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[414] as he could hastily seize with the six staunch divisions left, soon to be increased to seven; that he was in person always where prompt decision and high resolve were most needed; that he held that ground, sometimes with only three rounds in his cartridge boxes, against the most persistent and furious assaults of the now triumphant Confederates till night favored his voluntary withdrawal — these are the facts which will secure his enduring fame as a soldier, and with the stern valor of the rank and file on either side furnish the most impressive lessons of that sanguinary field.

These great results had been rapidly won by Longstreet's command. Changing his movement to suit the exigencies of the field, Longstreet had reversed Bragg's order and wheeled his whole wing to the right instead of to the left. The rapidity of the pursuit and the extent of country over which it swept had somewhat disordered the Confederate array. It was now twelve o'clock, and a renewed attack on the Federal left made by Walker's gallant corps, not under his lead, however, ill planned and ill conducted, had just been repulsed. So Thomas had leisure to ride down his line to the rear of Reynold's position, and there dimly learned the disaster which had overwhelmed the Federal right. This must have been about one o'clock, and Bushrod Johnson having reorganized his troops, with Hindman's division partly on his left and partly on his right, must about that time have been sweeping past Vittetoe's house — southern women rushing out of its cellar to cheer the gallant line and kindle to a blaze their flush of triumph. Onward Johnson urged his victorious men till they reached the foot of a spur of Missionary Ridge. Johnson's men were here facing north — they had begun the battle facing west.

Behind the crest of this commanding ridge Thomas now placed Brannan's division, with artillery on its bastionlike spurs, and, posting Wood's division hastily to Brannan's left, he almost covered the strong ground to a junction with his original line at the position of Reynolds, who now drew back his right brigade; but a considerable gap still lay open between Wood and Reynolds. What remained of the Federal right stood nearly at right angles to the rest of their line.

At this time — about two o'clock--Bushrod Johnson formed his own division, with Patton Anderson's brigade on his right, on the brow of the secondary spurs of the ridge, and made a determined attack on this last stronghold of the stubborn enemy. Parts of his line gained the crest, but they came tumbling down again to the protection of their cannon under desperate return attacks. Johnson, finding himself as yet too weak, waited for the arrival of the rest of Hindman's division

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