previous next
[422] though three or four miles distant, had become loud and continuous, he could no longer resist their appeal. Moving, therefore, without orders, he reported, at 3 P. M., to Thomas; whom he found holding the ridge aforesaid, while the enemy, in overwhelming force, were pressing him at once in front and on both flanks, while they held a ridge on his right running nearly at right angles with that he occupied, and were advancing Hindman's division in a gorge thereof, with intent to assail his right in flank and rear.

The moment was critical. Thomas had work for all his men, and could spare none to confront this new peril. Instantly forming Gen. Whitaker's and Col. Mitchell's brigades, Granger hurled them on the foe: Steedman, seizing the flag of a regiment, heading the charge. Twenty minutes later, Hindman had disappeared, and our men held both gorge and ridge; but Whitaker was knocked senseless from his horse by a bullet, with two of his staff killed and two more mortally wounded. Steedman's horse was killed and he severely bruised by his fall; but he remained on duty to the close of the day. Our loss in this charge was of course heavy; that of the enemy far greater.

There was a pause of half an hour, while the enemy was forming and massing for a desperate charge on all points of our position. About 4 P. M., the storm burst in all its fury. The stampede of our right had swept with it nearly or quite all our ammunition trains, so that cartridges had become scarce, and the utmost economy in their use was indispensable. But for the fortunate arrival with Granger of a small supply, which afforded about ten rounds per man, many regiments would have been compelled to rely on their bayonets.

Longstreet was now here, in immediate command of his own corps — Hood having been wounded and had his leg amputated on the field — with McLaws's, Preston's, Breckinridge's, Cleburne's, Stewart's, Hindman's, Bushrod Johnson's divisions — in fact, all but a fraction of the entire Rebel army — swarming around the foot of the ridge whereon Thomas, with what remained of seven divisions of ours--four having vanished with the dispersion of our right — withstood and repelled assault after assault till sundown; when he, by order from Rosecrans at Chattanooga, communicated by his chief of staff, Gen. Garfield, who reached the ridge at 4 P. M., commenced the withdrawal of his troops to Rossville.

Gen. Reynolds was ordered, at 5 1/2 P. M., to commence this movement, which Wood was directed to cover; Gen. Thomas was riding over to Wood's position to point out the ground he was to hold, when he was cautioned by two soldiers that a large Rebel force was advancing through the woods toward him. Reynolds with his division now approaching, Thomas ordered him to deflect to the left and form line while marching, with his right resting on the State road, thence charging the enemy, who would thus be in his immediate front. The order was promptly obeyed: Turchin's brigade precipitating itself on the enemy with such vigor as to rout them and capture more than 200 prisoners, who were taken off the field in our retreat.

Our divisions were withdrawn in succession from the ridge: Johnson's

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Rossville (Georgia, United States) (1)
Chattanooga (Tennessee, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: