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[354] the position of the Arkansas troops in that bloody struggle is all that need be here attempted. Rosecrans, moving down from Nashville and Murfreesboro to Stevenson, Ala., placed his army on a line nearly due west from Dalton, Ga. Thence moving into and through the mountain ranges and valleys running southward from Chattanooga, he threatened to strike Dalton and leave Chattanooga twenty-five miles to the north. It is thought Bragg should have held Chattanooga, since to leave it was to lose all east Tennessee south of Knoxville. But Bragg hesitated to risk his communications with Georgia, and he therefore moved out of that city September 8th, with an effective force of 40,000. Rosecrans' force in the field was about 65,000. Bragg took position between the branches of Chickamauga creek, extending his line from Ringgold southward to Lafayette.

Cleburne's division now comprised the brigades of S. A. M. Wood, L. E. Polk and James Deshler (formerly Churchill's). Liddell commanded a division of W. H. T. Walker's corps, composed of his own brigade, under Col. D. C. Govan, and Walthall's Mississippi brigade. McNair's brigade, returned from Mississippi, was in Bushrod Johnson's division of Buckner's corps. General Hindman commanded a division of Mississippi and Alabama troops.

Lieutenant-General Hill, placing Breckinridge at Lafayette, sent Cleburne to hold the three gaps in Pigeon mountain, west of Lafayette—Catlett's, Dug and Blue Bird. Bragg was attempting to beat Rosecrans' forces in detail, and Thomas' corps had a narrow escape on the 11th when it emerged from the mountains into McLemore's cove, west of Cleburne's position. Cleburne was sent forward to attack from the east, as soon as Hindman opened fire from the north; but there were unfortunate delays and misunderstandings, so that when Cleburne was put in action, the Federals made a safe retreat to the mountain pass on their rear. On the 13th Polk's brigade

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