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[405] that moment the actual presence of Cheatham's division, then quite near on the march to support Liddell, would have secured the destruction of the Federal left; but Cheatham's division was not there yet, and minutes in war decide battles. What change is this Liddell now sees in the Federal ranks as, after running over two lines, he moves forward to attack a third? There is no longer the same front, but, as far as the eye can range in this wooded country, the dark-blue line extends, and at each extremity a rapid movement shows that the Confederate division is about to be turned on both flanks. We know now what Liddell could only dimly read — Johnson's division of McCook's corps, dispatched by Rosecrans, has appeared on Baird's right in the nick of time, and Brannan, on his left, with a soldier's instinct, feeling no pressure in his front, has urged his men forward on Liddell's right flank. So the tide of battle again surges back. The Confederates beat a sullen retreat to the first line of low hills. Then Cheatham, sent by Bragg himself, as Johnson had been by Rosecrans, came on the field at the head of his noble division, himself an inspiring reinforcement to men in battle. It was not his fault that he had not arrived earlier; he had marched when Bragg had given the order, but Bragg's order was given at 11 o'clock, after Thomas's attack had taken the initiative away from him, and Rosecrans's order to Johnson was given at a quarter-past 10 at the dictate of his own judgment. Upon such minute elements of time hang the issues of war! Had Bragg's order to Cheatham been given at a quarter-past 10 and Rosecrans's order to Johnson at 11, the battle of Chickamauga might have been decided on the 19th by the destruction of the Federal left. But it was fated that the fighting of that day was to be a series of partial battles between successive divisions arriving on either line, in the midst of which victory swayed from side to side till night and the exhaustion of the combatants put a term to the struggle, and reserved for a still more bloody morrow the awful and final award.

Cheatham's division, rapidly forming behind Walker's corps, charged over our men, met the advancing enemy, checked their onset and drove them back upon their lines with heavy loss. It was the fortune of many a brave man in either army on that day to move in opposite directions within the same half hour. Cheatham's division shared this general fate, for it was shortly confronted by new forces of the enemy, had its triumphant advance arrested---nay, converted into a partial retreat — and was fain to take up a strong position to be held without further aggression till sunset. It was the arrival of Palmer's division, followed by Reynolds's and Vancleve's on the Federal side, that produced this

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