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[414] Mission ridge, four miles south of Chattanooga and six or eight north of Gordon's mill. But Negley's division watched Owen's ford, a mile or so to our right, where another and inferior road over Pigeon mountain crossed the creek near Crawfish spring; while Sherman's and Jeff. C. Davis's divisions of McCook's corps were posted intermediately on the right of, but far nearer, our main line, holding the road which, striking off from the main Lafayette road a little north of Gordon's mill, keeps straight up the cove on the west side of the Chickamauga. Gordon Granger, with his reserved corp, was posted two or three miles in the rear of our left, covering all the roads leading from the east and south-east into Rossville, and thus to Chattanooga.

Rosecrans had been deceived, and was taken at disadvantage, as many a good General had been before him. Instead of being warned, as he should have been, by Meade and Halleck, had their spies been worth a rush, that a heavy corps had been detached from Lee's army and, probably sent against him, he had very recently received advices of an opposite tenor.1

Minty, commanding our cavalry on the left, had been scouting nearly to Dalton, and had had several smart skirmishes2 with the enemy's horse near that place, Ringgold, Lett's, and Rockspring church. As he still held the left, after our concentration, being thrown across the Lafayette road, he was here attacked3 in force, and compelled to give ground; showing that Bragg was massing heavily on his right, and crossing the Chickamauga below (north of) Gordon's mill.

Rosecrans was by this time aware that the matter threatened to be serious. The stubborn attack on Minty evinced a disposition to turn his left and cut him off from Rossville, Chattanooga, and any practicable line of retreat. The bulk of his army was too far up the valley for effective resistance to such a demonstration. The next day,4 therefore, was devoted by him to concentrating his force more compactly, and farther to the left; Bragg (whose reenforcements from Virginia were just coming up from Dalton, where they had debarked from the cars), contenting himself with a fresh attack by Walker's division on Minty's and on Wilder's horsemen at Alexander's bridge, which was carried, but burned; our left being now fairly driven in to the Rossville and Lafayette road: though heavy clouds of dust were raised in front of our right also. All the fords for miles below Gordon's mill were now in the hands of the enemy, who were firmly established across the creek. By night, Bragg was ready for the onset — a division of longstreet's men, under Hood, being in position on his extreme right; though

1 He had been favored, just before, with the following dispatch; which clearly proves that his rash pursuit of Bragg was dictated from, or at least expected at, Washington:

Washington, Sept. 11, 1863.
Burnside telegraphs from Cumberland gap that he holds all East tennessee above Loudon, and also the gap of the North Carolina mountains. A cavalry force is moving toward Athens to connect with you. After holding the mountain passes on the west, and Dalton, or some other point on the railroad, to prevent the return of Bragg's army, it will be decided whether your army shall move farther south into Georgia and Alabama. It is reported here by deserters that a part of Bragg's army is reenforcing Lee. It is important that the truth of this should be ascertained as early as possible.

H. W. Halleck, Commander-in-Chief.

2 Sept. 15.

3 Sept. 17.

4 Friday, Sept. 18.

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