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[404] Federal side a little below Alexander's bridge and Bushrod Johnson's division at Reed's bridge, lower down, the preceding afternoon after some fighting with Federal cavalry. Walker's corps had moved up the stream, after crossing, to a position in front of Alexander's bridge, and continued its march in the same direction on the 19th, but Bushrod Johnson had, on the afternoon of the 18th, swept up the Chickamauga some three miles. On the morning of the 19th, therefore, the left of Rosecrans's army, which Bragg was expecting to strike with Bushrod Johnson's and Walker's troops, greatly overlapped the Confederate right. Then there burst a quick flash of light on this straggling march in search of the enemy. Thomas, like the good soldier he was, began to look about him as soon as he reached Kelly's. Learning that a Confederate brigade had crossed Reed's bridge the evening before, he promptly sent Brannan forward with two brigades to see what was there. This reconnoissance brought on the battle of the 19th of September, broke in upon Bragg's initiative, arrested his flank march, put him upon defending his own flank instead of threatening the enemy's, and gave a character of irregularity and chance-medley to the action of that day which makes the despair of him who now attempts to describe it.

Brannan's brigades very soon found Forrest in their path with his dismounted cavalry, one division of which was led by John Pegram, the elder of two brothers whose names will never be mentioned before this Society without the tribute due to purity and valor. Forrest had had the good sense to have a brigade of infantry near at hand, soon to be supported by another. So immediately there was fierce fighting, and Forrest, who was no common judge of excellence in that matter, declared that the performance of Ector's and Wilson's brigades commanded his admiration. The Confederates, with the soldierly instinct which usually taught them how much momentum goes with a fierce attack, when you magnify a small mass by a very great velocity, dashed in impetuously, ran over a battery and drove the enemy back upon his supports, but were soon obliged to retire, of course, before the strong reinforcements we have seen Thomas had at hand. Then W. H. T. Walker hurried up Liddell's division, which, you remember, was on the march two miles off, to regain the lost ground. With the arrival of these troops the Confederate battle-cry again rang out and the face of the field once more changed.

Three brigades of Baird's division of the Federal army were hurled back and scattered, and ten pieces of artillery snatched from their bewildered cannoneers. The Confederate onset seemed irresistible. At

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