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[143] joined by Forrest, impatient for orders to pursue the flying foe. When some hours had been passed in the vain effort to learn where the headquarters of the commanding general were located, Longstreet and Hill agreed to divide the responsibility of ordering the immediate pursuit by Forrest, with an assurance that they would ask the privilege of pushing forward to his support at early dawn.

Unable by the most diligent inquiry to open communication with Bragg till the next afternoon, they failed to secure for Forrest the infantry support that would have swept the single division of Thomas out of the gap on Missionary Ridge, or flanked and captured it, without another obstruction in the road to Chattanooga and on to Nashville. Such might have been the fruits of our victory, which, being lost by delay, the last hope of the tottering Confederacy to regain the prestige and restore the confidence lost at Gettysburg and Vicksburg was gone forever.

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