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[417] to advance with two brigades on the road to Reid's bridge, while Baird should throw forward the right wing of his division on the road to Alexander's bridge; thus attempting between them to capture or crush the Rebel brigade, if such there were where McCook located, it.

It was now 9 A. M.; and, while Baird and Brannan were making the required movements, Palmer's division of Crittenden's corps came up and took post on Baird's right. By 10 A. M., Croxton's brigade of Brannan's division had become engaged, driving back Forrest's cavalry; when Ector's and Wilson's infantry brigades were sent in by Walker to Forrest's support. Croxton, of course, was brought to a dead halt; but now Thomas sent up Baird's division, and the Rebel brigades were hurled back, badly cut up. Hereupon, Walker in turn sent up Liddell's division, making the odds against us two to one; when Baird was in turn driven: the Rebels, charging through the lines of the 14th, 16th, and 18th U. S. regulars, taking two batteries; while Walthall's Georgia brigade captured the 5th regulars, 411 strong, and Govan's, charging by its side, took 100 more prisoners.

One of the batteries here lost was the 1st Michigan, formerly Loomis's; regarded by the whole army with pride, and by those who served in it with an affection little short of idolatry. It had done yeoman service on many a hard-fought field, and was fondly regarded as well nigh invincible. But now, abandoned by its supports, who recoiled before a Rebel charge in overwhelming force, with all its horses shot and most of its men killed and wounded, it could not be drawn off, and was doomed to be lost. Its commander, Lt. Van Pelt, refused to leave it, and died, sword in hand, fighting--one against a thousand--by the side of his guns.

And now Johnson's division of McCook's corps, and Reynolds's of Thomas's, came up at quick step, and were instantly put in by Thomas — as was Palmer's division — on Baird's right, giving a clear superiority to our line, which for the moment outflanked the enemy, driving him back in disorder and with heavy loss on his reserves, posted near the creek; retaking our lost guns, and enabling Brannan and Baird to reform their disorganized commands. In resisting this advance, the Rebel Gen. Preston Smith was killed. The enemy's position on the creek was very strong, and it was not deemed wise to assault it: so our men rested on their arms, and there was a lull of an hour, or from 4 to 5 P. M.

Thomas well understood that the fight was not over, and made his dispositions accordingly; expecting that the next effort would be to flank his left, carry the road, and gain his rear (as was Bragg's original programme for the battle). But he judged that the enemy had had enough for the day, and had given orders for a concentration of his divisions on more favorable ground, somewhat to the rear of that to which they had advanced, pursuing their advantage; when his front was again charged by Liddell's and Gist's divisions — Reynolds being first struck on his right (Thomas having been looking for an attack on his left); then Johnson, then Baird, then Van Cleve — the Rebel charge being so impetuous and weighty as to throw our front

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Baird (8)
Francis Thomas (5)
J. M. Brannan (3)
W. H. T. Walker (2)
J. J. Reynolds (2)
H. Palmer (2)
Daniel McCook (2)
Liddell (2)
B. Johnson (2)
N. B. Forrest (2)
Croxton (2)
T. F. Wilson (1)
Walthall (1)
Preston Smith (1)
Whitelaw Reid (1)
Pelt (1)
Loomis (1)
Govan (1)
Gist (1)
Ector (1)
George B. Crittenden (1)
P. Cleve (1)
Braxton Bragg (1)
Alexander (1)
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