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[424] oxen, and fleshless cows, and filled with sorrow-stricken specimens of Georgian humanity, all flying from the doomed land, and intending to make their way to the free and peaceful North.

It was fully ten o'clock P. M., when we descried our camp-fires shining red in the distance, through the thick smoke and fog. It was not difficult to find friends, and we partook, for the night, of hospitality springing from generous hearts and dealt out with liberal hands. My only misfortune was, that during the night my horse became loose, and straying off to the vicinity of some teamster's quarters, had his halter stolen, and was brought back in the morning minus that most useful, and, in the wilderness, irreplaceable article. I consoled myself, however, with the reflection that, after all, it was much better to lose a halter than a horse.

The sun rose bright and beautiful on the morning of the twenty-third, and we were soon on our way galloping toward Ringgold, around which town the troops had encamped.

Here another scene of desolation met our eyes; for on the day following Hooker's terrible fight at Taylor's Ridge, the greater portion of this town had been burned by our troops. Nearly all the good buildings were used as store-houses and offices by the rebel army, and every one of these was set on fire. A mass of ruins in the centre, a hundred uninhabited houses scattered around — such is now the town of Ringgold. In our rides through it, we did not see three houses which were not deserted.

Ascending half-way to the summit of Taylor's Ridge, we could see numerous marks of the fierce conflict which had taken place; amongst others the graves of a score of soldiers buried side by side along the slope. My companion announced his intention of presenting the public with a howl over the rebel store-houses which had been burned in the town below; I could not but feel that if I had tears to shed, it should be for our poor dead heroes buried here.

It was perhaps nine o'clock when the beating of drums announced that the troops were in motion, and a column of cavalry came filing down the road. It was Colonel Harrison at the head of his Thirty-ninth Indiana boys. He was going to push forward through Ringgold Gap, in Taylor's Ridge, supported by the infantry at proper distance. General Carlin's brigade, and the Nineteenth Illinois, of General King's brigade, were prepared to support the cavalry. General R. W. Johnson, to whose division these troops belonged, himself accompanied them. Your correspondent accompanied Colonel Harrison with the cavalry.

Passing by a house which stood near the mouth of the gap, and was now occupied by General King as his headquarters, we again saw proofs of the desperate nature of that conflict in which our own valiant Seventh Ohio suffered so severely. The house itself, the fences surrounding it, and the trees in the yard were fairly honeycombed with bullets; and in addition, an out-house which stood near was riddled and torn with grape.

The rebels made no resistance to our passage through the gap, although they had held the further mouth the night before, and had captured Lieutenant Ayres, of the Nineteenth infantry, who was examining the ground for the purpose of posting pickets.

Winding along its banks for a time, we finally crossed the East-Chickamagua, a clearer and more lively stream than its namesake in the west, which will always excite a shudder in the heart and limbs of him who remembers the awful tragedy once enacted near it. Both these streams unite to form the South-Chickamagua, which flows into the Tennessee a few miles above Chattanooga.

As we advanced into the open ground on the other side of the creek, small squads of cavalry were sent galloping in all directions, to protect our flanks, and feel for the still silent enemy. In full sight of the junction, between the Tunnel Hill and Red Hill roads, Colonel Harrison drew up his men in line of battle, and waited the approach of the infantry. No sooner were the latter seen, than the horsemen again advanced; and passing by an ancient, dilapidated stone church, whose dark and gloomy walls seemed to be in mourning for its lost worshippers, we wheeled to the right, and took the direct road for Tunnel Hill.

A few dropping shots now revealed the presence of the enemy. At once our skirmishers were deployed, and the line steadily advanced, driving the enemy, whose purpose it seemed to be merely to annoy rather than fight. It was at once amusing and interesting to see, every few minutes, a small squad of them break from their cover as our boys advanced, and go galloping away, followed in almost every instance by a half-dozen bullets. Colonel Harrison's men were armed with the deadly Spencer rifle, a weapon which the rebels could not be induced to examine at short-range.

At length, at a distance of five miles from Ringgold, a low, wooded eminence, over which ran the road, afforded the rebels an opportunity to make a stand. But they did not remain long. A portion of the Thirty-ninth, dismounting, moved forward under so severe a fire, that I could only wonder how so few were hurt by it. But they steadily advanced, again driving the enemy, and occupying the wooded eminence, which they continued to hold until two P. M., the rebels occupying a position about a mile further toward Tunnel Hill, and exhibiting a serious intention of making a fight. Colonel Harrison would have moved upon him immediately, had he not considered it best to wait for Colonel Boone, of the Twenty-eighth Kentucky, who had been sent off to the right, and was moving along another road which runs through Wood's Gap in Taylor's Ridge.

The delay appeared to encourage the enemy; and it soon became evident that he had collected


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