forces that while Polk
's division at Lee
& Gordon's mill, the extreme Federal left on Chickamauga creek
, his own right extended further northward, threatening the roads to Chattanooga
was next north of Polk
; then Walker
's corps; and the extreme north of the Confederate
line was Bushrod Johnson
's division near Ringgold
was made aware of these dispositions to some extent by cavalry skirmishing near Reed
's bridge, and observing that his left was about to be enveloped, he ordered Crittenden
to form on the Rossville
road to the north of Lee
& Gordon's mill.
was ordered from the center to the left, leaving one division at Crawfish spring
, and with the others moving past Widow Glenn
's to Kelly
's, on the Rossville
road, at the eastern foot of Snodgrass hill.
was to close up on Crawfish spring
, forming the Federal
This concentration toward the left Rosecrans
ordered to be made secretly, beginning on the morning of the 18th.
also had his plans for that morning, and they were all designed to bring on a battle.
He had issued orders the previous night for a movement to begin on the right at 6 a. m., at Reed
's bridge, where Johnson
was to cross and sweep to the south while Walker
crossed at Alexander
's bridge, and Buckner
at Thedford's ford, and all together were to flank, surround and push the enemy up the valley while Polk
attacked in front at Lee
& Gordon's mill, and Hill
covered the left flank.
This was all entirely practicable so far as the position of Rosecrans
' infantry would affect it. It was not until Thomas
had marched all night of the 18th that he was in the position assigned him by Rosecrans
But again the fatality which had attended the orders of General Bragg
intervened, and the defeat of the Federal
army was prevented.
said: ‘The resistance of the enemy's cavalry and the difficulties arising from the bad and narrow country roads caused unexpected delays in the execution of these movements.