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[185] left the field. ‘A brigade whipped, only,’ I argued; ‘no occasion for an alarm.’ The firing sounded nearer, but not much. Two o'clock came and it had neared alarmingly. Shortly after, for the third time, the stragglers issued from the woods. Now they come in great waves, some taking the nearest road toward Chattanooga, many crossing the hills to strike other roads. A colonel rode out, followed by forty or fifty men, and took his way down the road leisurely. The streams poured out disorganized, but not aprently alarmed. A moment more, and they seemed to issue by brigades. Great God! was the whole army—the flower of the Yankee service, as its enemies had termed it—to blot history with another Bull Run?

The caissons of two more entire batteries were mingling with the retreating army. Down the road the mass pushed, horses and men filling it, and struggling through the open forests on either side. I looked back, and still great waves of men came out, defeated and disorganized. There was no panic and but little visible hurry in this broken mass of men. As the line pushed on toward Chattanooga the trains that had been parked along the roadside at different points poured into the throng and took the same direction. Not another Bull Run, after all, I thought, for even the teamsters are collected.

For an instant, however, there was a panic. A shrill shout came up from behind and the stragglers scattered from the road, thinking that the enemy's cavalry was upon them. The next moment their alarm was quieted. A deer which had been hunted from its fastness by these two great searching armies, bounded down the road and darting through the disconcerted teams, dashed up the hill, while a thousand contiguous stragglers clutched vainly at his fleet limbs. The rout again became leisurely.

I learned that after the withdrawal of Wood from the center, Davis and Sheridan were necessarily called upon to fill the gap. Davis moved rapidly to the left, but after getting his position he could not alone breast the storm. The enemy began to perceive he could not pierce our left, and massed his reserves on our right. Sheridan, whose division, like himself, is unfaltering, brave and hopeful, was compelled to abandon his strong position of the morning and move by the flank on the double quick to the left. He found Wood and Davis falling to pieces rapidly. His own men were falling thick—shot down while they were marching. He ordered his second brigade, Colonel Leiboldt, to deploy at the run and charge. The veterans made the charge nobly, but before they can reach the foe a

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Jefferson Davis (3)
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