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[235] hazards, even if the right is withdrawn wholly back to the present left. Select a good position back this way, and be ready to start reenforcements to Thomas at a moment's warning.

J. A. Garfield, Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.

Within five minutes after the receipt of the above order and instructions given to carry it out, the following was received:

headquarters Department of Cumberland, in the field, September 20-10.30 A. M.
Major-General Me Cook, Commanding Twentieth Army Corps:
The General Commanding directs you to send two brigades of General Sheridan's division at once, and with all possible despatch, to support General Thomas, and send the Third brigade as soon as the lines can be drawn sufficiently. March them as rapidly as you can without exhausting the men. Report in person to these headquarters as soon as your orders are given in regard to Sheridan's movement.

Have you any news from Colonel Post?

J. A. Garfield, Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.

This order was executed at once. Two brigades of Sheridan's division — Lytle's and Walworth's — were taken from the extreme right and moved, at the double-quick, to the support of General Thomas. Simultaneously with this movement, and much to my surprise, Wood's division left the position it had in line of battle, on Davis's left, marching by the left flank, leaving a wide gap in the line. An attempt was made by General Davis to fill up the space thus vacated. Buell's brigade of Wood's division had scarcely marched more than its length when a most furious and impetuous assault was made by the enemy, in overwhelming numbers, on this portion of the line, the enemy's line of battle extending from a point beyond Brannan's right to a point far to the right of the Widow Glenn's house, and in front of the strong position just abandoned by General Sheridan's two brigades. To resist this attack I had just two brigades of Davis's division, numbering about one thousand two hundred men, and Colonel Laibold's brigade of Sheridan's division as a support.

Finding the enemy pouring through the interval between Davis and Brannan, Lytle's and Walworth's brigades are deflected from their line of march, and ordered to assist in resisting the enemy. Colonels Wilder and Harrison closed in with their commands on Sheridan's right as speedily as possible, and did good service. General Davis's command being overwhelmed by numbers, was compelled to abandon its position in order to save itself from complete annihilation or capture. Laibold's troops coming up to Davis's support, met with a similar fate. The other two brigades of Sheridan's division were illy prepared to meet such an attack. They struggled nobly, and for a time checked the enemy in their immediate front. But the position being turned far to the left, they were compelled to withdraw from the unequal contest.

It was thus that these five brigades of the Twentieth army corps were cut off and separated from the remainder of the army. No troops fought with more heroism, or suffered greater losses than these small five brigades; their loss being over forty per cent of the number engaged, in killed and wounded.

In regard to the numbers of the enemy that attacked on the right, I can make no estimate. General Sheridan captured prisoners from five different rebel divisions. The Fifty-first Illinois, of Walworth's brigade, captured the colors of the Twenty-fourth Alabama.

The troops of Generals Sheridan and Davis were rallied a short distance in the rear of the line of battle, and marched toward Rossville, to endeavor to form a junction with the troops of General Thomas. Their presence was reported to General Thomas by my Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-Colonel Thurston. They were placed in position by order of General Thomas, on the road leading from the battle-field to Rossville. During the night they withdrew to Rossville with the remainder of the army.

The Second division of the Twentieth corps, under General Johnson, fell back to Rossville with the. Fourteenth corps, Willich's brigade forming the rear-guard. On the night of the twentieth, the Twentieth corps was in good order united at Rossville.

On the morning of the twenty-first, a short time after daylight, the corps was again put in line of battle, the left resting on Mission Ridge, covering the Crawfish Spring road, the right extending toward Chattanooga Creek and Lookout Mountain. The corps remained in this position until two A. M. of the twenty-second of September, when it was withdrawn to Chattanooga with the rest of the army.

Since arriving at Chattanooga, the corps has been engaged in heavy guard-duty, and erecting strong lines of intrenchments, which, in my opinion, can only be taken by regular approaches.

My thanks are due to Colonel Joseph E. McKibben, Captain A. S. Bart, Captain R. S. Thorns, and Lieutenant George Burroughs, of General Rosecrans's staff, for valuable assistance in rallying portions of Sheridan's and Davis's divisions which had been overwhelmed. Brigadier-General J. St. Clair Morton, Chief Engineer of the army, being separated from his staff, reported to me for duty.

After ascertaining that the centre of our line had been broken, my first object was. to endeavor to find the General Commanding, to ascertain to what point he wished the rallied troops marched. Failing to find the General, and believing that an efficient stand could not be made by the army until it reached Chattanooga, the forces on the left retired toward Rossville. From statements of General Rosecrans's guides, and from observations made by General Morton, I was satisfied that the enemy was endeavoring to cut our army off from Rossville. At this juncture, Lieutenant-Colonel

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