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[309] headlong into Thomas' works, surmounting them at every point, and the Federals went pell-mell through the swamp into the woods and up the ravines in swarms and broken masses. It was one of the grandest moments in all the world's history.

The Confederates had swept everything before them, and were complete masters of the field, while the Federals were routed and left the field covered with cannon and small arms, besides several thousand prisoners and sixteen thousand dead and wounded.

The loss on the Confederate side was .also very heavy—some twelve thousand killed and wounded.

The battle of Chickamauga was one of the bloodiest of the war, or, in fact, of any war. The brilliant achievement of the Confederates should have insured a decisive operation, and it is more than probable that if a rapid advance had been made that night the Federal army would have been destroyed. Even the following day the Federals were huddled in Chattanooga in great disorder. Forrest urged an advance, and, because of the failure to take advantage of the great opportunity, he sent to General Bragg his resignation, which, however, President Davis would not accept.

The battle of Chickamauga was waged with energy by the troops wherever they were sent in, and the fight was made under peculiar conditions, upon a theatre peculiar in its character. We, therefore, feel that a review of facts and events should be touched upon, but the paper is already too long, and, even if we undertook to discuss the oversights and omissions, it would be difficult to do so without bringing out matters it were better to leave unsaid. And yet it requires no clearer demonstration than the facts already stated to show that indecision as well as inaction, on that field crushed the hopes of our people.

It can be truthfully said that the Confederate soldier has fixed the record of the world in the field of war. He has written an epic by his achievements whose grandeur and simplicity no genius of song can further brighten or ennoble. It stands on the pages of history matchless and imperishable, and it was the soldiers of the ranks who did this.

It is no detraction from the fame of Lee, Jackson, Forrest and the Hills, or Gordon, and the other leaders, to say that the men who followed them to battle were cast in the same heroic mold and that the ragged private was the instrument by which their achievements were made possible.

When the last impartial monument shall be erected to the heroes

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Douglas F. Forrest (2)
S. B. Thomas (1)
Robert E. Lee (1)
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