next to Ringgold
Behind this grove Cleburne
's and Kennard
's Texas regiments, Taylor
's Texas regiment on the right, and the Seventh Texas on top of the hill, to watch the north flank of the troops in front.
This brought in play all of Smith
's brigade, Granbury
commanding, on the north side of the gap. On the south side he concealed Ashford
's Alabama regiment, supported by three Arkansas
In the ravine itself he posted four short lines of Govan
's Arkansas brigade, which also furnished skirmishers for the mouth of the gap, in front of which he posted two Napoleon
guns under Lieutenant Goldthwaite
, concealed by screens of withered branches, with shelter for the artillerymen in a ravine close by. The remaining three regiments of Lowrey
's Mississippi brigade were held in reserve in the center of the gap, and a portion of Polk
brigade was placed temporarily at the rear mouth of the gap.
had scarcely half an hour to make these dispositions, when he was informed that the enemy's skirmishers were pushing his cavalry across Chickamauga creek
, and immediately afterward the cavalry retreated through the gap at a trot, and the valley in front was clear.
But close in rear of the ridge the immense army train was still in view struggling through the fords of the creek and the deeply cut roads leading to Dalton
's division, silent, but cool and ready, was the only barrier to the eager advance of Hooker
's corps, the division of Osterhaus
in front, Geary
following, and Cruft
in the rear.
The Federal skirmishers were in view advancing shortly after 8 a. m., and under their fire Hooker
formed his lines of battle and moved with the utmost decision and celerity against the ridge on the north.
The attack was so quick and confident that Cleburne
felt that the Federals
had guides familiar with the region.
But, nothing daunted, the artillery opened upon the flank