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[411] artillery was wheeled into position, and the marching columns facing to the right stood in order of battle looking toward the east.

An hour or two longer and the sun rose in glory, thawed the crisp white frost which had collected upon the grass, dispersed the mists that had gathered around the tops of the mountains, and sending a golden light into the valley of the Chickamauga, showed at least two thirds of the Union army drawn up in battle array. Not that any individual, save old Sol, could see them all; for the peculiar nature of the ground, covered almost everywhere with thick woods, rendered it impossible in many places to see even the whole of a single regiment.

As soon as the sun was fairly risen, I mounted my horse, intending to ride to the extreme left of our line, and thence to proceed from left to right, so as to get as accurate an idea of it as possible before the real work of the day should commence. Riding about a mile I saw troops coming into the road from the woods to the east of it, and had I not perceived through my glass that they were habited in blue, I should have judged, from the direction whence they came, that they were a portion of the rebel army. Suddenly I saw a courier shoot out from the crowd and coming toward me hatless and with frantic speed.

As he came, a dozen rifle-cracks from the woods skirting a corn-field along which he was passing, informed me that hostile demonstrations of some kind were being made in our immediate vicinity. I halted until the courier came up. He delivered his despatches to another horseman, who immediately started with them toward the headquarters of General Thomas. I then asked the hatless courier what troops those were ahead. He informed me that they were the two brigades (Colonel Mitchell's and Colonel McCook's) of General Gordon's corps, who had been skirmishing the day before in the neighborhood of Reid's Bridge and of Ringgold, as I have already described. They had come to form a junction with the main army, had halted and were waiting for orders.

Soon after this, an order from General Rosecrans, which had reached General Granger by another route, directed the two brigades to fall back at once to Rossville, get a supply of rations for three days, and hold themselves in readiness to march at a moment's notice. As the close proximity of the rebels rendered it somewhat difficult just then to reach General Baird's men, who were nearest to me on the right, I “fell back” with General Granger's troops, and remained in the vicinity of Rossville until the sounds of battle in the direction whence I had come attracted my attention. A wild gallop back to the left immediately ensued.

A few miles' riding brought us so far on the way that we began to get glimpses of that stream of wreck, debris, mingled life and mangled humanity which always flows from a battle-field. For a time we asked the news of each one we came to, and the replies filled us alternately with sorrow, with indignation, with keen apprehension, and with hopes.

One said the battle had been going on several hours, and our arms had met with disaster along the whole line.

Another declared that although unsuccessful at first, our troops at length recovered their ground, and were now driving the enemy.

Here comes a single soldier, covered with dust and sweat. Let us question him.

“Where do you belong?” “To the regular brigade.” “Has it been engaged this morning?” “I should think it had.” “With what result?” “It is nearly all cut to pieces.” “Which regiment is yours?” “The Sixteenth United infantry.” “Did it suffer much?” “Only thirty or forty of its members are left.”

Here is a man with an arm roughly bandaged and very bloody. The blood has dried upon it and hangs to it in great black clots. “Who are you?” “Private----, of the Thirty-eighth Indiana.” “What news have you?” “Bad enough.” “Has your regiment been in the fight?” “If it has not no one has.” “With what result?” “One third of its members are killed and wounded.” “Were you whipped?” “Our brigade was left unsupported, overpowered by numbers, and compelled for a time to give way.” “Is Colonel Scribner safe?” “So far as I know, he is.”

Another with a ghastly wound in the head has upon his jacket the red stripes which show him to be an artilleryman. “Whose battery do you belong to?” “Guenther's.” “Why, that is the regular battery belonging to General King's brigade; what has it been doing?” “It has all been taken by the enemy.” “Can that be possible?” “It is, but I have heard since that it was retaken.” “How came it to be lost?” “The infantry supports gave way, and the horses being nearly all killed, of course the guns were captured.”

The stream grew stronger and stronger. Stragglers were run over by wagons dashing back toward the rear. Ambulances, filled with wounded, came in long procession from toward where the battle was raging. Men with wounds of every imaginable description not affecting their locomotion, came staggering by on foot, and scores even of those who had been shot in their lower limbs, hobbled slowly on through blinding masses of dust, which at times concealed every thing from view.

At length we reached the hospital for General Brannan's division. The house had already been filled. The outhouses had been brought into requisition, and large numbers of sufferers. were lying on the ground in the yard. In one corner was an operating table, beneath which lay the usual quantity of legs, arms, hands, feet, fingers, and toes. Here and there among the wounded were some cold and stiff, the seal of death upon their countenances. These had died after being carried to the yard.

During all this time the roar of battle in front of us never ceased for a moment, and now we

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