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Doc. 184.-battle of Chickamauga.1


Report of Major-General Crittenden

headquarters twenty-First army corps, Chattanooga, October 1, 1863.
sir: In obedience to directions from Department Headquarters, dated twenty-fifth ultimo, requiring me to forward as soon as practicable a report of the operations of my command during the late engagements, including a brief history of its movements from the time of crossing the Tennessee River up to the beginning of the battle, I have the honor to report:

1. The movements of the Twenty-first army corps, from the time of its crossing the Tennessee River, terminating on the nineteenth ultimo, when the battle of Chickamauga opened.

August 31.--My command, stationed in Sequatchie Valley, at Pikeville, Dunlap's, Thurman, respectively, excepting General Wagner's brigade, First division, opposite Chattanooga, and General Hazen at Hoe's Tavern, the latter fifteen miles north of Wagner, and both in Tennessee Valley. My command has been thus stationed since the nineteenth of August, having left Manchester, Tennessee, on the sixteenth of August, crossing the mountains at three different points, in obedience to orders from Department Headquarters, at half-past 12 A. M. of the sixteenth. At a quarter-past two P. A. I received your orders of the thirtieth, dated thirty minutes past twelve P. M., to move my entire command, except the brigades of Generals Hazen and Wagner, as soon as practicable, down the Sequatchie Valley, and to supply myself with every thing necessary for an active campaign. The orders further directed me to cross my trains at Bridgeport, and my troops at Bridgeport, Shellmound, and Battle Creek. Should Chattanooga be evacuated, Hazen and Wagner were to cross the river and occupy the place, and close down upon our left. Colonel Minty, with his brigade of cavalry, and Colonel Wilder, with his brigade of mounted infantry, were to cooperate with Hazen and Wagner.

September 1.--My command all in motion. General Wood and his command arrived at Jasper, General Palmer within three miles of Jasper, and General Van Cleve within five miles of Dunlap.

September 20.--Received orders to cross the river with one brigade at Jasper Crossing, and one at Battle Creek; other part of the command to follow as soon as the way is opened.

Colonel Buell's brigade.--One division marched at dark to Shellmound, where he crossed the river in flats during the night.

September 3.--General Wood with his other brigade (Hooker's) moved down early this morning to Shellmound, and was across the river by eight P. M., having been delayed till two P. M. by General Reynolds's train.

Colonel Grove and his brigade (Palmer's division) moved down early this morning to Battle Creek, but were unable to secure the ferry, being used all day by General Brannan's division. General Graft and his brigade, Palmer's division, was therefore ordered to Shellmound, and he following close on General Wood, succeeded in crossing his command by four A. M. on Monday. General Van Cleve, with his two brigades, arrived at Jasper, and went into camp to await the crossing.

Received from the General Commanding orders for my movements and position after crossing the river, namely:

To move up the valley of Running Water Creek and Whiteside, where I was to post one regiment and send one division along the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad to the Trenton road, and to push forward as near to Chattanooga as practicable, and threaten the enemy in that direction. The remainder of the command to occupy a position near the junction of the Murphy Valley road, the road marked on the map as good wagon road to Taylor's. The movement to be completed on the evening of the fourth.

September 4.--At twenty minutes past three A. M., received word from General Graft that his brigade was all over. Moved General Van Cleve at once, and at one P. M. moved headquarters to Shellmound, which crossed before night. General Palmer succeeded in crossing with his own brigade at Battle Creek to-day. Thus the whole command was over the river.

September 5.--At thirty minutes past two P. M., after having the command organized and in position, and with all of the ammunition and most of the transportation up, troops all moved out light to Whiteside. General Wood in the advance, General Palmer centre, and General Van Cleve rear, taking with them their ammunition trains. Regimental and supply trains to move up at five P. M. to-morrow. [525]

September 6.--Road up Running Water Creek rough but passable. At thirty minutes past nine A. M. arrived at junction of Murphy Valley and Nicajack road, and encamped there as ordered. Generals Palmer and Van Cleve and their divisions following us, and General Wood and his division pursuing road up Running Water Creek, and encamping seven miles from Chattanooga, reporting that the enemy was close before him in force.

September 7.--Colonel Harker, with his brigade, made a very satisfactory reconnoissance to spur of Lookout Mountain, drove the enemy's pickets and light advance two miles, and returned by dark, believing the enemy in force in his front.

September 8.--Gave orders to make two reconnoissances to-morrow morning, the one up Lookout Mountain, via Nicajack Trace, and for which General Beatty and his brigade was detailed; the other up same mountain to Summertown, for which Colonel Gross and three regiments was detailed, both to unite, if practicable, on top of the mountain, and to start on or before day to-morrow.

September 9.--At twenty minutes past two A. M., received despatch from the General commanding the army, approving the two reconnoissances ordered, and directing that the whole command be held in readiness to move round the point of Lookout Mountain, to seize and occupy Chattanooga, in the event of its being evacuated. To move with caution, and not to throw my artillery around the point of Lookout Mountain till I am satisfied that the evacuation is not a ruse. Should I occupy Chattanooga, I am to order General Wagner and all his force across to join me. At forty-five minutes past five A. M., further despatches from Department Headquarters apprising me of the evacuation of Chattanooga, and ordering that the whole command be pushed forward at once with five days rations, and to make a vigorous pursuit. This later despatch was too late to stop the reconnoissances ordered; but I lost no time in putting the balance of the command in motion, and arrived in Chattanooga with General Wood's division at thirty minutes past twelve P. M., having taken peaceable possession of same. It was nightfall, however, before the troops were well up, owing to the great delay in getting the artillery and ammunition train up this very rough and precipitous hill. It was thus impossible to make any pursuit to-day. I, however, ordered Generals Palmer and Van Cleve to turn off south after having passed the spur of Lookout Mountain, and encamp at Rossville, distant five miles from Chattanooga. General Wood I placed in command of the town.

At fifteen minutes past two P. M., I received further instructions from Department Headquarters, ordering me to leave a light brigade to hold Chattanooga, and with the balance of my command to pursue the enemy with the utmost vigor. The line of march would probably lead me near Ringgold, and from thence in the vicinty of Dalton.

September 10.--Generals Palmer and Van Cleve with their division ordered to make vigorous pursuit early this morning, marching on the road from Rossville to Ringgold, thence to Dalton. General Wood, after leaving one brigade at Chattanooga, to follow with his two brigades in the same direct line. General Wagner, with his brigade, having crossed during the night, was left as post commander. At four P. M., received report from General Palmer, that owing to want of supplies, troops only marched six miles, the advance encamping at Chickamauga Creek, five miles from Ringgold — the rear, General Wood, on Pea Vine Creek, two miles to the rear of advance. Also, that the enemy's cavalry was in his front, and that a portion of it had charged his advance, rode over four companies of the First Kentucky infantry, and captured fifty men and two officers, without any one on either side being hurt. At night received from the front several reports, going to show that the enemy was in force this side of Lafayette, and threatening to retake Chattanooga.

September 11, at 1 A. M.--The General Commanding feeling uncertain about the position and strength of the enemy in our front, ordered me to proceed to the front at once. Was misled by the guide and did not reach my command until six A. M. ; and two of my orderlies on duty with Captain McCook in search of me, thinking I had taken the wrong road, were captured, he narrowly escaping. Early in the morning, Colonel Harker, with his brigade, was moved back to Rossville, and by night made a reconnoissance up the Rossville road as far as Gordon's Mills, driving squads of the enemy before him. At half-past 2 P. M. gave General Wood his orders through one of my staff, who received them in person from Department Headquarters to move his other brigade at once to Gordon's Mills to support Colonel Harker, and at five P. M. my staff-officer reported to me at Ringgold. My entire second and third divisions were then at Ringgold. General Hazen, with his brigade, having crossed the river yesterday, rejoined his division (Palmer's) to-day. Colonel Deck, with second brigade, Van Cleve's division, (left at McMinnville to guard stores,) rejoined his command on the ninth. Your instructions received at this time, and dated a quarter-past nine A. M., were to move with the balance of my corps on the Chickamauga and Pea Vine Valley roads, keeping in view two objects: first to support General Thomas, in case the enemy is in force in the vicinity of Lafayette; or second, to move eastward and southward toward Rome, in case he has continued his retreat. Other verbal instructions received by my staff-officer urged upon me the importance of keeping my separate divisions in supporting distance of one another. At half-past 8 A. M. I received your despatch of half-past 3 P. M., informing me that the enemy was in heavy force in the valley of Chattanooga, and instructing me to move my whole force across by the most available route, and as quickly as possible, to the Rossville and Lafayette road, to some defensible point between Gordon's Mills and [526] Shield's House, and to close Wood up with me or myself to him. I at once called my general officers together, and after a long consultation and diligent inquiry of citizens as to the nature of the roads and country, gave orders to move the command in the direction ordered at five in the morning.

September 12.--Sent word early this morning to Colonel Wilder, who was in the advance and near Tunnel Hill, to return to Ringgold with his command, and to follow on my line of march, covering my left flank. He moved promptly and met me at Ringgold, and reported that the enemy was in force in his front last night, and that he learned from deserters that Forrest was to leave to-day to flank and cut off this command, and Warton in an opposite direction to the same purpose. General Van Cleve, with the train, moved to Pecler's, and met no enemy; General Palmer to Gilbert's, where he met some squads of the enemy, and skirmished with him. After opening communicaton with General Van Cleve and General Wood, moved the whole command to Gordon's Mills, Colonel Wilder also coming in after night, having had a severe skirmish during the day near Leet's tan-yard, and losing thirty men killed and wounded.

September 13.--In the morning, the Fourth United States cavalry, six hundred and fifty strong, reported to me for duty. The three divisions were put into position for defence. General Graft and Colonel Wilder sent out to reconnoitre on the left, the Fourth cavalry on the right, to McLemore's Cove, and General Van Cleve to the front and centre on Lafayette road. The latter only found the enemy, (cavalry with artillery,) who retired skirmishing a distance of three miles, when the brigade was halted, and soon after returned to camp. In this skirmish Captain Drury, Chief of artillery, Third division, was severely wounded. At half-past 2 P. M. received your despatches of twenty minutes past twelve and twenty-five minutes past two P. M., respectively, the former ordering me to post General Wood in a strong, defensible position at Gordon's Mills, for him to resist stoutly the enemy's advance, and in case of extremity, if Granger's forces (a division of infantry) has not arrived at Chattanooga, so as to support Wood at Rossville, and he (Wood) should be compelled to fall back further, he must take his position at a point guarding the road to Chattanooga and around the point of Lookout Mountain, and hold them at all hazards. To move the balance of my command during the evening and night to a position on Missionary Ridge, so as to cover the road along the valley of Chattanooga Creek, and to send Wilder with his command up Chattanooga Creek, and also that running up the valley of West Chickamauga Creek, to feel his way carefully, and who is to join General Thomas as soon as possible, the latter ordering me to hold myself in readiness to execute to-night the orders sent to me at twenty minutes past twelve to-day.

September 30, at half-past 6 A. M.--Received despatch from Colonel Goddard, stating that it was the instruction of the G<*>eral Commanding, that I should move before daylight to Mission Ridge, and that it was perhaps his unfortunate wording that prevented it. I at once commenced the movement. In the night Colonel Minty, with the balance of his cavalry brigade, reported for duty. I sent him in the rear of my two divisions. Wilder with his command I sent to join General Thomas, then in Chattanooga Valley. Arrived at the position soon after nine A. M., and staid there all day, being unable to have communication with Department Headquarters. Saw nothing of the enemy. At forty minutes past seven P. M., received orders to return with the command, placing it at Crawfish Spring or along the Chickamauga Valley, near Gowan's. Too late to make the movement to-day.

September 15.--The two divisions moved as directed last night; the left, Van Cleve's division, at Crawfish Springs; right — Palmer's, near Gowan's, and supported on its right by the Ninth Pennsylvania cavalry. Balance of the command under Minty sent to reconnoitre the whole front and left. At half-past 11 P. M., Colonel Minty reported that the enemy was in force at Dalton, Ringgold, Leet's, and Rockspring Church.

September 16.--Nothing occurred of peculiar interest this day, except that Department Headquarters were established at Crawfish Spring. At half-past 9 P. M., received orders to issue to the men three days rations in haversacks, and twenty rounds of ammunition in the pockets of each man, in addition to having the cartridge-box full. There are indications that the enemy is massing for another attack on our left.

September 17.--General Thomas with his corps arrived on our lines to-day. In the afternoon moved General Plamer's division further to the left, in order to make room for General Thomas's troops and to concentrate my own. Toward dark, in obedience to orders, moved Corps Headquarters in vicinity of Department Headquarters.

September 18.--At half-past 10 A. M., General Wood, holding position on Chickamauga at Gordon's Mills, sent in word that a strong force of skirmishers was advancing on his left. Soon after another of the staff rode up, reporting his line very thin and asking for a brigade. At eleven A. M. a third staff-officer rode up, reporting the enemy advancing on his right and on Van Cleve's left. At forty-five minutes past eleven an orderly came, reporting that the enemy, infantry, cavalry, and artillery, were advancing on the Lafayette road; at the same moment General Van Cleve was moving up to General Wood's left, and General Plamer was ordered to take Van Cleve's position on Wood's right. At forty-five minutes past three P. M., Colonel Wilder sent word that Colonel Minty with his cavalry, after being reenforced with two regiments of his, is falling back; that the enemy is getting in his (Wilder's) rear, and that he is also falling back on Wood. No firing to be heard. In the afternoon Palmer was ordered up to form on the left of Van Cleve's new position, on the line of the [527] Chickamauga River, which from Gordon's Mills runs in an easterly direction, while the road to Chattanooga via Rossville is nearly north or south. We hold the river at Gordon's Mills, but on our left the enemy's pickets were reported to be between the road and the river. I was informed by the General Commanding that we also occupied the bridge across the Chickamauga at Reid's Mills with one brigade of infantry, situated north-west of Gordon's Mills, and distant about three and a half miles; and thus the space between the two mills was in a great measure open to the enemy.

Report of the operations of the twenty-First army corps during the engagements of the nineteenth and Twentieth September, on Chickamauga River, Georgia.

For continuation of my report of the movements of the Twenty-first army corps since crossing the Tennessee River, and ending the eighteenth ultimo, the day preceding the battle, I have now the honor to report the operations of my command during the last engagements. It was four o'clock in the morning of the nineteenth before the last brigade of Major-General Palmer's division arrived at its position on the left of Brigadier-General Van Cleve. During the evening and night of the eighteenth, my command was placed in position as directed by the General commanding the Department, the right resting at Gordon's or Lee's Mills, and the left running north-easterly along the Chickamauga and the road to Rossville. On the morning of the nineteenth I rode to the extreme left of my line, and there being no appearance of the enemy in my front, at forty minutes past seven A. M. I ordered Colonel Gross, Major-General Palmer's division, with his brigade, then in reserve, to make a reconnoissance down the road, and in the direction of Reed's Mills, on the Chickamauga, to ascertain if the main road from Gordon's Mills to Rossville was clear, and if practicable to ascertain if Colonel McCook with his brigade held the bridge at Reed's Mills, from which direction I had just heard the report of four or five cannon. On arriving at this position I found all quiet. Colonel Wilder, with his command, supported by two regiments of Brigadier-General Van Cleve's division, being on the extreme left. I found Colonel Wilder in the edge of the woods, some one hundred and fifty yards west of the road leading to Rossville, his men dismounted and behind a breastwork of rails. It was here reported to me that the command of General Thomas had been heard passing in our rear toward Chattanooga. I immediately directed an officer to go to the rear until he came to the road on which these troops were passing, and to report at once the character of the country which intervened, the distance, etc. I remained until the officer returned, and reported all still being quiet. I rode rapidly to Department Headquarters with this information, which I thought important, and which I believed would be gladly heard by the Commanding General. I promptly returned, and on my arrival at the left of my lines, about eleven A. M., I heard heavy cannonading about one and a half or two miles to my left. Musketry firing began, and soon became so heavy that I was satisfied the battle had commenced. For a moment I felt embarrassed. The General commanding the department had inquired of me several times if I could hold my position, and I knew the importance to the movements of the army then going on of my ability so to do. I was on the left and thrown forward, covering a movement by which the entire army was to pass in my rear, leaving me on the right, should the movement take place without interruption. I hesitated but for a moment as to whether I should weaken myself by sending aid to Major-General Thomas, who, having passed to my rear, was already engaged on my left. All being quiet on my front, I ordered Major-General Palmer to the support of Major-General Thomas. I at once informed the General commanding the army of this movement, who approved of it in his note of twenty minutes past twelve P. M., when he informed me that from present appearance General Thomas will move in echelon, his left advanced, threatening the enemy's right. At twenty minutes past eleven I received a note from Captain Willard, Aid-de-Camp to Major-General Thomas, dated Mrs. Daniels's house, September fifteenth, (intended for nineteenth,) forty-five minutes past ten, stating that if another division can be spared it would be well to send it up without any delay. At the time of the receipt of this note I heard very heavy musketry in the direction of General Palmer, then advancing to the fight, and I at once sent Major Mendenhall, my Chief of artillery, and Colonel McKibbin, of General Rosecrans's staff, to see General Palmer, and learn particulars. They returned quickly without seeing him, having been halted and shot at by the enemy, which led me to believe that General Palmer was not only fighting in his front, but was also attacked in his rear, and perhaps surrounded. I at once despatched Lieutenant-Colonel Loder, my Inspector-General, and Colonel McKibbin to Department Headquarters, (which at this time had been moved to the Widow Glenn's, distant about a mile from my position,) to report facts, and ask permission to bring up General Van Cleve to support Major-General Palmer, as I was then well satisfied that the enemy was crossing the Chickamauga at several points, and at one near my position. During their absence I sent to General Van Cleve to move up where I then was stationed, and just at the time of his arrival Lieutenant-Colonel Loder returned with permission to send General Van Cleve in, which I immediately did. He brought with him but two brigades, leaving his Third brigade, Colonel Barnes, in position on the left of General Wood. At twelve M. I received your note of ten minutes past eleven A. M., ordering me to send Colonel Minty, with his cavalry brigade, to Chattanooga, and to report for orders at Widow Glenn's, which I at once complied with. I was then stationed in the woods in reserve. [528] At fifty minutes past twelve P. M. I received a note from General Palmer, dated thirty-five minutes past twelve P. M., stating that his division was just going in; enemy said to be in heavy force; fight is raging, but principally on his left flank. At fifteen minutes past one P. M. I wrote to General Wood, reporting the heavy fight, that Van Cleve and Palmer were hotly in, and that we must look out for his left. I then sent Colonel Starling, my Chief of Staff, to Department Headquarters, reporting General Van Cleve heavy in the fight, and asking that I might move also General Wood to assist. He shortly returned with the request granted, and I despatched Major Mendenhall to bring him up. The enemy appeared to have troops enough to fight us everywhere, and to fill up every interval as soon as my divisions passed. At two P. M. I received your despatch of forty-five minutes past one P. M., advising me that he had ordered General McCook to relieve me — to take command of my corps-and to take the best positions possible; also, that General Sheridan would come in if necessary on my right, and to take care of my right. On receipt of this note, the firing having ceased for a time, I immediately rode rapidly to headquarters, hoping to get final instructions before General Wood's command arrived, and returned just as General Wood, with his two brigades, came up to a position, that General Davis, of Major-General McCook's corps, was fighting over on the right of General Van Cleve. Colonel Barnes's brigade, Van Cleve's division, had been left back with General Wood, came up just in advance of Wood's two brigades, and had gone into position through the woods to the right of General Davis.

I rode forward to a battery, which I understood belonged to General Davis, when I was told that I would find both he and General Wood. Neither of them was there, and I rode back in search of General Wood. I had instructed Lieutenant-Colonel Starling to say to General Wood that in coming to the field he might have an opportunity, by leaving the road before he reached our position and moving to his right, to strike the enemy on the flank. I should regret that I had not sent an order instead of a mere suggestion, but that the Commanding General condemned the movement when I informed him that I had suggested it to General Wood. Colonel Barnes moved in the direction, and Colonel Harker, of Wood's division, was going into position on the right of Colonel Barnes, when Lieutenant-Colonel Starling, at the solicitation of General Davis, who was then being pressed by the enemy, recalled Colonel Harker, and in this way he was brought down the road beyond the position that Colonel Barnes had taken in the woods on Davis's right, and Colonel Buell with his brigade followed after Colonel Harker.

General Wood reached the field but a short time before the enemy attacked our right on Saturday evening, and had General Wood been in the position I suggested, he would have been on the flank of the enemy, and I think would have punished him severely.

Colonel Buck went into position first off the road on the right, and to the rear of General Davis's battery, which was firing over an open field at the enemy in the woods, who could be seen plainly by their bayonets glistening. In the mean time General Wood with Harker's brigade had passed still further down the road, and went into position on Colonel Buell's left, striking the woods as he left the road. In Colonel Buell's front there was a large gap in the woods recently a corn-field.

The enemy in front of Colonel Buell came out at this time, and he with his men, lying down suipporting Davis's battery, fell back in some confusion. All crossed the road through another open field, in which I and my staff were on a high point, when they came into the woods again, along the edge of which Colonel Wilder, with his brigade, was lying. His men soon opened fire, and when I ordered the artillery that was at hand to be put in position along the edge of the woods, under this superintendence of Major Mendenhall, he opened fire rapidly from twenty-six guns, and soon checked and drove the enemy to the cover of his own woods.

Our loss in this brief conflict was quite severe. General Wood and Colonel Buell were present, and were very active in rallying the men and restoring them to order. Soon after accomplishing this, Colonel Buell's brigade again advanced, General Carlin and his command cooperating, and reoccupied their former position. About this time General Sheridan came up through the woods I was in, and promptly sent in a brigade to support these troops. Soon after this, I received your note of three forty-five P. M. and four thirty-five P. M., stating that Davis was heavily pressed, and ordering me to assist him, if I could, with some of my command. At four forty-five P. M., I received your note of three-ten P. M., stating that Johnson was driving the rebels handsomely in the centre; that he had taken many prisoners, and expected to drive the enemy across Chickamauga to-night. Colonel Barnes, with his brigade, I had heard from as being in a commanding position and in good order. Generals Palmer and Van Cleve I had not heard from since they went in. Night was coming on, and I left for Department Headquarters, where, after sitting in council with the Commanding General, other corps commanders, and some general officers, I received, at midnight, the following order:

headquarters Department of the Cumberland, Widow Glenn's house, Sept. 19, 1863--1020 P. M.
General: The General Commanding directs me to inform you that General McCook has been ordered to hold this Gap to-morrow, covering the Dry Valley road, his right resting near this place, his left connecting with General Thomas's right. The General places your corps in reserve to-morrow, and directs you to post it on the eastern slope of Missionary Ridge, to support McCook or Thomas. Leave the grand guard [529] from your command out, with instructions to hold their ground until driven in, and then to retire slowly, contesting the ground stubbornly.


I proceeded at once to remove General Wood back to the reserve position, leaving the grand guards as directed, and by daylight, September twentieth, I found General Van Cleve in the valley very near his new position. General Palmer (with my strongest division) having been sent to General Thomas the day before, was to remain with him. About eight or nine o'clock on the morning of the twentieth, I was ordered to move General Wood's division up to a position in front which had been occupied by General Negley, and to keep General Van Cleve in reserve and in supporting distance of Wood. This order had been executed but a short time, when I was ordered to move General Van Cleve with two brigades (his other brigade having been sent with General Wood, who otherwise could not have filled the place General Negley occupied) several hundred yards to the left and some two hundred yards to the front. His guns were placed in position on the crest of the ridge, and his command placed near the foot of the slope, formed in column, doubled on the centre and halted.

The General Commanding the department was at this time in the field near by. I was soon ordered to move Van Cleve directly to the front, to take part in the battle now raging in that direction. The order was immediately given, and I said to the Commanding General, as this was the last of my corps not already disposed of, I should accompany it. I rode immediately after General Van Cleve, whose troops were already in motion. On reaching the woods I was surprised to find Van Cleve's command halted. On inquiry, I was informed Van Cleve had run upon Wood's command. I directed him to take ground to the left, to pass through the first interval he could find, and engage the enemy. At this moment an officer rode to me from General Thomas, saying that the General still wanted support on his left. I directed this officer to General Rosecrans's position, then not far distant, and did not stop the movement of General Van Cleve, as he was going in the right direction, if the General Commanding the department should change my orders, and send him to General Thomas's left. In a few moments I received orders to move General Van Cleve's division with the utmost despatch, not exhausting the troops, to the support of General Thomas's left. I gave the order immediately to General Van Cleve, and its execution was at once begun. At this moment I received a message from General Wood that it was useless to bring artillery into the woods. The Chief of Artillery to this corps was ordered to put the batteries back on the ridge in a commanding position, with several hundred yards of open country in front, when I hoped, in the event of any reverse, these guns would cover our retiring troops. I now received a message from General Wood, informing me that he had received an order direct from headquarters of the department to move at once to the sup port of General Reynolds. Looking at the artillery which Major Mendenhall had just put in position, and not knowing exactly what to do with it under my last order, my difficulty was suddenly removed by the enemy. While we had been steadily from the beginning of the battle, and very properly, in my judgment, weakening our right and strengthening our left, the object of the enemy being clearly to throw himself between us and Chattanooga, the enemy had been receiving accessions of fresh troops, and now made a sudden attack on our right and right centre, driving these attenuated lines from the field.

Upon turning from the batteries and looking at the troops, I was astounded to see them suddenly and unaccountably thrown into great confusion. There was but little firing at this moment near the troops, and I was unable, until some time afterward, to account for this confusion. In a moment, however, the enemy had driven all before them, and I was cut off from my command, though not a hundred yards in rear and in full view. The enemy had attacked and run over our extreme right at the same time. I was now cut off entirely, both on the right and left, from all our troops. The way, however, was open to the batteries, and I rode immediately there, hoping that stragglers enough, both from right and left, would rally there to hold the position, or at least enable me to carry off the guns. Upon reaching the batteries, I found them without the support of a single company of infantry. It was a time of painful anxiety; I still hoped that support would come from somewhere or be driven to me. But the signs grew rapidly worse. Lieutenant Cushing, commanding battery H, Fourth United States artillery, rode up to me. at this moment, and said he thought the enemy's cavalry had got in our rear. Upon asking him for his reason, he answered that a shell had just been thrown from our rear. I started to look if this could possibly be so, stating to Lieutenant Cushing that I did not think it possible. He asked me, in case he was driven, which way he should go. I replied he must not be driven, still hoping for support. He said he would like to know what road to take in case he should be driven, and I pointed out the direction.

A short distance in rear of the guns, just at this moment, I met about sixty or seventy men, apparently rallied and led up to the batteries by a young officer whom I did not recognize, but who were nobly rallied and brought up by that purehearted and brave officer, Brigadier-General Van Cleve.

It will be best here to explain the cause of the confusion and consequent disaster which but a little while before had befallen two brigades of his division. While in the act of passing to the support of General Thomas, troops in his front — I do not know of what division — ran in great confusion, and a battery at great speed was driven through the ranks of his men, wounding several seriously. This, of course, threw his [530] command into great confusion, and before he could possibly restore order the enemy was upon him. This accident for which the troops who suffered by it were not responsible, and which scarcely could have been avoided by any precaution, is deeply deplored by the officers and men of that gallant division, whose steady courage and discipline have been too often and well tried to be doubted now. Notwithstanding this disaster, three regiments of the right, composing these two brigades, namely, Forty-fourth Indiana volunteers, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Aldrich; Ninth Kentucky, commanded by Colonel Cram, and Seventeenth Kentucky, commanded by Colonel Stout, rallied and formed on the right of our main line, and, fighting all day, only left the field when ordered.

The little force brought by General Van Cleve to the support of the battery was insufficient. I rode rapidly toward the next ridge, hoping to find some general officer, and to obtain support for my battery. I had ridden but a few yards down the hill when I heard the batteries moving quickly away. Nothing but the greatest energy enabled their officers to save any of their guns.

The enemy had come close up to the batteries on the left while pouring in a severe fire from sharp-shooters from the front. All the horses attached to one of the guns of Lieutenant Cushing were shot almost at the same moment, yet he succeeded in bringing away three guns, losing but one. For the good conduct of artillery officers in this and other positions during the day, I refer you to the report of Major Mendenhall, Chief of Artillery, and to the reports of their division commanders.

On reaching the crest of the next hill I found only a small number of men — less than a hundred--who had been rallied by a captain of the Eighteenth regulars, as he told me, and whom he kept in line with great difficulty. I remained here for some time, probably a half hour, expecting to meet some officers of the commands which had been posted to my right. After this lapse of time Major Mendenhall informed me that the enemy had turned our own guns upon us from the hill we had just left. I then determined to go immediately to Rossville and Chattanooga, if it was practicable. I could hear nothing of General Rosecrans, nor of Generals McCook, Sheridan, and-Davis, and I greatly feared that all had fallen into the hands of the enemy. I should have ridden rapidly to Rossville or Chattanooga, to apprise whoever was in command of the actual state of things on our right, but that I feared to add a panic to the great confusion. The road was filled with soldiers, wagons, cannon, and caissons all the way to Rossville. All were moving without organization, but without undue haste or panic. After leaving the hill and riding slowly about a mile and a half, I met Colonel Parkhurst with his regiment, and with men enough whom he had stopped to make another regiment of ordinary size, and who seemed to be well organized. The Colonel rode up to me, and asked if I would take command. I told him no, that he was doing good service, and directed him to hold his position, and let the artillery-wagons, etc., pass, and then follow on, covering the rear.

About this time, I learned the General Commanding had not been captured, but that he had gone to Chattanooga. I rode to Rossville, where I expected to find some troops and to learn something of the locality of the main army and its condition, but finding no one who could give me any information, I rode to Chattanooga, where I found the General commanding the department, and reported briefly to him.

The General Commanding, having ordered the army to withdraw to Rossville, directed me to report to Major-General Thomas at that place for orders. I rode that night to Rossville, reported to General Thomas, and early in the morning of the twenty-first placed the two divisions of my command, which were at this place, (Wood's and Palmer's,) in the position assigned them. General Van Cleve, having collected about one thousand two hundred of his men, sent me word that he was encamped a few miles distant on the road leading from Chattanooga to Bridgeport, and that he had received orders from the General commanding the army. The enemy made some demonstrations during this day on my front, which covered the road leading from Ringgold to Rossville, but was easily made to keep a respectful distance, and after night, in obedience to orders, my command withdre w so quietly to Chattanooga that our own pickets were not aware of the movement. General W. C. Whitaker had reported to me on this day with two brigades and occupied the extreme left of my line. His were the last troops to withdraw, and I remained until he moved away with his command. On reaching Chattanooga, I was assigned to the position I now hold.

It is a source of much regret to me that circumstances made it impossible, with any regard to the interests of the service, for my corps to act as a unit in these battles. The pride of the corps was such that I think its attack would have been irresistible, and an attack upon it fatal to the enemy. But the great object of the battle was obtained. We foiled the enemy in his attempt to reoccupy Chattanooga; we hold the prize for which the campaign was made; and if nothing has been added to the fame of the corps, it is only because its noble blood has been shed in detachments on every part of the field where an enemy was to be encountered, instead of flowing together, as at Stone River. The people will look with hissing and scorn upon the traducers of this corps, when they learn with what stubborn bravery it poured out its blood in their cause.

The army of the Cumberland matched itself against one army, and for two days disputed the field with three veteran armies, and then unmolested by them we moved to the coveted place, which we now hold, and where they have not ventured to assail us.

The conduct of the various detachments from [531] the Twenty-first army corps fully sustain their reputation. With pride I point to the services of Major-General Palmer, and his splendid division. Starting from Gordon's or Lee's Mills, they fought their way to General Thomas, and participated in all of the terrible struggles in that part of the field, and when ordered to withdraw, came off with music and banners flying. Such was the conduct of this part of my command, all of which has been published to the country as “having disgracefully fled from the field.” With pride I call attention to the distinguished services of Brigadier-Generals Graft, and Hazen, and Colonel Grose, commanding the brigades of this division.

With pride I point to the services of Brigadier-General Van Cleve and his gallant division, which followed General Palmer into the fight. With daring courage they attacked the enemy on Saturday, capturing a battery, from which, however, they were driven by overwhelming numbers; but rallying, they maintained themselves, and, soon again advancing, captured another battery, which they brought off. With pride I mention the name of Brigadier-General Sam Beatty for his conduct on this occasion. On this day, and indeed whenever he was engaged, General Van Cleve's command was but two small brigades, his largest brigade, Colonel Barnes commanding, being detached. The accidental and unavoidable disaster of Sunday, which threw out of the fight altogether five regiments, cannot tarnish the fame of this division. Such was the conduct of this part of my command, which has been published as having “disgracefully fled from the field.”

With pride I point to the services of Brigadier-General Wood and his gallant command. The last of my corps ordered to the scene of the conflict, they became engaged almost the very moment of their arrival.

Unexpectedly ran over by a portion of our troops who were driven back upon them, the brigade of Colonel Buell was thrown into confusion, and borne along with the flying for a short distance, but were soon and easily rallied by General Wood and Colonel Buell, and though the loss had been very heavy for so short a conflict, these brave men were led back by their division and brigade commanders to the ground from which they had been forced. On Sunday when our lines were broken, Brigadier-General Wood, with the brigades of Colonel Harker and Barnes, and that part of Colonel Buell's brigade not cut off by the enemy, reached Major-General Thomas, as ordered, and participated in the battle of the day with honors to themselves. Such was the conduct of this, the last part of my command, all of which has been published to the country as having “disgracefully fled from the field.”

With pride I most respectfully call attention to the brilliant conduct of Colonel C. G. Harker, commanding Third brigade of Wood's division. On Saturday evening he skilfully avoided being thrown into disorder, and with good judgment pressed the enemy, captured near two hundred prisoners, and withdrew his command in good order. On Sunday he equally distinguished himself by the skill with which he managed his command, and more than all by the gallantry with which he fought.

It is proper that I should mention the conduct of Colonel Barnes, commanding Third brigade of Van Cleve's division on Saturday morning. He was this time separated from his division, and in the fight of Saturday evening posted on our right. He had a very severe engagement with a superior force, and, in my judgment, prevented the enemy from attempting to turn our right by the firmness with which he fought. He suffered a severe loss, but withdrew his command in good order before night.

The names of the corps who particularly distinguished themselves have been mentioned by their respective commanders, and I most earnestly commend them to the consideration of the Commanding General and the Government.

With deep sorrow, yet not unmixed with pride, I call attention to the terrible list of casualties, amounting to nearly twenty-eight per cent of my entire command. The tabular statement herewith inclosed will show how small a portion of this percentage is missing or unaccounted for.

For a more detailed account of the operations of my command in this campaign, I refer you to the able reports of division, brigade, and regimental commanders. I also inclose the report of Major Mendenhall, of the operations of the artillery of his corps.

Captain Bradley, Sixth Ohio battery, acted with great energy and effect in repelling the advance of the enemy on Saturday, and Captain Swallow, with his battery, and Lieutenant Cushing, with his, acted with great coolness and decision, saving nearly all their pieces on the ridge Sunday, while the enemy was among them. Of the artillery commanders in the Second division, Captains Standart and Cockerill, Lieutenant Russell and Lieutenant Cushing, I refer to Major-General Palmer's very honorable mention of their conduct throughout both days' fight. My warmest thanks are due to my staff — to Lieutenant-Colonel Lyne Starling, Chief of Staff, as always on the battle-field, was courageous and active. Captain P. P. Oldershaw, A. A. G., discharged his duties with promptness and ability, displaying both coolness and bravery. He has earned and deserves promotion. Of Lieutenant-Colonel Lodor, Inspector-General of the corps, I can say no more than that he was as brave, active, and useful as at Stone River. Major Mendenhall, Chief of Artillery to my corps, has fairly earned and I hope will receive promotion. My Aids-de-Camp, Major L. M. Buford, Captain George G. Knox, and Captain John J. McCook, were active and attentive to their duties, freely exposing themselves throughout the battles.

I call particular attention to the efficiency and good judgment of the medical director of the corps, Surgeon A. J. Phelps. By his judicious arrangements nothing that could be done for our wounded [532] was neglected. Assistant-Surgeon B. H. Cheney, medical surveyor of the corps, managed his department creditably.

Lieutenant-Colonel Sympson, Quartermaster, and Lieutenant-Colonel Kneffin, Commissary of Subsistence, were not on the field, but where I ordered them, performing these duties effectively in their respective departments.

Captain Henry Haldenbaugh, my own efficient Provost-Marshal, aided me materially in facilitating the movements of ambulances during the battles, and in the removal of the wounded from the field. I have rarely seen an officer of the department so thoroughly efficient as he has proved himself in camp and on the battle-field.

Captain William Leonard, Lieutenants Foreaker and Messenger, of the Signal corps, were with me frequently during the battles, and made themselves useful.

It gives me much pleasure to call attention to Captain Sherer, Lieutenant Harvey, and the company they command, as my escort; to habitual good conduct in camp, they have added good conduct on the field of battle. Also to John Atkins, company D, Second regiment Kentucky volunteers, senior Clerk in the A. A. G. office, who remained on the field with my staff, both days, and aided me as much as any one in rallying the men. He is a good clerk, well educated, and in every thing competent to command, and is deserving of a commission. The same may be said of George C. James, private, company A, clerk to my Chief of Artillery and Topographical Engineers, who, when detailed as a clerk, stipulated to join his regiment, when on the march, with the prospect of an engagement. On the march from Murfreesboro to Manchester, he joined his regiment, and also from the time of crossing the Tennessee River until the termination of the late engagements, in both of which he participated. If promotion cannot be had in their regiments, some distinguished mark of honor should be bestowed on both.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. L. Crittenden, Major-General Commanding. Lieutenant-Colonel C. Goddard, A. A. G., Department of the Cumberland.


Report of Major-General Granger.

headquarters reserve corps, army of the Cumberland, Chattanooga, Sept. 30, 1863.
Colonel: I have the honor to submit the following report of the recent operations of a part of the Reserve corps.

On the sixth instant, I received orders from the General commanding the Army of the Cumberland to concentrate at Bridgeport, Ala., as much of my corps as could be spared from the duty of guarding the railroad depots, exposed points north of the Tennessee River, etc., and from that point to move them to the support of the main body of the army.

McCook's brigade, which was relieved by Colonel Mizner, was ordered from Columbia to Bridgeport, where it arrived on the tenth instant.

Two brigades of General Steedman's division, which were relieved from duty along the lines of railroad from Murfreesboro to Cowan, and from Wartrace to Shelbyville, by other troops from the rear, arrived at Bridgeport on the eleventh instant. The Twenty-second regiment Michigan infantry, under command of Colonel Le Favour, was sent direct to Bridgeport by railroad from Nashville, and was there attached to General Steedman's command.

The Eighty-ninth regiment Ohio infantry was also attached to the same command, having been sent to Bridgeport from Tracy City.

The difficulties to be overcome in forwarding and in concentrating these troops, and in bringing forward others to partially supply their place in so short a period, can only be appreciated when the large space of country over which they were scattered, the great distance from which relief had to come, and the necessity of leaving no point of communication exposed, is fully known.

On the twelfth instant, McCook's brigade, with Barnett's battery, was pushed to Shellmound.

At seven o'clock on the morning of the thirteenth instant, I started the following-mentioned forces, under the immediate command of Brigadier-General James B. Steedman, on a forced march from Bridgeport, Ala., for Rossville, Ga., namely, the First brigade First division Reserve corps, commanded by Brigadier-General Whittaker; Second brigade First division Reserve corps, commanded by Colonel J. G. Mitchell; the Twenty-second regiment Michigan infantry, Eighty-ninth regiment Ohio infantry, Eighteenth Ohio battery, and company M, First Illinois artillery. At the same time I started Colonel McCook's command from Shellmound for the same place. These forces arrived at Rossville, a distance of thirty-five miles from the place of starting, the next day at ten o'clock A. M., having marched the whole distance through a suffocating dust, and over a very rocky and mountainous road, on which it was exceedingly difficult for troops to travel.

I established my headquarters at Rossville, and there remained awaiting orders from the General commanding the Army of the Cumberland.

At three o'clock on the morning of the seven-teenth instant, in accordance with orders that I had given, General Steedman started from his camp at Rossville with six regiments of infantry and a battery of artillery, for the purpose of making a reconnoissance in the direction of Ringgold. In this undertaking he met with no resistance from the enemy until within two miles from that place. Here he encountered the enemy's pickets, whom he drove rapidly across the East-Chickamauga, following them a mile and a quarter. He then halted and planted a section of artillery, by the fire of which he soon drove the enemy, who appeared to be in force, out of and beyond the town. Having accomplished the object of the reconnoissance, and discovering large clouds of dust arising from the Tunnel Hill and Lafayette roads, and which were approaching his position, he deemed it prudent to return to Rossville, and at once marched back to within [533] eight miles of that place, where he halted for the night. The enemy advanced and shelled his camp before midnight, but they fell back and disappeared before morning. At daylight he broke up camp, started back to Rossville, and arrived there at one o'clock P. M. of the same day.

At four o'clock P. M., on the eighteenth instant, I ordered Brigadier-General Whittaker to move at once with his brigade and take possession of the crossing of the Chickamauga at Red House Bridge; and at the same time Colonel Daniel McCook was ordered to march to the support of Colonel Minty, who was disputing the crossing of the Chickamauga at Reed's Bridge with the enemy. Colonel McCook arrived within one mile of the bridge at dark, where he encountered the enemy, and with whom he had a slight skirmish, taking twenty-two prisoners. At five o'clock P. M. of the same day I sent Colonel Mitchell with his brigade to strengthen and support Colonel McCook, and he joined him during the night. General Whittaker was prevented from reaching the Red House Bridge by coming in contact with a superior force of the enemy on the road leading thereto. He had a severe skirmish, losing sixty men killed and wounded; but he held his ground until the next morning, when he received reenforcements. The enemy, however, withdrew from his immediate front before daylight.

The enemy obtained possession of Reed's Bridge on the afternoon of the eighteenth. At daylight on the morning of the nineteenth, Colonel McCook sent Lieutenant-Colonel Brigham with the Sixty-ninth Ohio Infantry, to surprise the enemy, and gain possession of it. He gallantly charged across the bridge, driving the enemy from it, and, in accordance with instructions received from General Steedman, destroyed it by fire. As the enemy were gathering in force around Colonel McCook, I sent him an order at six o'clock on the morning of the nine-teenth instant, to withdraw from that position. This order was executed by seven o'clock A. M.

I now posted Colonel McCook's brigade at the junction of the Cleveland and Ringgold roads, covering the approaches to the rear and left flank of that part of my forces which were then on the road leading to the Red House Bridge, while Colonel Mitchell's brigade was led by General Steedman to the assistance of General Whittaker. Nothing further than slight skirmishing occurred in our front during the remaining part of the day. Yet all indications led us to believe that a large force of the enemy confronted us.

The position of my forces on the morning of the twentieth, and up to the hour of battle, was as follows: Colonel McCook's brigade was moved to a point near the McAfee Church, and was placed in such a position as to cover the Ringgold road; General Whittaker's brigade, together with Colonel Mitchell's, retained the same position that they had the evening before, and Colonel Minty, who reported to me at daylight on the morning of the twentieth with a brigade of cavalry, was posted at Missionary Mills, which positions completely covered our extreme left flank.

The enemy did not make his appearance in our immediate front during the morning, but large clouds of dust could be seen beyond our position arising from the Lafayette and Harrison roads, moving in the direction of the sound of battle. At ten thirty A. M. I heard very heavy firing, which was momentarily increasing in volume and intensity, on our right, in the direction of General Thomas's position. Soon afterward, deing well convinced, judging from the sound of battle, that the enemy were pushing him hard, and fearing that he would not be able to resist their combined attack, I determined to go to his assistance at once. It was now about eleven o'clock A. M. I started with General Whittaker's and Colonel Mitchell's brigades, under the immediate command of General Steedman, and left Colonel McCook's brigade at the McAfee Church, in position to cover the Ringgold road. General Thomas was at this time engaging the enemy at a point between the Lafayette and Dry Valley roads, in the vicinity of----house, about three and a half miles from our place of starting. We had not proceeded more than two miles when the enemy made his appearance in the woods to the left of our advancing column, about three fourths of a mile from the road. They opened upon us quite briskly with their skirmishers and a section of artillery. I then made a short halt to feel them, and becoming convinced that they constituted only a party of observation, I again rapidly pushed forward my troops. At this juncture I sent back and ordered up Colonel McCook's brigade to watch the movements of the enemy at this point, to keep open the Lafayette road, and cover the open field on the right of the road, and those that intervened between this point and the position held by General Thomas. As rapidly as possible, Colonel McCook brought up his brigade, took the position assigned to him, and held it until he marched to Rossville from the field of battle, at ten o'clock P. M. At six o'clock P. M. the enemy opened an artillery fire upon Colonel McCook, but he soon silenced their battery, which had done little or no damage to his troops.

At about one o'clock P. M. I reported to General Thomas. His forces were at that time stationed upon the brow of and holding a “horse-shoe ridge.” The enemy were pressing him hard in front, and endeavoring to turn both of his flanks. To the right of this position was a ridge running east and west, and nearly at right angles therewith. Upon this the enemy were just forming. They also had possession of a gorge in the same, through which they were rapidly moving in large masses, with the design of falling upon the right flank and rear of the forces upon the “horse-shoe ridge.”

General Thomas had not the troops to oppose this movement of the enemy, and in fifteen minutes from the time when we appeared on the field, had it not been for our fortunate arrival, his [534] forces would have been terribly cut up and captured. As rapidly as possible I formed General Whittaker's and Colonel Mitchell's brigades, to hurl them against this threatening force of the enemy; which afterward proved to be General Hindman's division. The gallant Steedman, seizing the colors of a regiment, led his men to the attack. With loud cheers they rushed upon the enemy, and after a terrific conflict, lasting but twenty minutes, drove them from their ground, and occupied the ridge and gorge. The slaughter of both friend and foe was frightful. General Whittaker, while rushing forward at the head of his brigade, was knocked from his horse by a musket-ball, and was, for a short time, rendered unfit for duty; while two of his staff officers were killed, and two mortally wounded. General Steedman's horse was killed, and he was severely bruised, yet he was able to remain on duty during the day. This attack was made by our troops — very few of whom had ever been in an action before — against a division of old soldiers who largely outnumbered them. Yet with resolution and energy they drove the enemy from this position, occupied it themselves, and afterward held the ground they had gained with such terrible losses. The victory was dearly won, but to this army it was a priceless one.

There was now a lull in the battle; it was of short duration, however, for within thirty minutes after we had gained possession of the ridge, we were vigorously attacked by two divisions of Longstreet's veterans. Again the enemy was driven back, and from this time until dark the battle between these two opposing forces raged furiously.

Our whole line was continually enveloped in smoke and fire. The assaults of the enemy were now made with that energy which was inspired by the bright prospect of a speedy victory, and by a consciousness that it was only necessary to carry this position and crush our forces, to enable them to overthrow our army, and drive it across the Tennessee River. Their forces were massed and hurled upon us for the purpose of terminating at once this great and bloody battle. But the stout hearts of the handful of men who stood before them quailed not. They understood our perilous position, and held their ground, determined to perish rather than yield it. Never had a commander such just cause for congratulation over the action of his troops.

The ammunition which was brought in our train to this part of the field was divided with General Brannan's and Wood's divisions early in the afternoon, and we soon exhausted the remainder. All that we could then procure was taken from the cartridge-boxes of our own and the enemy's dead and wounded. Even this supply was exhausted before the battle was over, and while the enemy was still in our front, hurling fresh troops against us. It was almost dark; the enemy had been driven back, but we had not a round of ammunition left. All now seemed to be lost if he should return to the contest. Anticipating another attack, I ordered the command to be given to the men to stand firm, and to use the cold steel. After an ominous silence of a few minutes, the enemy came rushing upon us again. With fixed bayonets our troops gallantly charged them and drove them back in confusion. Twice more were these charges repeated, and the enemy driven back, before darkness brought an end to the battle. Night came, and the enemy fell back, whipped and discomfited. At three o'clock P. M. Brigadier-General Garfield, Chief of Staff, appeared upon that part of the field where my troops were then hotly engaged with the enemy. He remained with us until dark, animating and cheering both officers and men.

Although they were not under my command, I cannot refrain from herein noticing the troops that held the “horse-shoe ridge,” and from testifying to their heroic bravery and unflinching steadiness under the heaviest fire. Their commanders, Generals Brannan and Wood and Colonel Harker, behaved with unqualified bravery and gallantry.

At seven o'clock P. M. I received instructions from Major-General Thomas to withdraw my troops from the position they held at dark, to march back to Rossville, and to cover the rear of the forces falling back upon that place with McCook's brigade. These instructions were promptly carried out, and I went into camp that night in accordance therewith.

My two brigades numbered two hundred and sixteen commissioned officers, and three thousand six hundred and ninety-seven men, when they went into the action. Between the hours of one P. M. and dark, there were killed, wounded, and missing one hundred and nine commissioned officers, and one thousand six hundred and twenty-three men — a total of one thousand seven hundred and thirty-two.

These losses are subdivided as follows: killed, two hundred and thirty-four; wounded, nine hundred and thirty-six; missing — all of whom, with the exception of a very small fraction, were taken prisoners--four hundred and sixty-one.

Among the gallant dead who fell upon the field of battle, was Captain William C. Russell, my Assistant Adjutant-General. He fell with his face to the enemy, in the thickest of the battle, while discharging an important duty. His loss is severely felt. Through his sterling qualities of heart and head, he became the idol of his corps. All who knew him now lament the loss of an accomplished soldier and sincere gentleman.

It is with pleasure that I call the attention of the Commanding General to the bravery and gallantry displayed during the battle by Brigadier-General James B. Steedman. He fearlessly rushed into the midst of danger, and was ever present with his troops, handling them with ease and confidence, rallying and encouraging them, and establishing order and confidence.

General Whittaker and Colonel Mitchell, commanding brigades, were also conspicuous for their bravery and activity. They managed their troops well, and contributed much to our success during the day [535]

Colonel Daniel C. McCook, commanding Second brigade, Second division, properly and promptly carried out all orders and instructions I gave him. Although his brigade was not engaged in the battle, it held a very important position, protecting the rear of those who were fighting.

The aid and assistance rendered me by Colonel James Thompson, my Chief of Artillery, were timely and of great importance. His well-known ability and former experience rendered him a most efficient officer on the field.

The commanding officers of all my regiments, with but one exception, and of all my batteries, behaved nobly. Below I give a list of those most conspicuous for efficiency and bravery, and deserving special mention:

Colonel Champion, Ninety-sixth Illinois; Colonel Moon, One Hundred and Fifteenth Illinois; Colonel La Favour, Twenty-second Michigan; Colonel Carlton, Eighty-ninth Ohio; Lieutenant-Colonel Banning, One Hundred and Twentyfirst Ohio; Lieutenant-Colonel Carter Van Vleck, Seventy-eighth Illinois; Lieutenant-Colonel Warner, One Hundred and Thirteenth Ohio; Major Brodies, (killed,) Ninety-sixth Illinois; Major Yeager, One Hundred and Twelfth Ohio; Lieutenant-Colonel Sanburn, (wounded,) Twenty-second Michigan; Captain Urquhart, commanding Ninety-eighth Ohio, (wounded ;) Captain Thomas, who succeeded him in command, and was killed; Captain Espy, Commissary of Subsistence, (killed;) Captain Hicks, Ninetysixth Illinois; Adjutant Hamilton, One Hundred and Thirteenth Ohio, and Captain Moe, A. A. G.; Major Smith, Lieutenant Blandin, and Captain Hays, all of General Steedman's staff. All of General Whittaker's staff officers were killed or wounded in the commencement of the battle. Their names have not been given to me.

I desire to return my thanks to the following members of my staff who were with me and rendered me efficient aid and service during the two days of battle:

Major J. S. Fullerton, Captain J. Gordon Taylor, Captain William L. Avery, and Lieutenant T. G. Braham.

Respectfully submitted,

G. Granger, Major-General.


Colonel Van Derveer's report.

headquarters Third division, Fourteenth army corps, Chattanooga, Tenn., Sept. 25, 1863.
Captain Lewis J. Lambett, A. A. G.:
Captain: I have the honor to report the part taken by the Third brigade in the actions of the nineteenth and twentieth instant, near the Chickamauga. My command consisted of the Second Minnesota, Colonel George; the Ninth Ohio, Colonel Kemmerling; the Thirty-fifth Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel Boynton; the Eighty-seventh Indiana, Colonel Gleason; and Battery I, Fourth artillery, First Lieutenant F. G. Smith. Our effective strength on the morning of the nineteenth instant was one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight officers and men.

After a fatiguing march during the night of the eighteenth, and without any sleep or rest, while halting near Kelly's house, on the Rossville and Lafayette road, I received an order from Brigadier-General Brannan, commanding the Second division, to move with haste along the road to Reed's Bridge over the Chickamauga, take possession of a ford near that point, and hold it. I immediately moved northward to McDaniel's house, and thence at right angles eastward toward the bridge, a short distance from McDaniel's. I formed the brigade in two lines, sent skirmishers to the front, and advanced cautiously, though without losing time, one and one half miles. In the mean time brisk firing was progressing upon my right, understood to be maintained by the First and Second brigades of this division. Being without a guide, and entirely unacquainted with the country, I am unable to state how near I went to Reed's Bridge, but perceiving from the fire upon my right that I was passing the enemy's flank, I wheeled the line in that direction, and began feeling his position with my skirmishers. About this time I received an order, stating that the Second brigade was gradually giving back, and that it was necessary I should at once make an attack. This we did with a will, the first line composed of the Thirtyfifth Ohio on the right and the Second Minnesota on the left, moving down a gentle slope, leaving the Eighty-seventh Indiana in reserve on the crest of the hill. At this time the Ninth Ohio, which had charge of the ammunition train of the division, had not arrived. Smith's battery, composed of four twelve-pound Napoleons, were placed in position in the centre and on the right of the line. The enemy, having discovered our location, opened a furious fire of artillery and musketry with considerable effect, but in half an hour the enemy slackened his fire, and his advanced line was compelled to fall back. I took advantage of this moment to bring forward the Eighty-seventh Indiana, and by a passage of lines to the front carried them to the relief of the Thirty-fifth Ohio, which had already suffered severely in the engagement. This movement was executed with as much coolness and accuracy as if on drill. Scarcely was the Eighty-seventh Indiana in line, before fresh forces of the enemy were brought up in time to receive from us a terrible volley, which made his ranks stagger, and held him for some time at bay. The Ninth Ohio, which I had previously sent for, arriving at this moment, I placed it on the right of my line. Still further to the right a section of Church's battery and the Seventeenth Ohio, which had been ordered to report to me, were in position.

As the enemy slackened his fire, Colonel Kemmerline, chafing like a wounded tiger, that he had been behind at the opening, ordered his men to charge, and away they went, closely followed by the Eighty-seventh Indiana and the Seventeenth Ohio, the enemy falling back precipitately. The Ninth, in the charge, recaptured the guns of Guenther's battery, Fifth artillery, and held them. In the mean time the enemy, massing his forces, suddenly appeared upon my left and [536] rear; he came forward, several lines deep, at a double-quick, and opened a brisk fire, but not before I had changed my front to receive him. My new line consisted of the Second Minnesota on the right, next one section of Smith's battery, commanded by Lieutenant Rodney, then the Eighty-seventh Indiana, flanked by Church's and other sections of Smith's battery, and on the extreme left the Thirty-fifth Ohio. The two extremities of the line formed an obtuse angle, the vortex on the left of the Eighty-seventh Indiana, and the opening toward the enemy.

The Second Minnesota and Eighty-seventh Indiana lay on the ground, and were apparently unobserved by the enemy, who moved upon the left of my line, delivering and receiving a direct fire, Church opening with all his guns, and Smith with one section. He advanced rapidly, my left giving way slowly, until his flank was brought opposite my right wing, when a murdering and enfilading fire was poured into his ranks by the infantry, and by Rodney's section, shotted with canister. Notwithstanding this, he moved up his second and third lines. Having observed his great force as well as the persistency of his attack, I had sent messenger after messenger to bring up the Ninth Ohio, which had not yet returned from its charge made from my original right. At last, however, and when it seemed impossible for my brave men longer to withstand the impetuous advance of the enemy, the Ninth came gallantly up, in time to take part in the final struggle, which resulted in his sullen withdrawal. In this last attack his loss must have been very severe. In addition to the heavy fire of the infantry, our guns were pouring double charges of canister in front and on his flank, at one time delivered at a distance not exceeding forty yards. During the latter part of the contest reenforcements had arrived, and were, by General Brannan, then present, formed in line for the purpose of supporting my brigade, but they were not actually engaged at this time. Our dead and wounded were gathered up, and a new line, under the superintendence of General Brannan, was formed. The enemy, however, made no further demonstration and quietly withdrew.

A small number of prisoners were taken, who reported that the force opposed to us was two divisions of Longstreet's corps, one commanded by General Hood. They fought with great obstinacy and determination, only retreating when fairly swept away by our overwhelming fire.

After resting my command for an hour or more, I was ordered to report to Major-General Reynolds. Immediately moving toward his position we arrived near Kelly's house just before sundown, and then, by direction of General Brannan, went into bivouac.

At eight o'clock the next morning, Sunday, the twentieth of September, 1863, my brigade was posted as a reserve in the rear of the First and Second brigades of the division formed in two lines of columns closed in mass, where we remained for about an hour. Slowly moving over toward the left, for the purpose of occupying the space between the Third and Reynolds's division, I received an order to move quickly on the left and support General Baird, who, it was said, was being hard pressed by the enemy. I wheeled my battalions to the left, deployed both lines, and moved through the woods parallel to the Chattanooga road, gradually swinging round my left until when, in rear of Reynolds's position, I struck the road perpendicularly at a point just north of Kelly's house, near and back of his lines. On approaching the road, riding in advance of the brigade, my attention was called to a large force of the enemy moving southward in four lines, just then emerging from the woods at a run, evidently intending to attack Reynolds and Baird, who were both hotly engaged in the rear, and apparently unseen by these officers. I immediately wheeled my lines to the left, facing the approaching force, and ordered them to lie down. This movement was not executed until we received a galling fire delivered from a distance of two hundred yards; at the same time a rebel battery, placed in the road about five or six hundred yards to our front, opened on us with two guns. My command continued to lie down until the enemy approached within seventy-five yards, when the whole arose to their feet, and the front line, composed of the Second Minnesota and Eighty-seventh Indiana, delivered a murderous fire almost in their faces, and the Thirty-fifth and Ninth Ohio passing lines quickly to the front, the whole brigade charged and drove the enemy at a full run, over the open ground, for over a quarter of a mile, and several hundred yards into the woods, my men keeping in good order, and delivering their fire as they advanced.

The rebels fled hastily to cover, leaving the ground strewn with their dead and wounded. We took a position in the woods, and maintained a determined combat for more than an hour. At this time I greatly needed my battery, which had been taken from the brigade early in the day, by command of Major-General Negley. Finding a force moving on my right to support us, and the enemy being almost silenced, I ordered it to return to the open ground south of the woods. This movement was executed by passing lines to the rear, each line firing as it retired.

I learned from prisoners that the force we fought and put to flight this day was the division of the rebel General Breckinridge. That we punished them severely was proven by their many dead and wounded, among the former of which were several field officers, and among the latter one general officer of high rank. I thence moved to a position on the road, and the house near General Reynolds, and there remained, resting my mean and caring for my wounded, for an hour or more.

Although I had not reported to either Generals Reynolds or Baird, as ordered in the morning, I believe I rendered them very substantial assistance, and at a time when it was greatly needed. [537]

About two o'clock, hearing heavy firing on the right of the line, and learning that the high ground in that direction was being held by General Brannan with a part of our division, I moved cautiously through the woods, and at half-past 2 P. M. reported my brigade to him for duty. We were immediately placed in the front, relieving his troops, when almost exhausted. The position was well selected, and one capable of being defended against a heavy force, the line being the crest of a hill, for the possession of which the enemy made desperate and renewed efforts. From this time until dark we were hotly engaged. The ammunition failing, and no supply at hand, except a small quantity furnished by Major-General Gordon Granger, our men gathered their cartridges from the boxes of the dead, wounded, and prisoners, and finally fixed bayonets, determined to hold the position. Here, again, the Ninth Ohio made a gallant charge down the hill into the midst of the enemy, scattering them like chaff, and then returned to their position on the hill.

For an hour and a half before dusk the attack was one of unexampled fury — line after line of fresh troops being hurled against our position with a heroism and persistency which almost dignified their cause.

At length night ended the struggle, and the enemy, having suffered a terrible loss, retired from our immediate front. During the latter part of the day the position directly on our right had been held by the division of Brigadier-General Steedman, but which, early in the evening, had been withdrawn without our knowledge, thus leaving our flank exposed. From the silence at that point, Brigadier-General Brannan suspected all might not be right, and ordered me to place the Thirty-fifth Ohio across that flank, to prevent a surprise. This had scarcely been done before a rebel force appeared in the gloom, directly in their front. A mounted officer rode to within a few paces of the Thirty-fifth and asked: “What regiment is that?” To this some one replied: “The Thirty-fifth Ohio.” The officer turned suddenly and attempted to run away, but our regiment delivered a volley that brought horse and rider to the ground, and put the force to flight. Prisoners said this officer was the rebel General Gregg.

At seven o'clock P. M. an order came from Major-General Thomas that the forces under General Brannan should move quietly to Rossville. This was carried into execution under the direction of Captain Cilley, of my staff, in excellent order.

During the whole of the two days fighting, my brigade kept well together, at all times obeying orders promptly, and moving with almost as much regularity and precision as if on drill. They were subject to a very severe test on the nineteenth, when, being actively engaged with the enemy, another brigade (not of our division) ran, panic-stricken, through and over us, some of the officers of which shouted to our men to retreat, or they certainly would be overwhelmed; but not a man left the ranks, and the approaching enemy found before him a wall of steel. Private Savage, of Smith's battery, struck one of the retreating officers with his sponge, and damned him for running against his gun.

Our loss in the engagement of both days amounts to thirteen officers and one hundred and thirty-two men killed, and twenty-five officers and five hundred and eighty-one men wounded, and fifty-one missing--the total loss being eight hundred and two men and officers. Doubtless many of those enumerated among the missing will be found either wounded or killed. There was no straggling, and I have little doubt those not wounded or killed will be found prisoners in the hands of the enemy. It is a noticeable fact that the Second-Minnesota had not a single man among the missing, or a straggler, during the two days engagement.

I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of my officers and men. Without exception they performed all that was required — much more than should have been expected.

When all did so well, it seems almost unjust to make distinctions; more gallantry and indomitable courage were never displayed upon the field of battle.

The attention of the General commanding the division is particularly called to the conduct of Colonel James George, commanding Second Minnesota; Colonel Gustavus Kemmerling, Ninth Ohio; Colonel N. Gleason, Eighty-seventh Indiana; Lieutenant-Colonel H. V. N. Boynton, commanding Thirty-fifth Ohio, and Lieutenant F. G. Smith, commanding battery I, Fourth artillery. These officers performed every duty required of them, with coolness and promptness, and by their energy and gallantry, contributed much to the favorable result which attended every collision with the enemy. Such officers are a credit to the service and our country. Smith's battery rendered great help in the action of the nineteenth, and was ably and gallantly served, Lieutenant Rodney being conspicuous in the management of his section.

Captain Church, of the First brigade, with one section of his battery, fought well, and is entitled to credit for the assistance he rendered me on the nineteenth.

I cannot refrain from alluding to the reckless courage and dash of Adjutant Harris, Ninth Ohio.

My staff upon the field consisted of Captain J. R. Beatty, Second Minnesota, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General; Captains Oliver H. Paschall, of the Thirty-fifth Ohio, and B. E. Throsseau, Ninth Ohio, Acting Aids; Captain C. A. Cilley, Second Minnesota, Brigade Topographical Engineer, and First Lieutenant A. E. Alden, Second Minnesota, Brigade Inspector. For efficiency, personal courage, and energy, their conduct deserves more than praise. They exposed themselves, upon all occasions, watching the movements of the enemy, carrying orders, rallying the men, and by every means in their power contributing to the success of the brigade. Captain [538] Paschall was killed early in the action of the first day. He was a brave, noble soldier, an upright gentleman, and carries with him to the grave the love and respect of many friends.

Captain Throsseau was missing the evening of the same day, and I believe was captured. Captains Beatty and Cilley had each two horses shot under them.

There are many names particularly commended for courage and good behavior, for which I respectfully refer to the reports of the regiments and the battery.

We have lost many gallant officers and men, a list of whom is herewith furnished you.

In the charge made by the Ninth Ohio, on the nineteenth, which recaptured the battery of the regular brigade, their loss in killed and wounded was over fifty.

I am, Captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. Van Derveer, Colonel Commanding Third Brigade.

1 see Docs. Pp. 217, 362, and 409, ante.

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