back and the enemy advanced.
Giving the troops directions to rally behind the ridge west of the Dry Valley road, I passed down it, accompanied by General Garfield, Major McMichael, Major Bond and Captain Young of my staff and a few of the escort, under a shower of grape, canister and musketry, for 200 or 300 yards, and attempted to rejoin General Thomas and the troops sent to his support, by passing to the rear of the broken portion of our lines, but found the routed troops far toward the left, and hearing the enemy's advancing musketry and cheers, I became doubtful whether the left had held its ground, and started for Rossville.
On consultation and further reflection, however, I determined to send General Garfield there, while I went to Chattanooga to give orders for the security of the pontoon bridges.
By 2 o'clock Longstreet
had broken Rosecrans
' right wing into fragments, part of which hastened to Chattanooga
with their general commanding, over the road which was protected by Thomas
' position, and part rallied upon Thomas
and were posted as described above.
It was evident that with this position gained I should be complete master of the field.
I therefore ordered General Buckner to move Preston forward.
Before this, however, General Buckner had established a battery of twelve guns, raking down the enemy's line which opposed our right wing, and at the same time having fine play upon any force that might attempt to reinforce the hill that he was about to attack.
General Stewart, of his corps, was also ordered to move against any such force in flank.
The combination was well-timed and arranged.
Preston dashed gallantly at the hill.
Stewart flanked a reinforcing column and captured a large portion of it. At the same time the fire of the battery struck such terror into a heavy force close under it, that we took there also a large number of prisoners.
Preston's assault, though not a complete success at the time of onset, taken in connection with the other operations, crippled the enemy so badly that his ranks were badly broken, and by a flank movement and another advance the heights were gained.
These reinforcements were the enemy's last, or reserve corps, and a part also of the