creek at a ford above the bridge, the country was scoured for a mile west of the bridge. General Hood's command of infantry also crossed the Chickamauga and formed in line of battle, my command bivouacking on the field in the rear of his line, near Alexander's Bridge. On the morning of the nineteenth, I was ordered to move with my command down the road towards Reed's Bridge and develop the enemy, which was promptly done, and their advance was soon engaged at the steam saw-mill near that point. Finding the enemy too strong for General Pegram's force, I dispatched a staff officer to Lieutenant-General Polk's quarters for General Armstrong's division. He could only spare Dibrell's brigade, which arrived shortly after we engaged the enemy, was speedily dismounted and formed, and, with General Pegram's division, were able to hold position until infantry reinforcements arrived, the first brigade of which, under Colonel Wilson, formed on my left, advanced in gallant style, driving the enemy back and capturing a battery of artillery. My dismounted cavalry advanced with them. The superior force of the enemy compelled us to give back until reinforced by General Ector's brigade, when the enemy were again driven back. From statements of prisoners captured, the enemy's force engaged was four brigades of infantry and one of cavalry. But when driven back the second time, with the loss of another battery, their full force was developed, and, being met and overpowered by vastly superior numbers, we were compelled to fall back to our first position. A cavalry charge was made to protect the infantry as they retired, which they did in good order, though with loss. We captured many prisoners, but were unable, for want of horses, to bring off the guns captured from the enemy. Until the arrival of Major-General Walker (being the senior officer present), I assumed temporary command of the infantry, and I must say that the fighting and the gallant charges of the two brigades just referred to excited my astonishment. They broke the enemy's line, and could not be halted or withdrawn until nearly surrounded. We fell back, fighting and contesting the ground, to our original position, near the mill on the Reed's Bridge road. General Cheatham's division coming up and engaging the enemy, drove them for some distance, but was, in turn, compelled to fall back. Seeing General Maney's brigade hard pressed and retiring before the enemy, I hastened to his relief with Freeman's battery of six pieces, dismounting Colonel Dibrell's brigade to support it. The conduct of Major John R.-----, Chief of Artillery, and the officers and men of this battery, on this occasion, deserve special mention. They kept up a constant and destructive fire upon the enemy until they were within fifty yards of the guns, getting off the field with all their guns, notwithstanding the loss of horses. They were gallantly protected by Colonel Dibrell in retiring, who fell back with the line of infantry. General Armstrong, having been released by General Polk, arrived with his brigade and took command of his division, forming it, and, with Pegram's division, holding the road to Reed's Bridge, which had been repaired during the day. On Sunday morning, the twentieth, I received orders to move up and keep in line with General Breckinridge's division, which I did, dismounting all of General Armstrong's division, except the First Tennessee regiment, of McDonald's brigade, holding General Pegram's division in reserve on my right. The two commands of General Armstrong's division, which were mounted, took possesion of the Lafayette road, capturing the enemy's hospitals and quite a number of prisoners. They were compelled to fall back, as the enemy's reserves, under General Granger, advanced upon that road. Colonel Dibrell fought in front, with the infantry, during that day. As General Granger approached, by shelling his command and manoeuvring his troops, he was detained nearly two hours and prevented from joining the main force until late in the evening, and then at a double-quick and under a heavy fire from Freeman's battery, and a section of Napoleon guns, borrowed from General Breckinridge. After Granger's column had vacated the road in front of me, I moved my dismounted men rapidly forward and took possession from the Federal Hospital to the woods on the left, through which the infantry was fighting and advancing. My artillery was ordered forward, but, before it could reach the woods and be placed in position, a charge was made by the enemy, the infantry line, retreating in confusion, and leaving me without a support, but held the ground long enough to get my artillery back to the position from which we shelled Granger's column, and opened fire upon the advancing column with fourteen pieces of artillery, driving them back and terminating on the right flank the battle of Chickamauga. This fire was at short range, in open ground, and was to the enemy very destructive, killing two colonels and many other officers and privates. It is with pride and pleasure that I mention the gallant conduct of the officers and men of my command. General Armstrong's division fought almost entirely on foot, always up and frequently in advance of the infantry. My command was kept on the field during the night of the twentieth, and men and horses suffered greatly for want of water. The men were without rations and the horses had only received a partial feed once during the two days engagement. On Monday morning I moved forward on the Lafayette road towards Chattanooga, capturing many prisoners and arms. The latter were collected as far as practicable and sent to the rear, using for that purpose several wagons and ambulances captured from the retreating enemy or abandoned or left by them. On taking possession of Mission Ridge, one mile or thereabouts
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Doc . 62 .-Hoisting the Black flag — official correspondence and reports.
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