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Missionary Ridge, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (search for this): chapter 31
rown away by the failure to follow it up promptly. Our troops were eager to advance, and could not understand the delay on the battle-ground all next day. Finally, when we did move, it was not directly on Chattanooga. Had the victory been followed up, as advised by General Longstreet and General Forrest, there is little doubt but that we would have taken Chattanooga at once, and, probably, have broken up Rosecranz's army. I was sent forward with communications to General Forrest on Missionary Ridge, and heard him express the opinion that he could drive the wreck of Rosecranz's army into or across the Tennessee river with the cavalry force of our army alone. No one chafed at our inactivity more than this hard-fighting cavalry general, and more than once he sent back messages to General Bragg, urging the importance of pushing the defeated enemy. Becoming interested in the subject, under the influence of the old-soldier habit of talking over past battles, I have written more than
Macon (Georgia, United States) (search for this): chapter 31
army alone. No one chafed at our inactivity more than this hard-fighting cavalry general, and more than once he sent back messages to General Bragg, urging the importance of pushing the defeated enemy. Becoming interested in the subject, under the influence of the old-soldier habit of talking over past battles, I have written more than I intended at the start. I regret that I have had to make so frequent use of the pronoun I, but I trust I have not done so in a way to indicate a want of proper modesty. I regret that a want of experience in the role of newspaper correspondent makes it almost a necessity for me to write in the first person. The details as to my personal services in different commands in this engagement, are given to show that I was so situated as to be able to see very much of the operations of our troops, and those points, of which I have written minutely, are indelibly fixed in my memory as an actor or eye-witness in the scenes. Macon, Ga., April 5th, 1883.
Tennessee River (United States) (search for this): chapter 31
on the battle-ground all next day. Finally, when we did move, it was not directly on Chattanooga. Had the victory been followed up, as advised by General Longstreet and General Forrest, there is little doubt but that we would have taken Chattanooga at once, and, probably, have broken up Rosecranz's army. I was sent forward with communications to General Forrest on Missionary Ridge, and heard him express the opinion that he could drive the wreck of Rosecranz's army into or across the Tennessee river with the cavalry force of our army alone. No one chafed at our inactivity more than this hard-fighting cavalry general, and more than once he sent back messages to General Bragg, urging the importance of pushing the defeated enemy. Becoming interested in the subject, under the influence of the old-soldier habit of talking over past battles, I have written more than I intended at the start. I regret that I have had to make so frequent use of the pronoun I, but I trust I have not don
Missionary Ridge (Georgia, United States) (search for this): chapter 31
iscovered that Stewart's division had been extended too far to the right and was in front of Cheatham's line. This necessitated further delay here, Cheatham being halted where he stood, was held in reserve. While waiting here, Captain Scott, who had left his sick bed at Lafayette, came up with an order from General Polk directing me to turn over the command of his battery to Captain Scott and to report to General Polk for staff duty. From this time until the arrival of our army at Missionary Ridge I served on General Leonidas Polk's staff. I found staff duty by no means the sinecure so many of us had been disposed to consider it, and being kept actively moving here and there with orders, I was an eye-witness to much of the movement and fighting on the right wing of our army. Our right beyond Cheatham was formed in a single line throughout, I think. At least I can remember no point on a large extent of this wing, along which I repeatedly rode with orders, where a second line in
tirely wrong, however, in his account of a conflict between the troops of Cheatham and Sheridan. These two commands never fought face to face at all, Sheridan being further to our left, in front of Hood. From time to time during the fight we could tell when fresh troops were thrown against us by the way they opened fire, but our men met and repulsed each successive assault. Your correspondent mentions that up to this point the divisions of Brannan, Baird, Johnson, Palmer, Van Cleve and Reynolds, were all sent forward, and each in turn, although fighting stubbornly, was driven back by the force of the attack from masses of fresh troops, whereas, as a matter of fact, up to that time the only Confederate forces opposed to them had been Forrest's cavalry, and Walker's and Cheatham's divisions of veteran troops. Holding the field against such odds, our losses were necessarily very heavy, and as a specimen of the mortality, I will state that the loss in my own battery, of four guns, wa
Robert E. Lee (search for this): chapter 31
e writer can learn, only the cavalry and two divisions of infantry had crossed. Other portions of the army crossed at different points after sunrise on the 19th, and still other considerable bodies of our troops were not brought over till late in the day, and did not appear on the field of battle at all. Cheatham's division crossed at Hunt's ford long after sunrise on the 19th, and was not moved to the front till several hours later. My recollection is that a demonstration was made near Lee & Gordon's mill while troops were being crossed further to the right. The first fighting on our side in the battle of the 19th was by Forrest's cavalry, which was reinforced by Walker's division, and these two commands did all the fighting on our right until after midday. As Cheatham's division was moving rapidly to the right to support Walker, we passed by a large body of troops so much better dressed than any in our army, that there was a general inquiry as to what command they belonged
of Bragg's line, and these sounds showed us that our troops under Longstreet were driving back Rosecranz's right. The troops of Thomas had ample opportunity to hear it, too, and doubtless understoodreet, and leave upon the mind of his readers the impression that having broken up the right of Rosecranz's army, Longstreet changed front to the right and drove Thomas from his strong position on thereat odds. It is probable that Bragg's loss in killed and wounded was heavier than that of Rosecranz. Fighting at such disadvantage our troops suffered severely in the desperate charges against s little doubt but that we would have taken Chattanooga at once, and, probably, have broken up Rosecranz's army. I was sent forward with communications to General Forrest on Missionary Ridge, and heard him express the opinion that he could drive the wreck of Rosecranz's army into or across the Tennessee river with the cavalry force of our army alone. No one chafed at our inactivity more than
Lucius E. Polk (search for this): chapter 31
line. The gallant Kentuckians under Helm, and Lucius E. Polk's brigade on their left, made desperate assaultficers were sent hither and thither with orders, Generals Polk and D. H. Hill held a consultation. This consuleral Cleburne for certain information desired by General Polk, I found the two Lieutenant-Generals still in corespectful distance, I dismounted and awaited General Polk's pleasure as to receiving my report. The Generd what was the point at issue between them, but soon Polk's staff-officers were all busy with orders for carrybe the rear man in this retreat. Major Richmond, of Polk's staff, was missing early that afternoon, and we af to the right of the angle in the Federal works-Lucius E. Polk's brigade being placed, if I remember correctlyificance of this, as an artillery man, he called General Polk's attention to the fact that they had probably eutter confusion, back on the main line. Here General L. E. Polk said to me: Go back and tell the old general
ht. He is entirely wrong, however, in his account of a conflict between the troops of Cheatham and Sheridan. These two commands never fought face to face at all, Sheridan being further to our left, in front of Hood. From time to time during the fight we could tell when fresh troops were thrown against us by the way they opened fire, but our men met and repulsed each successive assault. Your correspondent mentions that up to this point the divisions of Brannan, Baird, Johnson, Palmer, Van Cleve and Reynolds, were all sent forward, and each in turn, although fighting stubbornly, was driven back by the force of the attack from masses of fresh troops, whereas, as a matter of fact, up to that time the only Confederate forces opposed to them had been Forrest's cavalry, and Walker's and Cheatham's divisions of veteran troops. Holding the field against such odds, our losses were necessarily very heavy, and as a specimen of the mortality, I will state that the loss in my own battery, of
Preston Smith (search for this): chapter 31
e division in search of General Cheatham, to report the loss of his guns. Meeting first General Preston Smith, that officer on learning my mission, said I was just the man he wanted. That the captad I'll give you plenty of it. Accepting the offer, I took command of Scott's battery, under General Smith, until that gallant general was shot after dark. Our command had halted in line in the forest after the last advance, and General Smith, with his staff, riding a short distance in front, discovered a small body of detached troops, whose answer to a challenge showed them to belong to the enemy. When called on to surrender they fired a straggling volley, which killed General Smith and an officer on his staff. Having safely passed through the dangers of the thickest fight he met his deabling them to strengthen their position. I was still in command of Scott's battery attached to Smith's brigade (now under Vaughan) and I well remember that for nearly two hours I sat on my horse in
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