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[7] Bragg now came upon the field, and the situation was reported to him by General Polk.

A reference to General Crittenden's report of the part taken by his corps in the battle of Chickamauga will show where the opposing forces really were.

Wood had been sent to Gordon's mills on the 11th September. Crittenden, with VanCleves's and Palmer's Divisions, on the morning of the 12th of September, moved from Ringgold in a westerly direction, crossed the Chickamauga and marched directly to Gordon's mills, where his corps was concentrated on the evening of the same day (September 12). So that the expected enemy from the direction of Ringgold and Peavine church, which was to be attacked at Rock Spring at daylight on the 13th September, had reached Gordon's mills on the preceding evening, thus placing himself behind the Chickamauga, covering his line of retreat, and securing his communications with Thomas. The Commanding General had ordered Polk's movement just twelve hours late. See Rebel Record, volume 7, page 526.

General Bragg, in his official report of the battle of Chickamauga, charges General Polk with the failure to crush Crittenden's forces in their isolated position at Ringgold. It will be noted, however, that General Polk was ordered to take position at a particular spot-Rock Spring — thence, if not attacked, to advance by daylight of the 13th September, and assume the offensive against the opposing forces which were expected from the direction of Ringgold. But Crittenden was at Gordon's mill behind the Chickamauga on the evening of the 12th September; the order simply was impracticable. There was no enemy, save scouting cavalry, in Polk's front, as General Bragg, who was on the ground at the time, was able to ascertain from personal observation; and the manoeuvre failed, not by a fault of a subordinate in neglecting to carry out a specific order, which, being fulfilled, relieved him of responsibility, but the failure was due to the fact that the alertness and celerity of the enemy, although not remarkable in its way, overmatched the movements of the General commanding the Army of Tennessee.

Although these movements on the part of General Bragg to destroy fractions of the enemy's force, were without effect, it might be supposed they would at least serve as warnings to Rosecrans, but the several corps of the army under him were still far apart, and General Bragg was aware of it. In the official report made by General D. H. Hill, of the part taken by his command in the battle of Chickamauga, he mentions that General Bragg stated at a council of officers held on,

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