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[207] until we could withdraw our forces across Chattanooga Creek and the movement was commenced. This having been successfully accomplished our whole forces were concentrated on the ridge, and extended to the right to meet the movement in that direction.

On Wednesday, the 25th, I again visited the extreme right, now under Lieutenant-General Hardee, and threatened by a heavy force, while strong columns could be seen marching in that direction. A very heavy force in line of battle confronted our left and centre.

On my return to this point, about 11 A. M., the enemy's forces were being moved in heavy massses from Lookout and beyond, to our front, while those in front extended to our right. They formed their lines with great deliberation, just beyond the range of our guns, and in plain view of our position.

Though greatly outnumbered, such was the strength of our position that no doubt was entertained of our ability to hold it, and every disposition was made for that purpose. During this time they had made several attempts on our extreme right, and had been handsomely repulsed, with very heavy loss, by Major-General Cleburne's command, under the immediate direction of Lieutenant-General Hardee. By the road across the ridge at Rossville, far to our left, a route was opened to our rear. Major-General Breckinridge commanding on the left, had occupied this with two regiments and a battery. It being reported to me that a force of the enemy had moved in that direction, the General was ordered to have it reconnoitered and to make every disposition necessary to secure his flank, which he proceeded to do.

About 3:30 P. M. the immense force in the front of our left and centre advanced in three lines preceded by heavy skirmishers. Our batteries opened with fine effect, and much confusion was produced before they reached musket range. In a short time the roar of musketry became very heavy, and it was soon apparent that the enemy had been repulsed in my immediate front.

While riding along the crest congratulating the troops, intelligence reached me that our line was broken on my right, and the enemy had crowned the ridge. Assistance was promptly dispatched under Brigadier-General Bate, who had so successfully maintained the ground in my front, and I proceeded to the rear of the broken line to rally our retiring troops and return them to the crest to drive the enemy back. General Bate found the disaster so great that his small force could not repair it. About this time, I learned that our extreme left had also given way, and that my position was almost surrounded. Bate was immediately directed to form a second line in the rear,

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