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Battle of Chickamauga.

Report of Major-General T. C. Hindman.

Colonel,—Sickness prevented me from exercising command on Saturday, September 19th, until about 3 P. M.; my division had then just crossed the Chickamauga at Hunt's Ford, and was soon after ordered to the support of Major-General Hood. The order was executed under a heavy artillery fire from the enemy, causing some loss. My position was on Hood's left and Buckner's right, near the centre of the left wing of the army, facing west, parallel with the Lafayette and Chattanooga road, six or eight hundred yards distant. The brigades of Deas and Manigault constituted my first line, and Anderson's my reserve Nothing important happened during the remainder of the day. After dark, in the readjustment of my line, a sharp skirmish occurred on Manigault's left, the enemy retiring.

About 11 A. M. on Sunday, September 20th, under orders from Lieutenant-General Longstreet, commanding the left wing, my command moved forward simultaneously with the troops on my right. At the distance of three hundred yards skirmishing commenced, and immediately my whole line was engaged. Rushing on at the double-quick, through a storm of bullets, shot and shell, Deas's brave Alabamians and Manigault's Alabamians and South Carolinians, equally [368] brave, drove the enemy from his breastworks, then pushed him beyond the Lafayette road, and charged his second line of breastworks three hundred yards further on. The troops on Manigault's left not advancing with him, he was enfiladed on that flank by infantry and artillery, checked, and at length forced to retire. One gun of his battery, temporarily disabled, was left exposed to capture, when Colonel I. C. Reid's Twenty-eighth Alabama gallantly faced about and brought it off in safety.

Deas swept like a whirlwind over the breastworks. Anderson's fearless Mississippians carrying the breastworks in their front, moved up rapidly on his left, to Manigault's place. Without halting, these two brigades then drove the enemy across the Crawfish Spring road and up the broken spurs of Missionary Ridge, to its first elevation, one hundred yards west. Hiding behind this, the enemy opened a tremendous fire of musketry and cannon upon our line as it advanced, and at the same time enfiladed it from an eminence in a field on the right. But, without faltering, he was charged, driven from his strong position, and pursued upwards of three quarters of a mile, when he ceased resisting and disappeared, going north, completely routed. A body of Federal cavalry, covering the retreat of the infantry, made a demonstration against my right, but retired hastily when about to be attacked.

Meantime Manigault sent back for, and received the support of Trigg's brigade of Buckner's corps, and with it compelled the rapid retreat of the force in his front.

The Fifteenth Alabama regiment of General Law's command, which had lost its direction, fired on Deas's right, but upon discovering the mistake, moved up and fought gallantly with him. I now sent staff officers to the right and left, and ascertained that my advance was nearly a mile further west than any other troops of the left wing, none of which had yet reached the Crawfish Spring road. To my right and rear there was hot firing. I determined to move there, and gave the necessary orders directing the command to march northeast to the Lafayette road, till the position of our troops then engaged should be ascertained. This was to avoid the possibility of collision with friendly forces, and to gain time for reforming portions of my command disordered by their rapid pursuit of the enemy.

In the splendid advance which I have attempted to describe, through woods and fields and over a part of Missionary Ridge, against the troops of Sheridan's and J. C. Davis's divisions, seventeen [369] pieces of Federal artillery were captured by my division, fourteen of which were taken in possession and conveyed to the rear by Captain Waters, Acting Chief of Artillery, and three pieces by Major Riley, Chief of Ordnance. Since the battle I have been informed that a staff officer from army headquarters found ten pieces abandoned in a gorge in front of my position, west of the Crawfish Spring road. The number of prisoners exceeded eleven hundred, including three colonels. The ground was strewn with small arms, of which fourteen hundred were collected. Five or six standards, five caissons and one battery wagon, one ambulance, about forty horses and mules, and nine ordnance wagons, with one hundred and sixty five thousand rounds of ammunition, were also secured. The numerous wounded and dead of the enemy fell into our hands. Among the latter was Brigadier-General Lytle, of the Federal army, killed by Deas's brigade.

While moving to the right and rear, I was met by a staff officer of Brigadier-General Bushrod Johnson, and afterwards by that officer himself, stating that he was hard pressed and must have support forthwith, or he would be compelled to fall back. I immediately placed Anderson's brigade under his orders.

Deas, who was out of ammunition, obtained a partial supply from Johnson's wagons, and then marched west across the Crawfish Spring road, and formed line of battle, facing west, at the top of the first ridge beyond. His skirmishers became engaged immediately with those of a force of the enemy occupying the next ridge. Manigault, now coming up, was directed to form on Deas's right. I believed the force in my front to be the same that I had previously routed, making its way towards Chattanooga, and designed cutting it off and capturing it. But at this juncture, before Manigault's line had been established, brisk firing had commenced to my right and rear, east of the Crawfish Spring road, and I received from General Johnson urgent requests for further support. Deas and Manigault at once moved in that direction and formed on his left. Previous to their arrival the firing had ceased.

General Johnson's line faced nearly north, about perpendicular to the Lafayette road and to our original line of battle. It was the side of an extremely rough and steep projection of Missionary Ridge, near Dyer's farm, and was extended eastwardly by the lines of Anderson and Kershaw. The height terminated in an open field, near Kershaw's right. It was elsewhere densely wooded. The enemy held the summit in strong force; his artillery planted on [370] sundry sudden elevations rising up like redoubts; his infantry between these, behind the crest and further sheltered by breastworks of trees and rocks.

At 3 P. M., a force of the enemy, probably that which I had recently confronted west of the Crawfish Spring road, appeared on my left, capturing several men of my infirmary corps, and others who had fallen out from fatigue or wounds. I was apprehensive of an attack in rear, and sent to General Longstreet and General Buckner for reinforcements. At the same time, being the officer of highest rank present, and deeming concert of action necessary, I assumed command of General Johnson's troops, and ordered an immediate and vigorous attack upon the enemy in our front. Deas and Manigault, with Johnson's command, all under direction of that officer, were ordered to wheel to the right until faced east, and then to advance, taking the enemy in flank; Anderson to move forward when the firing should begin. General Kershaw agreed to conform to the movements of the latter. I hoped to ensure the capture or destruction of the enemy by driving him in confusion upon the right wing of our army.

The movement began at half-past 3. Skirmishing extended along the whole line as Deas, at the extreme left, commenced swinging. In a few minutes a terrific contest ensued, which continued at close quarters, without any intermission, over four hours. Our troops attacked again and again with a courage worthy of their past achievements. The enemy fought with determined obstinacy, and repeatedly repulsed us, but only to be again assailed. As showing the fierceness of the fight, the fact is mentioned that, on our extreme left, the bayonet was used, and the men also killed and wounded with clubbed muskets. A little after four the enemy was reinforced and advanced, with loud shouts, upon our right, but was repulsed by

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