mine " said he after the repulse of the assault upon Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg. Lee and Bragg were cast in different molds.- D. H. H.

Stevens's Gap, in a line running from east to south-west some eleven miles long. On the same day Bragg, with headquarters still at Lafayette, held the gaps in Pigeon Mountain, and the fords to Lee and Gordon's Mills. Each commander was in position, on the 17th, to turn the left flank of his adversary,-Bragg by crossing the Chickamauga at points north off Lee and Gordon's Mills ; but by this he risked fighting with his back to the river,- a hazardous situation in case of defeat. .He risked too, to some extent, his trains, which had yet to be moved toward Ringgold and Dalton. His gain, in case of a decided victory, would be the cutting off of Rosecrans from Chattanooga, and possibly the recapture of that place. Rosecrans could have flanked Bragg by crossing at the Mills and at the fords between that place and Catlett's. This would have cut off Bragg from Rome certainly, and from Dalton in case of his advance upon Chattanooga, or else would have compelled him to come out and fight upon ground selected by his antagonist. The risk to Rosecrans was an insecure line of retreat in case of defeat, and possibly the loss off Chattanooga. But he had Granger's corps to hold the fortifications of Chattanooga, and he held also the gaps in Lookout Mountain. Bragg showed superior boldness by taking the initiative. Rosecrans determined to act upon the defensive. He says that he knew on the 17th that Bragg would try to seize the Dry Valley and Rossville roads -the first on the west and the second on the east of Missionary Ridge. He thus divined the plan of his enemy twelve hour s before Bragg's order was issued. Therefore Rosecrans, on the afternoon of the 17th, ordered McCook to take the place of Thomas at Pond Spring, Thomas to relieve the two divisions of Crittenden at Crawfish Springs, and Crittenden to take these divisions and extend them to the left of Wood at Lee and Gordon's, so as to protect the road to Chattanooga. McCook's corps reached its position at dark Crittenden's near midnight. Thomas marched all night uninterruptedly, and the head of his columns reached the Widow Glenn's (Rosecrans's headquarters) at daylight on the 19th.
    On the 18th Bragg issued, from Leet's tan-yard, his order for battle :

" 1. [Bushrod) Johnson's column (Hood's), on crossing at or near Reed's Bridge, will turn to the left by the most practicable route, and sweep up the Chickamauga toward Lee and Gordon's Mills.

" 2. Walker, crossing at Alexander's Bridge, will unite in this move and push vigorously on the enemy's flank and rear in the same direction.

" 3. Buckner, crossing at Tedford's Ford, will join in the movement to the left, and press the enemy up the stream from Polk's front at Lee and Gordon's.

" 4. Polk will press his forces to the front of Lee and Gordon's Mills, and if met by too much resistance to cross will bear to the right and cross at Dalton's Ford or at Tedford's, as may be necessary, and join the attack wherever the enemy may be.

" 5. Hill will cover our left flank from an advance of the enemy from the cove, and, by pressing the cavalry in his front, ascertain if the enemy is reenforcing at Lee and Gordon's Mills in , which event he will attack them in flank.

" 6. Wheeler's cavalry will hold the gaps in Pigeon Mountain and cover our rear and left , , and bring up stragglers.

"7. All teams etc. not with troops should go toward Ringgold and Dalton beyond Taylor's Ridge. All cooking should be done at the trains ; rations when cooked will be forwarded to the troops.

"8. The above movement will be executed with the utmost promptness, vigor, and persistence."

    Had this order been issued on any of the four preceding days, it would have found Rosecrans wholly unprepared for it, with but a single infantry division (Wood's) guarding the crossings of the Chickamauga, and that at one point only, Lee and Gordon's - the fords north of it being watched by cavalry . Even if the order had been given twenty-four hours earlier, it must have been fatal to Rosecrans in the then huddled and confused grouping of his forces.
    All that was effected on the 18th was the sending over of Walker's small corps of a little more than 5000 men near Alexander's Bridge, and Bushrod Johnson's division of 3600 men at Reed's Bridge, farther north. These troops drove off Wilder's mounted infantry from the crossings immediately south of them, so as to leave undisputed passage for Bragg's infantry, except in the neighborhood of Lee and Gordon's. On the night of the 18th Bragg's troops were substantially as follows : Hill's corps on the extreme left, with center at Glass's Mill ; Polk's at Lee and Gordon's ; Buckner's at Byram's Ford ; Hood's at Tedford's Ford. (1) During the night Cheatham's division of Polk's corps was detached, moved down the Chickamauga, and crossed at Hunt's Ford about 7 A. M. on the 19th. On that morning the Federal line of battle ran, in the main, parallel to the Chattanooga road from Lee and Gordon's to beyond Kelly's farm, and consisted of the divisions of Wood Van Cleve, and , Palmer of Crittenden's corps, and Baird's and Brannan's of Thomas's corps, in the order named from right to left. Negley and Reynolds, commander s under Thomas, had not come up at the opening of the battle of the 19th. The leading division (R. W. Johnson's) of McCook's corps reached Crawfish Springs at an early hour that day, and the divisions of Davis and Sheridan soon followed. It is about five miles from Crawfish Springs to Kelly's farm.
    Soon after getting into position at Kelly's after his night march, General Thomas was told by Colonel Daniel McCook, commanding a brigade of the Reserve Corps, that there were no rebel troops west of the Chickamauga, except one brigade that had crossed at Reed's Bridge the afternoon before and which could easily be captured, as he (McCook) had burned the bridge behind the rebels. Thomas ordered Brannan to take two brigades and make a reconnoissance on the road to Reed's Bridge, and place a third brigade on the road to Alexander's Bridge. This order took the initiative away from Bragg, and put it in the hands of Thomas with his two divisions in line to crush the small Confederate force west of the river, and then with his supports, as they came, beat, in detail, the Confederate supports, delayed, as they must be, by the crossings and the distances to march. Croxton's brigade, of Brannan's division met Forrest's cavalry on the Reed's Bridge road, and drove it , back on the infantry-two small brigades under Ector and Wilson. These advanced with the " rebel yell," pushed Croxton back and ran over his battery, but were in turn beaten back by Brannan's and Baird's forces. Baird now began the readjustment of his lines, and during the confusion of the movement Liddell's (Confederate) division, two thousand strong, struck the brigades of Scribner and King, and drove them in disorder, capturing Loomis's battery, commanded by Lieutenant Van Pelt. Bush's Indiana battery was

(1) Hood's division about 5000, was the only part of Longstreet's corps in the action of the 19th.-D. H. H.

captured at the same time. The defeat had become a panic, and Baird's and Brannan's men were going pell-mell to the rear, when the victorious Liddell found himself in the presence of a long line of Federal troops overlapping both flanks of his little force. These were the troops of Brannan's reorganized division on his right, and of the freshly arrived division of R. W. Johnson from McCook. Liddell extricated himself skillfully, losing heavily, however, and being compelled to abandon his captured guns. It was by Rosecrans's own order, at 10 : 15 A. M., that R. W. Johnson had been hurried forward five miles from Crawfish Springs, just in time to save the Federal left from a grave disaster. At 11 A. M. Bragg ordered Cheatham to the relief of Liddell, but he reached the ground after Johnson-too late to drive Brannan as well as Baird off the field. Cheatham's veteran division of seven thousand men advanced gallantly, drawing the enemy before it, when it was in its turn hurled back by an attacking column which Thomas had organized after the defeat of Liddell and the arrival of two fresh divisions, viz., Palmer's of Crittenden's corps and Reynolds of his own. corps.
    Unfortunately for the Confederates, there was no general advance, as there might have been along the whole line-an advance that must have given a more decisive victory on the 19th than was gained on the 20th. It was desultory fighting from right to left, without concert, and at inopportune times. It was the sparring of the amateur boxer, and not the crushing blows of the trained pugilist. From daylight on the 19th until after midday, there was a gap of two miles between Crittenden and Thomas, into which the Confederates could have poured, turning to right or left, and attacking in flank whichever commander was least prepared for the assault. As Cheatham was falling back, A. P. Stewart's division of Buckner's corps, 3400 strong, attacked Palmer's division of Crittenden's corps, which was flanking Cheatham drove it back , and marching forward met Van Cleve's division of the same corps hastening to the assistance of Thomas, and hurled it back also. Hood, with his own division and Bushrod Johnson's moved at 2 : 30 P. M., and gained for a time a , most brilliant success, crushing the right center of the Federal army, capturing artillery, and seizing the Chattanooga road. The three Confederate divisions , after their first triumphs, had to encounter the four fresh divisions of Wood , Davis, Sheridan, and Negley, and were in turn driven back to the east of the road.
    Stewart had recaptured the battery lost by Cheatham's division, twelve pieces of Federal artillery, over two hundred prisoners, and several hundred rifles. Hood and Bushrod Johnson had met with a similar success at first, but, of course, three divisions could not stand the combined attack of six.
    On our extreme left a good deal of demonstrating had been done by the Federals on the 17th and 18th ; infantry had been crossed over at Owen's Ford, and threats made at Glass's Mill. On the 19th I ordered an attack at the latter place. Slocomb's battery had a bloody artillery duel with one on the west of the river, and, under cover of the artillery fire, Helm's brigade of Breckinridge's division was crossed over and attacked Negley's infantry and , drove it off. Riding over the ground with Breckinridge, I counted eleven dead horses at the Federal battery, and a number of dead infantrymen that had not been removed. The clouds of dust rolling down the valley revealed the precipitate retirement of the foe, not on account of our pressure upon him, but on account of the urgency of the order to hurry to their left. This was the time to have relieved the strain upon our right by attacking the Federal right at Lee and Gordon's. My veteran corps, under its heroic division commanders Breckinridge and Cleburne, would have flanked the, enemy out of his fortifications at this point, and would by their brilliant onset have confounded Rosecrans in his purpose of massing upon his left; but Bragg had other plans. (1)
   At 3 P. M. I received an order to report to the commander-in-chief at Tedford's Ford, to set Cleburne's division in motion to the same point, and to relieve Hindman at Gordon's with Breckinridge's division. Cleburne had six miles to march over a road much obstructed with wagons, artillery, and details of soldiers. He got into position on the extreme right after sundown. Thomas had, in the meanwhile, moved Brannan from his left to his right, and was retiring Baird and W. W. Johnson to a better position, when

(1) The great commander is he who makes his assumes that he is superior to his enemy, either antagonist keep step with him. Thomas, like the in numbers or in courage, and therefore carries grand soldier he was, by attacking first, made Bragg with him to the assault all the moral advantage of keep step with him. He who begins the attack his assumed superiority.- D. H. H.

Cleburne, with Cheatham upon his left, moved upon them " in the gloaming" in magnificent style, capturing three pieces of artillery, a number of caissons, two stand of colors, and three hundred prisoners. The contest was obstinate, for a time, on our left, where log breastworks were encountered; and here that fine soldier, Brigadier-General Preston Smith, of Cheatham's division, lost his life. Discovering that our right extended beyond the enemy, I threw two batteries in advance of our fighting line and almost abreast of that of the enemy. These caused a hasty abandonment of the breastworks and a falling back of some half a mile. This ended the contest for the day.
    General Rosecrans made a very natural mistake about our overwhelming numbers. But it was a big mistake. The South, from patriotic pride, still kept up its old military organizations, for how could it merge together divisions and brigades around which clustered such glorious memories ? But the waste of war had reduced them to mere skeleton divisions and brigades. My corps at Chickamauga was but little more than one-third of the size of my division at Yorktown, and so it was through the whole Southern army. Captain W. M. Polk, from data furnished him by General Marcus J. Wright, has given an estimate of the numbers in the respective corps and divisions of the two armies; he concludes that the Federals had 45,855 and the Confederates 33,897 in the battle of the 19th.
    I witnessed some of the heaviest fighting on the afternoon of the 19th, and never saw so little straggling from the field. I saw but one deserter from Hood's ranks, and not one from Cleburne's. The divisions of Hindman , Breckinridge, and Preston had not been put into the fight, and two brigades of McLaws's (Kershaw's and Humphreys's) were expected next day. Rosecrans had put in all but two of his brigades. The outlook seemed hopeful for the Confederates: Longstreet arrived at 11 P. M. on the 19th. (1)
    Soon after, General Bragg called together some of his officers and ventured upon that hazardous experiment, a change of organization in face of the enemy. He divided his army into two wings; he gave to Polk the right wing, consisting of the corps of Hill and Walker, and the division of Cheatham,- comprising in all 18,794 infantry and artillery, with 3500 cavalry under Forrest ; to Longstreet he gave the left wing, consisting of the corps of Buckner and Hood, and the division of Hindman,- 22,849 infantry and artillery, with 4000 cavalry under Wheeler. That night Bragg announced his purpose of adhering to his plan of the 19th for the 20th, viz., successive attacks from right to left, and he gave his wing commanders orders to begin at daylight. I left Cleburne, after his fight, at 11 P. M., and rode with Captains Coleman and Reid five miles to Tedford's Ford where the orders for the

(1) While lying on the Rapidan in August, after disastrous day at Gettysburg, Longstreet had suggested to General Lee the reenforcing of Bragg. The general went to Richmond, and after a time got the consent of the Confederate authorities to send Longstreet, without artillery or cavalry, with the much reduced divisions of McLaws and Hood. Lee followed Longstreet to his horse to see him off, and as he was mounting said, "General, you must beat those people." (Lee always called the that Federals " those people.") Longstreet said, " General, if you will give your orders that the enemy, when beaten, shall be destroyed, I will promise to give you victory, if I live ; but I would not give the life of a single soldier of mine for a barren victory." Lee replied, " The order has been given and will be repeated."-D. H. H.

day announced that Bragg's headquarters would be, that I might get instructions for the next day. On the way I learned from some soldiers that Breckinridge was coming up from Lee and Gordon's. I sent Captain Reid to him to conduct him to Cleburne's right. General Polk, however, as wing commander gave General Breckinridge permission to rest his weary men, and took him to his own headquarters. It was after 2 o'clock when General Breckinridge moved off under the guidance of Captain Reid, and his division did not get into position until after sunrise. Captain Coleman and myself reached the ford after midnight, only to learn that Bragg was not there. Some time after the unsuccessful search, my other staff-officers came up, and my chief-of-staff gave me a message from General Polk that my corps had been put under his command, and that he wished to see me at Alexander's Bridge. He said not a word to any of them about an attack at daylight, nor did he to General Breckinridge, who occupied the same room with him that night. I have by me written statements from General Breckinridge and the whole of my staff to that effect. General Polk had issued an order for an attack at daylight, and had sent a courier with a copy, but he had failed to find me. I saw the order for the first time nineteen years afterward in Captain Polk's letter to the Southern Historical Society. At 3 A. M. on the 20th I went to Alexander's Bridge, but not finding the courier who was to be posted there to conduct me to General Polk, I sent Lieutenant Morrison, aide-de-camp, to hunt him up and tell him I could be found on the line of battle, which I reached just after daylight, before Breckinridge had got into position. Neither of my division commanders had heard anything of the early attack; and cooked rations were being distributed to our men, many of whom had not eaten anything for twenty-four hours. At 7: 25 an order was shown me from General Polk, directed to my major-generals, to begin the attack. I sent a note to him that I was adjusting my line, and that my men were getting their rations.
    Polk soon after came up, and assented to the delay. Still nothing was said of the daylight attack. Bragg rode up at 8 A. M. and inquired of me why I had not begun the attack at daylight. I told him that I was hearing then for the first time that such an order had been issued and had not known whether we were to be the assailants or the assailed. He said angrily, " I found Polk after sunrise sitting down reading a newspaper at Alexander's Bridge, two miles from the line of battle, where he ought to have been fighting." However, the essential preparations for battle had not been made up to this hour and, in fact, could not be made without the presence of the commander-in-chief. The position of the enemy had not been reconnoitered, our line of battle had not been adjusted, and par t of it was at right angles with the rest; there was no cavalry on our flanks, and no order had fixed the strength or position of the reserves. My corps had been aligned north and south, to be parallel to the position of the enemy. Cheatham's division was at right angles to my line, and when adjusted was found to be exactly behind Stewart's, and had therefore to be taken out after the battle was begun and placed in reserve. Kershaw's brigade of Longstreet's corps was also out of place, and was put in reserve.
    Rosecrans in person made a careful alignment of his whole line in the morning, arranging it so as to cover the Rossville (Chattanooga) and the Dry Valley roads. It began tour hundred yards east of the Rossville road, on a crest which was occupied from left to right by Baird's division (Thomas's corps), R. W. Johnson's division (McCook's), Palmer's division (Crittenden's), and Reynolds's division {Thomas's). These four divisions became isolated during the day, and the interest of the battle centers largely in them. They lay behind substantial breastworks of logs,(1) in a line running due south and bending back toward the road at each wing. " Next on the right of Reynolds," says a Federal newspaper account, "was Brannan's division of Thomas's corps, then Negley's of the same corps, its right making a crotchet to the rear. The line across the Chattanooga road toward Missionary Ridge was completed by Sheridan's and Davis's divisions of McCook's corps : Wood's and Van Cleve's divisions of Crittenden's corps were in reserve at a proper distance." The line from Reynolds extended in a south-westerly direction. Minty's cavalry covered the left and rear at Missionary Mills ; Mitchell's and , Wilder's cavalry covered the extreme right. Rosecrans's headquarters were at Widow Glenn's house.

(1) The ringing of axes in our front could be heard all night: D. H. H.
These breastworks were described as follows by William F. G. Shanks, war correspondent of the " New York Herald" :

" General Thomas had wisely taken the precaution to make rude works about breast-high along his whole front, using rails and logs for the purpose. The logs and rails ran at right angles to each other, the logs keeping parallel to the proposed line of battle and lying, upon the rails until the proper height was reached. The spaces between these logs were filled with rails, which served to add to their security and strength. The spade had not been used." EDITORS.

    The Confederate line ran at the outset from north to south, Hill's corps on the right, next Stewart's division, Hood in reserve, then Bushrod Johnson's then Hindman's on the extreme left, Preston's in reserve. After the fighting had actually begun, Walker's and Cheatham's divisions and Kershaw's brigade were taken out and put in reserve. Wheeler's cavalry covered our left, and Forrest had been sent, at my request, to our right. The Confederates were confronted with eight Federal divisions protected generally by breastworks. The battle can be described in a few words. The Confederate attack on the right was mainly unsuccessful because of the breastworks, but was so gallant and persistent that Thomas called loudly for reenforcements, which were promptly sent, weakening the Federal right, until finally a gap was left.
    This gap Longstreet entered. Discovering, with the true instinct of a soldier that he could do more by turning to the right, he disregarded the order to wheel to the left and wheeled the other way, striking the corps of Crittenden and McCook in flank, driving them with their commanders and the commanding general off the field. (1) Thomas, however, still held his ground, and, though ordered to retreat, strongly refused to do so until nightfall, thus saving the Federals from a great disaster. Longstreet, then, was the organizer of victory on the Confederate side, and Thomas the savior of the army on the other side.
    Longstreet did not advance until noon, nor did he attack the breastworks on the Federal left (Thomas's position) at all, though Federal writers at the time supposed that he did. Those assaults were made first by the divisions of Breckinridge and Cleburne of Hill's corps, and then by the brigades of Gist Walthall, Govan, and others sent to their assistance. Stewart began his brilliant advance at 11 A. M., and before that time Thomas began his appeals for help.
    Breckinridge moved at 9: 30 A. M., and Cleburne fifteen minutes later, according to the order for attack. Forrest dismounted Armstrong's division of cavalry to keep abreast of Breckinridge, and held Pegram's division in reserve. Breckinridge's two right brigades, under Adams and Stovall, met but little opposition, but the left of Helm's brigade encountered the left of the breastworks, and was badly cut up. The heroic Helm was killed, and his command repulsed. His brigade, now under the command of that able officer, Colonel J. H. Lewis, was withdrawn. The simultaneous advance of Cleburne's troops would have greatly relieved Helm, as he was exposed to a flank as . well as a direct fire. General Breckinridge suggested, and I cordially approved the suggestion, that he should wheel his two brigades to the left, and get in rear of the breastworks. These brigades had reached the Chattanooga road, and their skirmishers had pressed past Cloud's house, where

(1) General Bushrod Johnson was the first to enter the gap with his division and, with the coolness and judgment for which he was always distinguished, took in the situation at a glance and began the flank movement to the right. General Longstreet adopted the plan of his lieutenant, and made his other troops conform to Bushrod John son's movement.-D. H. H.

there was a Federal field-hospital. The wheeling movement enabled Stovall to gain a point beyond the retired flank of the breastworks, and Breckinridge says in his report, "Adams had advanced still farther, being actually in rear of his intrenchments. A good supporting line to my division at this moment would probably have produced decisive results." Federal reenforcements had, however, come up. Adams was badly wounded and fell into the enemy's hands, and the two brigades were hurled back. Beatty's brigade of Negley's division had been the first to come to Baird's assistance. General Thomas says :

" Beatty, meeting with greatly superior numbers, was compelled to fall back until relieved by the fire of several regiments of Palmer's reserve which I had ordered to the support of the left, being placed in position by General Baird, and which, with the cooperation of Van Derveer's brigade (1) of Brannan's division, and a portion of Stanley's brigade of Negley's division, drove the enemy entirely from Baird's left and rear."

    Here was quite a sensation made by Breckinridge's two thousand men. American troops cannot stand flank and rear attacks. While Breckinridge was thus alarming Thomas for his left, Cleburne was having a bloody fight with the forces behind the breastworks. From want of alignment before the battle, Deshler's brigade had to be taken out that it might not overlap Stewart. L. E. Polk's brigade soon encountered the enemy behind his logs, and after an obstinate contest was driven back. Wood's (Confederate) brigade on the left had almost reached Poe's house (the burning house) on the Chattanooga road, when he was subjected to a heavy enfilading and direct fire, and driven back with great loss. Cleburne withdrew his division four hundred yards behind the crest of a hill. The gallant young brigadier Deshler was killed while executing the movement, and his brigade then fell into the able hands of Colonel R. Q. Mills. The fierce fight on our right lasted until 10: 30 A. M. It was an unequal contest of two small divisions against four full ones behind fortifications. Surely, there were never nobler leaders than Breckinridge and Cleburne, and surely never were nobler troops led on a more desperate "forlorn-hope "-against odds in numbers and superiority in position and equipment. But their unsurpassed and unsurpassable valor was not thrown away. Before a single Confederate soldier had come to their relief, Rosecrans ordered up other troops to the aid of Thomas, in addition to those already mentioned. At 10:10 A. NT. he ordered McCook to be ready at 10:30; Sheridan's division to support Thomas.

(1) General Adams Was captured by Van Derveer's men.-D. H. H.

    General McCook says that he executed the order and marched the men at double-quick. This weakening of his right by Rosecrans to support his left was destined soon to be his ruin. So determined had been the assaults of Breckinridge and Cleburne, that, though repulsed and badly punished, they were not pursued by the enemy, who did not venture outside of his works.
    At 11 A. M. Stewart's division advanced under an immediate order from Bragg. His three brigades under Brown, Clayton, and Bate advanced with Wood of Cleburne's division, and, as General Stewart says, " pressed on past the corn-field in front of the burnt house, two or three hundred yards beyond the Chattanooga road, driving the enemy within his line of intrenchments. . . . Here they encountered a fresh artillery fire on front and flank, heavily supported by infantry, and had to retire." This was the celebrated attack upon Reynolds and Brannan which led directly to the Federal disaster. In the meantime our right was preparing to renew the attack. I proposed to the wing commander, Polk, to make a second advance, provided fresh troops were sent forward, requesting that the gap in Breckinridge's left, made by the withdrawal of Helm, should be filled by another brigade. General J. K. Jackson's was sent for that purpose, but unfortunately took its position too far in rear to engage the attention of the enemy in front, and every advance on our right during the remainder of the day was met with flank and cross fire from that quarter. Gist's brigade and Liddell's division of Walker's corps reported to me. Gist immediately attacked with great vigor the log-works which had repulsed Helm so disastrously, and he in turn was driven back. Liddell might have made as great an impression by moving on the Chattanooga road as Breckinridge had done , but his strong brigade (Walthall s) was detached, and he advanced with Govan's alone, seized the road for the second time that day, and was moving behind the breastworks, when, a column of the enemy appearing on his flank and rear, he was compelled to retreat.
    This was simultaneous with the advance of Stewart. The heavy pressure on Thomas caused Rosecrans to support him by sending the divisions of Negley and Van Cleve and Brannan's reserve brigade. In the course of these changes, an order to Wood, which Rosecrans claims was misinterpreted, led to a gap being left into which Longstreet stepped with the eight brigades (Bushrod Johnson's original brigade and McNair's, Gregg's, Kershaw's Law's, , Humphreys s, Banning's, and Robertson's) which he had arranged in three lines to constitute his grand column of attack. Davis's two brigades, one of Van Cleve's, and Sheridan's entire division were caught in front and flank and driven from the field. Disregarding the order of the day, Longstreet now gave the order to wheel to the right instead of the left, and thus take in reverse the strong position of the enemy. Five of McCook's brigades were speedily driven off the field. He estimates their loss at forty per cent. Certainly that flank march was a bloody one. I have never seen the Federal dead lie so thickly on the ground, save in front of the sunken wall at Fredericksburg.
    But that indomitable Virginia soldier, George H. Thomas, (1) was there and was destined to save the Union army from total rout and ruin, by confronting with invincible pluck the forces of his friend and captain in the Mexican war. Thomas had ridden to his right to hurry up reenforcements, when he discovered a line advancing, which he thought at first was the expected succor from Sheridan, but he soon heard that it was a rebel column marching upon him. He chose a strong position on a spur of Missionary Ridge, running east and west, placed upon it Brannan's division with portions of two brigades of Negley's ; Wood's division (Crittenden's) was placed on Brannan's left. These troops, with such as could be rallied from the two broken corps, were all he had to confront the forces of Longstreet, until Steedman's division of Granger's corps came to his relief about 3 P. M. Well and nobly did Thomas and his gallant troops hold their own against foes flushed with past victory and confident of future success. His new line was nearly at right angles with the line of log-works on the west side of the Rossville road, his right being an almost impregnable wall-like hill, his left nearly an inclosed fortification. Our only hope of success was to get in his rear by moving far to our right, which overlapped the Federal left.
    Bushrod Johnson's three brigades in Longstreet's center were the first to fill the gap left by Wood's withdrawal from the Federal right; but the other five brigades under Hindman and Kershaw. moved promptly into line as soon as space could be found for them, wheeled to the right, and engaged in the murderous flank attack. On they rushed, shouting, yelling, running over batteries, capturing trains, taking prisoners, seizing the headquarters of the Federal commander, at the Widow Glenn's, until they found themselves facing the new Federal line on Snodgrass .Hill. Hindman had advanced a little later than the center, and had met great and immediate success. The brigades of Deas and Manigault charged the breastworks at double-quick, rushed over them, drove Laiboldt's Federal brigade of Sheridan's division off the field down the Rossville road ; then General Patton Anderson's brigade of Hindman, having come into line, attacked and beat back the forces of Davis, Sheridan, and Wilder (2) in their front, killed the hero and poet General Lytle,

(1) Bragg had great respect and affection for the first lieutenant of his battery. The tones of tenderness with Which he spoke of " Old Tom" are still remembered by me.-D. H. H.

(2) James Burns, 39th Indiana Mounted Infantry, writes to the editors from Harper, Kansas :

"Wilder's brigade, with Colonel T. J. Harrison's 39th Indiana Mounted Infantry regiment, Which was ordered to report to Colonel Wilder about 9 o'clock A. M. of the 20th of September, was stationed on a hill about one-third of a mile in the rear of the line of battle, the 39th on the left of the brigade. A few minutes after 11 o'clock A. M. the brigade was ordered to advance across the valley where the ammunition train was stationed, and up the hill to the support of Captain Lilly's battery, and to hold the hill at all hazards until the train was got out of the way. My company, ` A,' 39th Indiana, was in advance, and on reaching the brow of the hill Major Evans gave tho commands, `39th Indiana on left into line' ; `Fire at will.' At a distance of less than fifty yards six solid lines of gray were coming with their hats down, their bayonets at a charge, and the old familiar rebel yell. Our first volley did not check their advance, but as volley after volley from our Spencer rifles followed, with scarce a second's intermission, and regiment after regiment came on left into line on our right, and poured the same steady, deadly fire into their fast-thinning ranks, they broke and fled.

"Colonel Wilder and Colonel Harrison rode along our lines, directing that if they charged us again, no shot must be fired until the word of command was given. In a few moments those lines of gray once more emerged from the sheltering timber on the opposite side of the field, and steadily, as if on parade, they advanced to the charge till the line had reached to the point at which they broke before, when the command ` Fire' was given, and again they broke and fled in wild confusion. Three times more did those brave men advance at a charge, and each time were they hurled back. A lieutenant of the 17th Indiana went down with a few men under cover of the fire of the brigade, and brought in the flag of an Alabama regiment. We then received orders to move off, remount and guard the ammunition train to Chattanooga, which we did successfully."

took 1100 prisoners, 27 pieces of artillery, commissary and ordnance trains, etc. Finding no more resistance on his front and left, Hindman wheeled to the right to assist the forces of the center. The divisions of Stewart, Hood, Bushrod Johnson, and Hindman came together in front of the new stronghold of the Federals.
    It was now 2:30 P. M. Longstreet, with his staff, was lunching on sweet potatoes. A message came just then that the commanding general wished to see him. He found Bragg in rear of his lines, told him of the steady and satisfactory progress of the battle, that sixty pieces of artillery had been reported captured (though probably the number was over-estimated), that many prisoners and stores had been taken, and that all was going well. He then asked for additional troops to hold the ground gained, while he pursued the two broken corps down the Dry Valley road and cut oft the retreat of Thomas. Bragg replied that there was no more fight in the troops of Polk's wing, that he could give Longstreet no reenforcements, and that his headquarters would be at Reed's Bridge. He seems not to have known that Cheatham's division and part of Liddell's had not been in action that day.(1)
   Some of the severest fighting had yet to be done after 3 P. M. It probably never happened before for a great battle to be fought to its bloody conclusion with the commanders of each side away from the field of conflict. But the Federals were in the hands of the indomitable Thomas, and the Confederates were under their two heroic wing commanders Longstreet and Polk. In the lull of the strife I went with a staff-officer to examine the ground on our left.
    One of Helm's wounded men had been overlooked, and was lying alone in the woods, his head partly supported by a tree. He was shockingly injured.(2)

(1) General Longstreet wrote to me in July, 1884 :

"It is my opinion that Bragg thought at 3 P. M. that the battle was lost, though he did not say so positively, I asked him at that time to reenforce me with a few troops that had not been so severely engaged as mine, and to allow me to go down the Dry Valley road, so as to interpose behind Thomas and cut off his retreat to Chattanooga, at the same time pursuing the troops that I had beaten back from my front. His reply, as well as I can remember, was that he had no troops except my own that had any fight left in them, and that I should remain in the position in which I then was. After telling me this, he left me, saying, ' General, if anything happens, communicate with me at Reed's Bridge.' In reading Bragg's report, I was struck with his remark that the morning after the battle `he found the ever-vigilant General Liddell feeling his way to find the enemy.' Inasmuch as every one in his army was supposed to know on the night of the battle that we had won a complete victory, it seemed to me quite ludicrous that an officer should be commended for his vigilance the next morning in looking for the enemy in his immediate presence. I know that I was then laying a plan by which we might overhaul the enemy at Chattanooga or between that point and Nashville. It did not occur to me on the night of the 20th to send Bragg word of our complete success. I thought that the loud huzzas that spread over the field just at dark were a sufficient assurance and notice to any one within five miles of us. . . . Rosecrans speaks particularly of his apprehension that I would move down the Dry Valley road." D. H. H.

(2) He belonged to Von Zinken's regiment, of New Orleans, composed of French, Germans, and Irish. I said to him : " My poor fellow, you are badly hurt. what regiment do you belong to f " He replied : " The Fifth Confederit, and a dommed good regiment it is." The answer, though almost ludicrous, touched me as illustrating the esprit de corps of the soldier-his pride in and his affection for his command. Colonel Von Zinken told me afterward that one of his desperately wounded Irishmen cried out to his comrades, " Charge them, boys; they have chaase (cheese) in their haversacks." Poor Pat, he has fought courageously in every land in quarrels not his own.- D. H. H.

    Hindman and Bushrod Johnson organized a column of attack upon the front and rear of the stronghold of Thomas. It consisted of the brigades of Deas, Manigault, Gregg, Patton, Anderson, and McNair. Three of the brigades, Johnson says, had each but five hundred men, and the other two were not strong. Deas was on the north side of the gorge through which the Crawfish road crosses, Manigault across the gorge and south, on the crest parallel to the Snodgrass Hill, where Thomas was. The other three brigades extended along the crest with their faces north, while the first two faced east. Kershaw, with his own and Humphreys's brigade, was on the right of Anderson and was to cooperate in the movement. It began at 3:30 P. M. A terrific contest ensued. The bayonet was used, and men were killed and wounded with clubbed muskets. A little after 4, the enemy was reenforced, and advanced, but was repulsed by Anderson and Kershaw.
    General Bushrod Johnson claims that his men were surely, if slowly, gaining ground at all points, which must have made untenable the stronghold of Thomas. Relief was, however, to come to our men, so hotly engaged on the left, by the advance of the right. At 3 P. M. Forrest reported to me that a strong column was approaching from Rossville, which he was delaying all he could.
    From prisoners we soon learned that it was Granger's corps. We were apprehensive that a flank attack, by fresh troops, upon our exhausted and shattered ranks might prove fatal. Major-General Walker strongly advised falling back to the position of Cleburne, but to this I would not consent, believing that it would invite attack, as we were in full view. (1) Cheatham's fine division was sent to my assistance by the wing commander. But Granger, who had gallantly marched without orders to the relief of Thomas, moved on " to the sound of the firing, attacked with vigor and broke

(1) Major-General Walker claims that he proposed to me to make an advance movement with his whole corps, and complains that his command was disintegrated by sending it in by brigades.

General Walker did propose, as he says, to fall back and align upon Cleburne, when we saw Granger's corps approaching on our right, and I did refuse to permit this, believing that a withdrawal in full view of Granger would invite an attack upon our flank, and this might be fatal to troops more or less demoralized by the bloody repulse which they had sustained. The proposal to advance with his whole corps was never heard by me, and was, at best, impossible, as two of his five brigades had been detached, the one by Polk and the other by myself, to fill gaps in the line: D. H. H.

our line." (1) Rosecrans thus describes the timely help afforded by Granger to the sorely beset Thomas :
    " Arrived in sight, Granger discovered at once the peril and the point of danger - the gap - and quick as thought he directed his advance brigade upon the enemy. General Steedman, taking a regimental color, led the column. Swift was the charge and terrible the conflict, but the enemy was broken. A thousand of our brave men killed and wounded paid for its possession." Longstreet was determined to send Preston with his division of three brigades under Gracie, Trigg, and Kelly, aided by Robertson's brigade of Hood's division, to carry the heights - the main point of defense. His troops were of the best material and had been in reserve all day ; but brave, fresh, and strong as they were, it was with them alternate advance and retreat, until success was assured by a renewal of the fight on the right. At 3:30 P. M. General Polk sent an order to me to assume command of the attacking forces on the right and renew the assault. Owing to a delay in the adjustment of our lines, the advance did not begin until 4 o'clock. The men sprang to their arms with the utmost alacrity, though they had not heard of Longstreet's success, and they showed by their cheerfulness that there was plenty of " fight in them." Cleburne ran forward his batteries, some by hand, to within three hundred yards of the enemy's breastworks, pushed forward his infantry, and carried them. General J. K. Jackson, of' Cheatham's division, had a bloody struggle with the fortifications in his front, but had entered them when Cheatham with two more of his brigades, Maney's and Wright's, came up. Breckinridge and Walker met with but little opposition until the Chattanooga road was passed, when their right was unable to overcome the forces covering the enemy's retreat. As we passed into the woods west of the road, it was reported to me that a line was advancing at right angles to ours. I rode to the left to ascertain whether they were foes or friends, and soon recognized General Buckner. The cheers that went up when the two wings met were such as I had never heard before, and shall never hear again.
    Preston gained the heights a half hour later, capturing 1000 prisoners and 4500 stand of arms. But neither right nor left is entitled to the laurels of a complete triumph. It was the combined attack which, by weakening the enthusiasm of the brave warriors who had stood on the defense so long and so obstinately, won the day.
    Thomas had received orders after Granger's arrival to retreat to Rossville, but, stout soldier as he was, he resolved to hold his ground until nightfall. An hour more of daylight would have insured his capture. Thomas had under him all the Federal army, except the six brigades which had been driven off by the left wing.(2)

(1) According to the official returns the entire loss during the afternoon in Steedman's two brigades [including 613 captured or missing] was 1787. A Federal writer says that of the eight staff-officers of Brig.-Gen. Whitaker " three were killed, three wounded, and one killed or captured."- D. H. H.

(2) In regard to the relative strength of the two armies, Colonel Archer Anderson says:

"From an examination of the original returns in the war Department, I reckon, in round numbers, the Federal infantry and artillery on the field at 59,000, and the Confederate infantry and artillery at 55,000. The Federal cavalry, about 10,000 strong, was outnumbered by the Confederates by 1000 men. Thus speak the returns. Perhaps a deduction of 5000 men from the reported strength of each army would more nearly represent the actual strength of the combatants. But in any case it is, I think, certain that Rosecrans was stronger in infantry and artillery than Bragg by at least 4000 men." The Federal estimate of their loss, in captured or missing, is below the mark by 1000, if the Confederate claim of the capture of 6500 prisoners is correct. The Confederates also claim to have taken 51 pieces of artillery, 15,000 stand of arms, and a large amount of ordnance stores, camp-equipage, etc.-D. H. H.

    Whatever blunders each of us in authority committed before the battles of the 19th and 20th, and during their progress, the great blunder of all was that of not pursuing the enemy on the 21st. The day was spent in burying the dead and gathering up captured stores. Forrest, with his usual promptness, was early in the saddle, and saw that the retreat was a rout. Disorganized masses of men were hurrying to the rear ; batteries of artillery were inextricably mixed with trains of wagons ; disorder and confusion pervaded the broken ranks struggling to get on. Forrest sent back word to Bragg that " every hour was worth a thousand men." But the commander-in-chief did not know of the victory until the morning of the 21st, and then he did not order a pursuit. Rosecrans spent the day and the night of the 21st in hurrying his trains out of town. A breathing-space was allowed him ; the panic among his troops subsided, and Chattanooga - the objective point of the campaign-was held. There was no more splendid fighting in '61, when the flower of the Southern youth was in the field, than was displayed in those bloody days of September, '63. But it seems to me that the elan of the Southern soldier was never seen after Chickamauga - that brilliant dash which had distinguished him was gone forever. He was too intelligent not to know that the cutting in two of Georgia meant death to all his hopes. He knew that Longstreet's absence was imperiling Lee's safety, and that what had to be done must be done quickly. The delay in striking was exasperating to him; the failure to strike after the success was crushing to all his longings for an independent South. He fought stoutly to the last, but, after Chickamauga, with the sullenness of despair and without the enthusiasm of hope.
    That " barren victory" sealed the fate of the Southern Confederacy.
Source: Battles and Leaders of the Civil War

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