into disorder; but this was soon retrieved, and the enemy repulsed: Brig.-Gen. W. Hazen
, of Crittenden
's corps, massing 20 guns on a ridge that commanded the Rossville
road, forming an infantry support of such men as he could hastily collect — his own brigade not being at hand — and pouring a cross-fire of grape at short range into the enemy's charging column, till it recoiled in disorder, and the day was saved.
Another charge was made on Johnson
's front just at sunset by Pat. Cleburne
, ( “ the Stonewall Jackson
of the West
,” ) with a division of Hill
's corps, who pressed up to our very lines, and claim to have gained some advantage ; but night soon fell, and the day's fighting was done — either army resting without fires in the keen Autumn night air of that mountain region, on the field where it had so stoutly fought.
There had been some artillery practice during the day on our right, but no serious effort, till afternoon; when Stewart
threw forward Brown
's, and Bate
's brigades by turns, charging one of our batteries and capturing three guns; but he was soon sent to the right about, and compelled to leave the guns where he found them.
The attack at this point, though for some time persisted in, was a conceded failure.
, holding the Rebel
left, having cannonaded in the morning with no advantage, threw in, at 3 P. M., two of his divisions — his own, under Law, and Bushrod Johnson
's — attacking Jeff. C. Davis
' division of McCook
's corps, pushing it back from the road, and capturing a battery; but Davis
maintained a firm front against superior numbers till near sunset, when Bradley
's brigade of Sheridan
's division came to his aid, and he charged the enemy in turn, recapturing the battery (8th Indiana) that he had lost, taking quite a number of prisoners, and driving the enemy back across the road, (though Trigg
's brigade of Preston
's division came to his aid), and closing the day with decided advantage to our arms.
Superficially regarded, the net result of that day's combat was favorable.
Our army had lost no ground for which it had contended, and claimed a net gain of three guns.
Our losses in men had doubtless been less than those of the enemy.
And, as we were standing on the defensive, we might fairly claim the result as a success.
But the truth was otherwise.
Our soldiers were clearly outnumbered, and now they felt it. Every brigade but two of our army had been under fire — most of them hotly engaged — while the enemy had several yet in reserve.
We had no reenforcements at hand, and could expect none; while Hindman
's division (three brigades) and McLaws
's (two brigades of veterans, fresh from Virginia
) came up during the ,night, and were posted just where experience had proved that they were most needed.
And beside, Longstreet
himself came up, and took command of their right wing--and he was worth at least a brigade.
The best estimate that can be formed of their entire force on this bloody field makes it 70,000; which, on ground affording so little advantage to the defensive, was a clear overmatch for Rosecrans
And, though the profane axiom that “God is on the side of the strongest battalions,” is not always and absolutely true it is certain that, as between