not report until near eleven o'clock at night. Upon my arrival, I was informed that the troops had been engaged during the day in severe skirmishing, while endeavoring to get in line for battle. The commanding General gave me a map showing the roads and streams between Lookout Mountain and the Chickamauga River, and a general description of our position, and informed me that the battle was ordered at daylight the next morning; the action to be brought on upon our right, and to be taken up successively to the left; the general movement to be a wheel upon my extreme left as a pivot. I was assigned to the command of the left wing, composed of Hood's and Hindman's divisions, an improvised division under Brigadier-General B. R. Johnson, and Buckner's corps, consisting of Stewart's and Preston's divisions. The artillery consisted of the battalions of Majors Williams, Robertson, and Leyden, together with some other batteries attached to brigades. As soon as day of the twentieth had dawned, I rode to the front to find my troops. The line was arranged from the right to the left as follows: Stewart's, Johnson's, Hindman's and Preston's divisions. Hood's division (of which only three brigades were up) was somewhat in the rear of Johnson's. Kershaw's and Humphreys' brigades, McLaws' division, were ordered forward from Ringgold the night before, but were not yet up. General McLaws had not arrived from Richmond. I set to work to have the line adjusted by closing to the right, in order to occupy some vacant ground between the two wings, and to make room for Hood in the front line. The divisions were ordered to form with two brigades in the front line, and one supporting where there were but three brigades, and two supporting where there were more than three. General Hood was ordered to take the brigades of Kershaw and Humphreys and use them as supports for his division, thus making his division the main column of attack. Before these arrangements were completed, the attack was made by our right wing about ten o'clock. The battle seemed to rage with considerable fury, but did not progress as had been anticipated. As soon as I was prepared, I sent to the commanding General to suggest that I had probably better make my attack. Before the messenger returned, I heard that the commanding General had sent orders for the division commanders to move forward and attack. I had no time to find the officer who brought the order, as some of the troops were in motion when I heard of it. Upon this information, I at once issued orders to attack to the troops not already in motion, holding one of Buckner's divisions (Preston's) in reserve. As the battle upon our right was not so successful as had been expected in the plan of attack, I was obliged to reverse the order of battle, by retaining my right somewhere near the left of the right wing. To do this, Stewart's division was obliged to halt upon reaching the Lafayette and Chattanooga road. Hood's column broke the enemy's line near the Brotherton house, and made its wheel to the right. In making this movement, Major-General Hood fell severely, and it was feared mortally, wounded, by a Minie ball breaking his thigh. He had broken the enemy's line, however, and his own troops and those to his right and left continued to press the enemy with such spirit and force that he could not resist us. Brigadier-General Law succeeded to the command of Hood's division, and Brigadier-General Kershaw to the command of the two brigades of McLaws' division. General Kershaw having received no definite orders himself (being under the command of General Hood,) and not being advised of the wheel to the right, had gained more ground to the front than was intended in the movement of his two brigades. Johnson's division followed the movement made by Hood, and gained the Crawfish Spring and Chattanooga road, having a full share in the conflict. Major-General Hindman, in command of my left division, first met the enemy near the Vineyard house, and drove him back upon his strong position near the widow Glenn's, or burnt house. By a well-directed front and flank attack, he gained the position after a severe struggle. The enemy's dead at this point mark well his line of battle. Hindman was then ordered to move by his right flank and reinforce Johnson, near the Villets house, who was pressing forward against great odds. About three o'clock in the afternoon, I asked the commanding General for some of the troops of the right wing, but was informed by him that they had been beaten back so badly that they could be of no service to me. I had but one division that had not been engaged, and hesitated to venture to put it in, as our distress upon our right seemed to be almost as great as that of the enemy upon his right. I therefore concluded to hold Preston for the time, and urge on to renewed efforts our brave men who had already been engaged many hours. The heights extending from the Villets house across to the Snodgrass house, gave the enemy strong ground upon which to rally. Here he gathered most of his broken forces and reinforced them. After a long and bloody struggle, Johnson and Hindman gained the heights near the Crawfish Spring road. Kershaw made a most handsome attack upon the heights at the Snodgrass house, simultaneously with Johnson and Hindman, but was not strong enough for the work. It was evident that with this position gained, I should be complete master of the field. I therefore ordered General Buckner.to move Preston forward. Before this, however, General Buckner had established a battery of twelve guns, raking down the enemy's line which opposed our right wing, and at the same time having fine play upon any force that might attempt to reinforce the hill that he was about to attack. General Stewart, of his corps, was also ordered to move against any such force in flank. The combination was well timed and arrranged. Preston dashed gallantly at the hill. Stewart flanked a reinforcing column, and captured a
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Doc . 62 .-Hoisting the Black flag — official correspondence and reports.
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.