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[370] Johnson, whose brigade had been at Ringgold holding the railroad, was moved towards Reed's Bridge, which brought him on the extreme right of the line. Walker's corps formed on his left, opposite Alexander's Bridge. Buckner's next, near Ledford's Ford. Polk's opposite Lee and Gordon's Mills, and Hill's on the extreme left. With Johnson moved two brigades, just arrived from Mississippi, and three of Longstreet's corps, all without artillery and transportation.

The following orders were issued on the night of the seventeenth for the forces to cross the Chickamauga, commencing the movement at six o'clock A. M. on the eighteenth, by the extreme right, at Reed's Bridge.

headquarters army of Tennessee, in the field, Leet's Tan-yard, September 18, 1863.

I. Johnson's column (Hood's), on crossing at or near Reed's Bridge, will turn to the left by the most practicable route, and sweep up the Chickamauga towards Lee and Gordon's Mills.

II. Walker, crossing at Alexander's Bridge, will unite in this move, and push vigorously on the enemy's flank and rear in the same direction.

III. Buckner, crossing at Ledford's Ford, will join in the movement to the left and press the enemy up the stream from Polk's front at Lee and Gordon's Mills.

IV. Polk will press his forces to the front of Lee and Gordon's Mills, and if met by too much resistance to cross will bear to the right and cross at Dalton's Ford, or at Ledford's, as may be necessary, and join the attack wherever the enemy may be.

V. Hill will cover our left flank from an advance of the enemy from the cove, and, by pressing the cavalry in his front, ascertain if the enemy is reinforcing at Lee and Gordon's Mills, in which event he will attack them in flank.

VI. Wheeler's cavalry will hold the gap in Pigeon Mountain, and cover our rear and left and bring up the stragglers.

VII. All teams, etc., not with troops, should go towards Ringgold and Dalton, Georgia, beyond Taylor's Ridge. All cooking should be done at the trains; rations, when cooked, will be forwarded to the troops.

VIII. The above movements will be executed with the utmost promptness and persistence.

By command of General Bragg. George W. Brent, Assistant Adjutant-General.

The resistance offered by the enemy's cavalry and the difficulties arising from the bad and narrow country roads, caused unexpected delays in the execution of these movements. Though the commander of the right column was several times urged to press forward, his crossing was not effected until late in the afternoon. At this time, Major-General Hood, of Longstreet's corps, arrived and assumed command of the column, Brigadier-General Johnston resuming his improvised division of three brigades. Alexander's Bridge was hotly contested and finally broken up by the enemy, just as General Walker secured possession. He moved down stream, however, a short distance, and crossed, as directed, at Byron's Ford, and thus secured a junction with Hood after night.

The movement was resumed at daylight on the nineteenth, and Buckner's corps, with Cheatham's division, of Polk's, had crossed and formed, when a brisk engagement commenced with our cavalry under Forrest on the extreme right. About nine o'clock, a brigade from Walker was ordered to Forrest's support, and soon after Walker was ordered to attack with his whole force. Our line was now formed with Buckner's left resting on the Chickamauga, about one mile below Lee and Gordon's Mills. On his right came Hood with his own and Johnston's divisions, with Walker on the extreme right, Cheatham's division being in reserve, the general direction being a little east of north. The attack ordered by our right was made by General Walker in his usual gallant style, and soon developed a largely superior force opposed. He drove them handsomely, however, and captured several batteries of artillery in most gallant charges. Before Cheatham's division, ordered to his support, could reach him he had been pressed back to his first position by the extended lines of the enemy assailing him on both flanks. The two commands united were soon enabled to force the enemy back again, and recover our advantage, though we were yet greatly outnumbered. These movements on our right were in a direction to leave an opening in our line between Cheatham and Hood. Stewart's division, forming Buckner's second line, was throws to the right to fill this, and it soon became hotly engaged, as did Hood's whole front. The enemy, whose left was at Lee and Gordon's Mills when our movement commenced, had rapidly transferred forces from his extreme right, changing his entire line, and seemed disposed to dispute, with all his ability, our effort to gain the main road to Chattanooga in his rear. Lieutenant-General Polk was ordered to move his remaining division across at the nearest ford, and to assume the command in person on our right. Hill's corps was also ordered to cross below Lee and Gordon's Mills and join the line on the right.

Whilst these movements were being made our right and centre were heavily and almost constantly engaged. Stewart, by a vigorous assault, broke the enemy's centre, and penetrated far into his lines, but was obliged to retire for want of sufficient force to meet the heavy enfilade fire which he encountered from the right. Hood, later engaged, advanced from the first fire, and continued to drive the force in his front until night. Cleburne's division, of Hill's corps, which first reached the right, was ordered to attack immediately, in conjunction with the force already engaged. This veteran command, under

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