He then had his forces disposed as follows: Hindman
's and Walker
's divisions, with Buckner
's corps and Cleburn
's division of Hill
's corps—five divisions in all, some 25,000 men—were in McLemore's Cove.
, with Cheatham
's division — some 7,000 more—was at Anderson's house, four miles south of Gordon's Mills, while Breckenridge
's division was at Lafayette
, some twelve or more miles to the south again of Gordon's Mills.
The relation of the three corps of the enemy to the position of Bragg
's force, in the Cove
and at Anderson
's, was then as follows:
was far away to the south of Lafayette
, near Alpine
, and Thomas
to the west, well out of reach on the top of Lookout Mountain
, while Crittenden
, completely isolated, was to the east and north, near Ringgold
and Gordon's Mills. Two of Crittenden
's divisions— Vancleve
—camped at Ringgold
that night; the remaining division—Wood's—camped the same night at Gordon's Mills, west of the Chickamauga
's entire force, including Wilder
's mounted infantry, was some 16,000 men, less by 15,000 than the force of Confederates that lay between him and the remainder of the Federal
To secure him it was necessary for General Bragg
's failure, only to face about and march towards him.
If one did not refer to the map, in reading General Bragg
's official report (page 55, vol.
II, Southern Historical Society papers), he would infer that this was the movement next attempted; for, after speaking of the failure in the Cove
, he says: ‘Our movement having failed in its justly anticipated results, it was determined to turn upon the third corps of the enemy, approaching us from the direction of Chatanooga.
The forces were accordingly withdrawn to Lafayette
, and Polk
's and Walker
's corps were moved immediately in the direction of Lee
and Gordon's Mills.’
In other words, the withdrawal to Lafayette
was a necessary part of the movement of Polk
in the direction of Lee
and Gordon's Mills.
This is clearly the interpretation to be put upon General Bragg
's statement—the one he intended.
If the extract is a full statement of General Bragg
's designs immediately after Hindman
's failure, a glance at any good map of the State of Georgia
will show how much useless marching was done by the forces that he wished to use against Crittenden
lay at Anderson
's, four miles from the Mills
were in McLemore's Cove.
was marched to Lafayette
and then marched back to his original position.