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[243] of the enemy, a retreat other than disastrous could hardly be hoped for. During the night of the nineteenth, the Federal force was thus disposed, commencing at the left and proceeding to the right. Baird's division of Thomas's corps was in line four hundred yards east of the Chattanooga road, the left of course refused; next Johnson's division of McCook's corps, then Palmer's, of Crittenden's corps, then Reynolds's, of Thomas's corps. As this part of the line subsequently became isolated, it is particularly described. The first line occupied a very slight crest in a forest which prevented a view in front of more than one hundred and fifty or two hundred yards. Along this line a slight breastwork of rails, logs, etc., commenced first in Hazen's brigade, had been carried. shortly after daylight. It proved invaluable during the day. In rear of Johnson's, Palmer's, and part of the lines of the other divisions, was an open field, extending as far as the road, to which the line was parallel at a distance of about four hundred yards. The northern part of the open-ground was a cornfield, much of the standing stalk having been consumed during the night; the southern part was a fallow field. Beyond the road looking to the rear were dense woods. Next on the right of Reynolds, was Brannan's division of Thomas's corps, which had been brought up from the extreme left on Saturday evening, at the time the enemy penetrated the centre; then Negley's division, Thomas's corps, its right making a crotchet to the rear; and the line across the Chattanooga road toward Missionary Ridge was completed by Sheridan's and Davis's divisions of McCook's corps. Wood's and Van Cleve's divisions of Crittenden's corps, were in reserve at a proper distance in rear of the angle in the line. It will be seen that the divisions of the three corps were much scattered, no corps being complete on the line. It was daylight before the divisions had all taken position, and when this was accomplished, there was begun the closing of the line to the left, the divisions moving successively, and apparently in obedience to orders not from a general on the ground, so tardily was it done.

While the closing up of the line was still in progress, the attack commenced upon the left, and gradually progressed toward the right. Baird maintained his ground for a time, but was finally forced backward; The reserves of the left divisions were, however, sufficient to recover the ground — Willich's brigade, of Johnson's division, being taken in with much effect. The attack travelling toward the right, fell furiously but vainly upon Palmer and Reynolds, whose breastworks served them well. While this was in progress, Negley's division, forming the crotchet in the line, was ordered to the extreme left by General Rosecrans, to support that portion of the line. Wood's division, from the reserve, was sent to occupy the ground left vacant by Negley. In the, mean time the attack had reached Reynolds, and the process of closing up the line to the left had gone as far as Brannan, on Reynolds's right. At this time Wood received an order from General Rosecrans to close well up on Reynolds, and support him. Wood's skirmishers were already firing, and to withdraw, leaving an interval at that important point, seemed hazardous, but the order was positive. Wood marched to the rear, to pass to the left behind Brannan, who was between him and Reynolds, and almost instantly a heavy column of the enemy entered the interval. Van Cleve's, the other reserve division sent to support Brannan, was posted behind the latter, very close to him. The enemy, pressing briskly through the interval left by Wood, at once caught Sheridan and Davis in reverse and upon the flank, compelling a confused retreat.

Brannan was struck upon the flank, and with Van Cleve, his support, driven violently back. The latter division was not again formed on the field. Wood, taken on the march, resisted as he fell backward, and at length sending Harker's brigade at them at a charge, cleared his front, and after holding the ground a short time, fell back to a strong ridge, which he held. Here Brannan re-formed his division, being with Wood all that remained of the right of the army, if some fragments of regiments be excepted. Four or five batteries of reserve artillery, which were left in position when the reserve divisions were. ordered up to the line, being directly in the enemy's course as he came through the interval above described, fared as might be expected. Almost without warning, a rebel line marched quietly upon the astonished gunners without receiving a shot, and seventeen pieces were captured. The rebels turned their pieces toward Wood, and their shells, flying high, burst in rear of the extreme left, killing the wounded in a hospital in rear of Palmer's division, and firing the building. A few words will end the story of the right.

Swarming through the woods in confused masses, the men of Sheridan's, Davis's, and Van Cleve's divisions, with some from Brannan's, passed backward. Headquarters, which had been in rear of the position of the reserve, was caught up by the multitude and carried back. To those in the crowd the disaster appeared irremediable; apparently the whole army was in confused flight. Even the Commanding General, after a vain effort to arrest the foremost of the crowd as they came up to his position, and the commanders of the Twentieth and Twenty-first corps, were carried away by the living tide, and cut off from the remainder of the army. There was no panic among the retreating mass; but they were not stopped, though unpursued, until they reached Rossville. Sheridan indeed rallied his men and essayed a stand, but could not hold his ground; with much dexterity, however, he avoided the enemy and brought his division, almost complete, to Rossville. Negley, who, it has been mentioned, was withdrawn from the right and ordered to the left, by some unexplained fatality was in the retreating mass with two brigades, his other brigade having been formed on the left of Baird's division

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