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Hindman's division had been detached from General Polk's corps, and under direct orders from army headquarters was to make this movement under its supervision. General Polk was assigned a position where he could protect Hindman against Crittenden.

The force approaching the cove was known to be a portion, if not the whole, of Thomas's corps, much the largest in the opposing army.

A reference to General Bragg's official report will show that during the 9th of September it was ascertained a column of the enemy, estimated variously from four thousand to eight thousand strong, had crossed Lookout mountain and reached the cove, by way of Stevens's and Cooper's gaps, this body doubtless being the advance of a corps then known to be opposite the cove, on the other side of the mountain.

Hindman was ordered to move at midnight of the 9th September, and be in position as early as practicable to attack the enemy at the cove. Lieutenant-General D. H. Hill, whose forces were in the direction of Lafayette, was ordered to move at the same time, with Cleburne's division, across Pigeon mountain, by way of Dug's and Collit's gaps, to unite with Hindman and take charge of the forces. Timber felled by the enemy impeded Hill's march through Dug's gap to such an extent that Buckner was directed, at 8 A. M. on the 10th September, to move Preston's and Stewart's commands to Hindman's support and supply Hill's place. Hindman got into position early on the morning of the 10th. Buckner followed without delay, but owing to the distance was unable to reach Hindman until about half-past 4 o'clock in the afternoon — rather late for the accomplishment of the object in view on that day.

While these movements were going on Negley's division of the opposing forces advanced to within a mile of Dug's gap, Baird's moved up to within supporting distance, leaving Reynold's and Brannan's still to the west of the mountain.

By daylight of the 11th September Cleburne had forced his way through the felled timber of Dug's gap, and was ready to respond to Hindman's attack,1 but being uncertain of his position, did not attack, and Negley, realizing the peril of his position, withdrew with Baird, about 10 A. M. to a secure position at the foot and sides of the mountain, and foiled the manoeuvre planned by the Commanding General of the Army of Tennessee.

Thomas had escaped, but Crittenden, in the direction of Ringgold,

1 General Hindman's reasons for not attacking at daylight are given in his report, now in the archives of the Southern Historical Society.

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