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[252] assume this inactive function until it had at 11 o'clock made a most gallant and bloody assault upon the Federal center, which was found in considerable disorder on account of the moving of brigades and divisions to support Thomas. Brown's brigade, supported by Clayton and Bate, pushed to the west of the Rossville road, driving the enemy into their log works, but were compelled to retire from this advanced position. Gen. Bushrod Johnson's line was supported by Gregg's brigade, and by Hood's division under Law, in a third line. The unusual depth of this column of attack and the force and power with which it was thrown upon the enemy's line, completely broke the Federal center, and cast the shattered fragments to the right and left. As Johnson emerged from the woods into the open fields between the two roads to Chattanooga, near the Dyer house, he says ‘the scene presented was unspeakably grand. The resolute and impetuous charge, the rush of our heavy columns sweeping out from the shadow and gloom of the forest into the open fields flooded with sunlight, the glitter of arms, the onward dash of artillery and mounted men, the retreat of the foe, the shouts of our army, the dust, the smoke, the noise of firearms, of whistling balls and grapeshot and of bursting shell, made up a battle scene of unsurpassed grandeur.’ Here General Hood gave his last order: ‘Go ahead, and keep ahead of everything.’
Hood's column broke the enemy's line near the Brotherton house and made it wheel to the right [says Longstreet's report]. In making this movement Major-General Hood fell severely, and it was feared mortally, wounded by a minie ball breaking his thigh. He had broken the enemy's line, however, and his own troops and those to his right and left continued to press the enemy with such spirit and force that he could not resist us. Brigadier-General Law succeeded to the command of Hood's division, and Brigadier-General Kershaw to the command of the two brigades of McLaws' division. General Kershaw, having received no definite orders

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Rossville (Georgia, United States) (1)

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