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[424] sake of the unintended proof it affords that the fortune of the day was only decided at so late an hour that pursuit in that wooded, rugged region was extremely hazardous, if not impossible. Reid says:
The western horizon, crimsoned with vermilion hues, now shed its ruddy light on the hill-top and forest-plain, painting the bloody battle-field, still reeking with human gore; but the battle-strife had not yet ceased. Driven to desperation, and determined at all hazards to hold their position on their left wing, the enemy, with a resolute ferocity, hurled his battalions upon our right, at the same time opening his batteries with a storm of shell and grape. Liddell and Gist, of Walker's corps, who had been again ordered forward, being their fifth engagement with the enemy, were met by a most destructive fire, which enfiladed them on both flanks and drove them back. Our line of battle on the right was now about half a mile from the Chattanooga road. The enemy was sorely pressing our wavering lines. Gen. Polk, who had borne the brunt of the battle during the day, and fought his wing against the concentrated masses of the enemy with unequaled bravery and endurance, had now marshaled his forces for a last desperate charge, on which depended the fate of the day. His flashing eye at this moment discovered that Granger's reserve corps of Abolition troops was moving down upon us, and not a moment was to be lost. At the same time, it was reported that Longstreet was driving the enemy's right flank, which added fresh nerve and vigor to our already exhausted men. The signal being given, the whole line advanced: Breckinridge leading off on the extreme right, the division making a left half-wheel, which brought it parallel to the enemy's lines, whose artillery belched forth a blasting fire. Forward pressed Stovall, Gilson, and Helm, in perfect order, cheered by other lines of troops as they advanced, and passing through the “unterrified ” of Walker's line, who was then engaging the enemy, without halting, and reserving their fire until within a few yards of the foe, when they sprang forward with a wild yell to the charge, receiving a volley from the enemy without effect. A second volley from the barricades of trees and stones checked Breckinridge for a moment, and many a brave, with the noble Helm, fell; but the officers rushed forward, mounting the barricades, followed by their men, dealing destruction to the panic-stricken hordes, who fled on every side; a brigade of U. S. regulars, under Gen. King, being perfectly routed by Gibson. Still onward pressed the division of Breckinridge, driving the enemy for three-quarters of a mile, capturing nine pieces of cannon and hundreds of prisoners, until entering the woods about 70 yards west of the Chattanooga road; the enemy's killed and wounded marking its bloody track in the pursuit.

At the same time, on came the chivalrous Cleburne, with the brave Deshler, Wood, /un>and Polk, who soon came in conflict with Granger's corps, sweeping them before their ranks like leaves, and facing the murderons fire of their barricades. The heroic and dashing Deshler went down, but still the men pressed forward: Wood, with Lucius Polk's brigade, storming breastwork after breastwork, until the third work was carried — Polk capturing three pieces of cannon, the standards of the 2d Ohio, 77th Pennsylvania, 79th Illinois, and 500 prisoners. Like the ocean-wave rolled onward the brigades of the warrior Cheatham toward the center of the enemy's works, which were carried with an irresistible impetuosity: Maney's brigade adding new laurels to its fame, as well as Strabl's, Wright's, Jackson's, and the lamented Preston Smith's; capturing several pieces of artillery and a large number of prisoners. This sealed our victory. The enemy was totally routed from right, left, and center, and was in full retreat to Chattanooga; night alone preventing their farther pursuit. Then arose along our lines, from wing to wing for miles, one wild, tumultuous yell, and cheers which made the hills and forest shake again. The day was ours; while the croaking raven of the night perched on the ill-starred banner of the vain, boasting Rosecrans, now crestfallen, defeated, and humiliated. Polk's wing captured 28 pieces of artillery, and Longstreet's 21, making 49 pieces of cannon; both wings taking nearly an equal number of prisoners, amounting to over 8,000, with 30,000 stand of arms, and 40 stands of regimental colors. The enemy's loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners, by their own account, is not less than 30,000. Ours is computed at 12,000: our wounded being unusually large compared to the killed. The enemy is known to have had all his available force on the field, including his reserve, with a portion of Burnside's corps, numbering not less than 80,000, while our whole force did not exceed 50,000. Nothing was more brilliant in all Bonaparte's Italian campaigns; it was equally desperate as the battle of Arcola, and far more decisive in its results. So far, it exceeds all previous battles of our revolution; and nothing could surpass the irresistible

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