divisions, and to these were added “all the cavalry” --a formidable force truly. With it the right should have been made secure, and for the employment of this force, by all men who have not studied the battle, I am held responsible. How much I had actually present to engage, will be shown in a little while. General Thomas had his own four divisions, and to strengthen him, Johnson's, of McCook's, by far the strongest, and Palmer's,of Crittenden's, the strongest of that corps, had been sent the day before, and fought upon the left throughout the day. Crittenden's remaining divisions were to be in reserve, and ready to “support either Thomas or McCook.” I had in line two brigades of Sheridan's, with Laibolt's brigade in reserve to support that line, and two brigades of Davis's to the left and rear of Sheridan. The other brigade of Davis had been left to hold Steven's Gap, and support the cavalry when the army advanced from Pond Spring. Colonel Wilder's brigade of mounted infantry extended Sheridan's right, but the rest of the cavalry was not available, the General commanding it, from a misconception of General Rosecrans's orders, having declined to obey the orders given by me. After daylight the unmistakable tokens of battle manifested themselves on the left; the calls for assistance begin, and the commands to reenforce follow promptly. Just as the fog begins to lift, Negley is ordered out of line, and moves to the left. The reserve is at once called upon, and General Crittenden sends in Wood's division to supply the place left vacant. All is yet quiet on the right; the demands of the left are pressing, and General Van Cleve is ordered to march to Thomas, and afterward Wood's division leaves the line and takes the same direction. Whether this order was correctly construed or not, it is unnecessary to discuss. The consequences to General McCook's troops are the same. The part of a division is suddenly withdrawn from the line, without any information to him except that given by General Wood, in an accidental meeting at the moment the movement commenced. “It was done at the double-quick,” thus giving General McCook no time to close his troops properly and “fill the vacant space.” [General Rosecrans's testimony.] There was not only no time to fill the space, but I had no troops to fill it with, unless a small brigade could cover division intervals. Just as I was forming on General Wood's right, I was told by Colonel Buell that.he was leaving for the left, and that the other brigades had already moved. [General Davis's testimony.] At ten o'clock the attack had not begun upon the right, but the left being heavily pressed; and a few moments later the resolution was taken that every thing must be hazarded for the position on the left, and the reserve having been employed, the right was called upon. At ten minutes after ten o'clock this order was given.
At thirty (30) minutes after ten, the order for preparation is followed by the command of execution: