(commanded by Polk), to form my reserve so as to echelon Breckinridge, who was on the right of Hill's corps. Before I got into my position, and whilst marching by the flank to gain the ground to the right, I was sent for by General Hill to his support. General Polk was with my command when I received the order. I marched rapidly forward in line of battle, part of the time at double-quick, and reported to General Hill. General Polk was with me. General Hill informed me, on my arrival, that he wanted a brigade. I told him there was one immediately behind him. He remarked he wanted Gist's brigade. I informed him that it was to the left and had just come up (General Gist had a few moments before, been put in command, by me, of General Ector's and Colonel Wilson's brigades, and Colonel Colquitt had command of Gist's brigade). He ordered General Gist's brigade immediately into the fight in the rear of Breckinridge, a part of whose division had fallen back, and the whole of which was hard pressed. I refer you to General Gist's report for the performance of his command. General Walthall was detached to the left to the support of Brigadier-General Polk, by Hill or Polk. My command being thus disposed of, brigades being sent in to take the places of divisions, my only occupation was to help from the detached portions of my command as they came out from a position. I felt certain they would have to leave when they were sent in. My division commanders received their orders direct from General Hill, and I refer you to their reports. Breckinridge's division having fallen back, and General Hill having reported Cleburne's division, on Breckinridge's left, routed, my reserve corps having fallen back in detachments, in which they were sent in, and a column having been observed marching down the Chattanooga road, on our right, I was compelled to insist on having something to do with my own command. With our right flank exposed to their advancing column, the reported gap that the withdrawal of Cleburne had made on the left, I was in favor of forming the command in a strong position about one hundred and fifty or two hundred yards in rear of us, until we ascertained positively the condition of our flanks, and then make the best disposition of the combined force and strike the enemy to the best advantage. General Hill, differing with me, ordered his line of battle, one at right angles to the other. General Breckinridge being at right angles to mine, he facing southward to oppose the force then coming from Chattanooga, and I facing westward toward the enemy we had been fighting. We were in this position when one of General Polk's Aids rode up and told General Hill that General Polk had directed him to order General Hill peremptorily to advance immediately on the enemy. General Gist was then ordered by me to move his division in the direction of the enemy, and General Liddell's division was ordered on his right. Generals Breckinridge and Cheatham were in rear and on General Gist's left. The command marched forward. I refer you to General Gist's and General Liddell's reports for the result. My command bivouacked on the battle-field, and the enemy retreated in the direction of Chattanooga. I owe to myself and to the gallant command under me, to state that when I reported to General Hill, had he permitted me to fight my reserve corps according to my own judgment, and had not disintegrated it, as he did, by sending it in detachments, I would have formed my five batteries on the left flank of the enemy toward the Chattanooga road, and opened fire upon the enemy's flank, and would have either pushed them forward, supported by infantry, or have marched past them with my combined force, and I feel satisfied that the enemy's left would have been carried much easier than it was, and many a gallant man have been saved, and the enemy's retreat intercepted. I refer the commanding General to the reports of the division and brigade commanders for the conduct of their officers on the field. In the three days fighting I had the honor to command the gallant reserve corps, I witnessed nothing but a heroism that was worthy of men battling for their freedom. To the division and brigade commanders, General Gist, commanding division composed of General Gist's, General Ector's, and Colonel Wilson's brigades, and General Liddell, commanding division composed of General Walthall's and Colonel Govan's brigades, I have only to say that the Brigadier-Generals fought with a gallantry that entitle them to division commands, and the Colonels commanding brigades, with an obstinacy and courage that entitle them to the rank of Brigadier-Generals. The conduct of Colonels, commanders of batteries, line officers, and privates, is recorded by their respective commanders. I may be permitted in my own division, which was commanded on Sunday by General Gist, to state that Colonel Wilson, who commanded a brigade on both Saturday and Sunday, and acted with great distinction, and who is the oldest Colonel from Georgia, is entitled, from long service with the brigade and from gallant conduct, to the command of the Georgia brigade he now commands in the capacity of Brigadier-General; and that the gallant Stevens, of Gist's brigade, (who was severely wounded), from what I know of his capacity as an officer, from his gallantry on the field, and from his devotion to the cause, would grace any position that might be conferred. To my staff, Captain J. B. Cumming, Assistant Adjutant-General; Captain S. H. Crump, Assistant Inspector-General; Lieutenants Lamar and Kenan, Aids-de-Camp; Lieutenant Magruder, Ordnance Officer, who was on the field with me, and Captain M. H. Talbot, volunteer Aid, I am indebted for distinguished and gallant service on the field, and to Captain Troup, Assistant Adjutant-General, who was dangerously wounded
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Doc . 62 .-Hoisting the Black flag ��� official correspondence and reports.
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