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[184] Bate to furnish a picket force to confront the enemy in the valley below, the First dismounted and Fourth regiment were detailed for this duty. Said General Bate, ‘The pressure of the enemy on our front, on the morning of the 25th, forbade the relief of this force, and hence it remained on that day; the officer of the day being Lieutenant-Colonel Badger of the Fourth Florida. By repeated application from the front I was induced to send the Seventh Florida as a reserve to our picket line. This little force under the frown of such a horrid front remained defiant, and in obedience to orders maneuvered handsomely amid the peril of capture until, by order, it found a lodgment in the trenches at the foot of Missionary Ridge, with its right resting at Moore's house. I ordered that it hold the trenches at all hazards.’

The overwhelming onslaught of superior numbers forced the troops below, after they had retired to the intrenchments, from them up the slope, where they were exposed to a continual fire, and many were killed, wounded or captured. The troops in the trenches and those at the summit all fought gallantly, and after the ridge was lost fell back about a mile, where General Bate formed a line to protect the crossing of the Chickamauga. This line was put under command of General Finley, while General Bate withdrew the Sixth Florida and moved it back as a nucleus for a second line upon which the Confederate troops might rally. The line under General Finley was soon hotly engaged with the victorious enemy, but returning the fire with spirit and firmness checked the pursuit After a short engagement the enemy ceased firing in the darkness, and Finley withdrew his line in good order across the pontoon bridge which he had so manfully guarded for the passage of the artillery and other troops. In the meantime a third line had been formed under Colonel McLean, which was also withdrawn across the creek in safety. General Bate reported the loss of his division at 43 killed, 224 wounded, missing 590, and added: ‘Most ’

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Missionary Ridge, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (1)
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