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[360] and Wheeler's cavalry, had moved against the Federal forces at Knoxville under Burnside. Whether the strategy of this campaign by Longstreet was good or bad, it created an ‘agony of apprehension’ to the authorities at Washington, who plied Grant with dispatches, urging that something be done for the relief of Burnside. This so worked upon Grant, that he ordered Thomas on November 7th to attack Bragg's right, so as to force the return of Longstreet, but Thomas evaded the order until the 23d, when he carried the first Confederate line in his front, in the valley between Chattanooga and Missionary ridge.

General Cleburne, on the morning of the 23d, was with his division and Buckner's at Chickamauga station, starting all these troops to Knoxville to aid Longstreet. Nearly all of Buckner's division had been sent off, when he received a telegram from General Bragg: ‘We are heavily engaged. Move up rapidly to these headquarters.’ Leaving Gen. L. E. Polk to bring up the division, he galloped forward for instructions, and was ordered to hold his division as reserve for the army, reporting directly to the general commanding. It is an interesting query, What would have been the result November 25th, if Thomas had waited one more day to attack, and allowed that invaluable ‘reserve’ to proceed to Knoxville? At early dawn on the 24th, Cleburne began to construct a new line of defense along the top of Missionary ridge, and while he was thus engaged, Bragg first learned that Sherman had crossed the river at the north, and was about to assault his right flank. General Polk's brigade was sent to this new point of danger, to hold the railroad bridge over the Chickamauga, and at 2 p. m., Cleburne, with Govan's and his other brigades, Smith's (Deshler's) and Lowrey's, was sent to take position near the railroad tunnel. These were the only Arkansas infantry commands engaged, McNair's brigade having been returned to Mississippi.

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