Today in History:

742 Series I Volume XXXI-II Serial 55 - Knoxville and Lookout Mountain Part II

Page 742 KY., SW. VA., Tennessee, MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.


located. I thought it a Confederate flag, but on a nearer approach and more minute inspection I soon detected the United States colors. The line in my front had recoiled a second time, but was rallied and was advancing up the hill in such numbers as to forbid the displacing of any of my command. I was ordered by General Bragg to withdraw a portion of my command and dislodge him if possible; but upon suggesting that I was without reserves, and the danger of withdrawing when so hard pressed on the front, which would necessarily cause a gap in my line, he directed me to take such as could be best spared. I at once took the command under Major Weaver, which had come from the ditches and were aligned across the Crutchfield road, it being disengaged, and moved it at a double-quick some 500 or 600 yards to the elevation on the right and rear of where the enemy had formed near his flag. I was unable, notwithstanding the assistance of Major Weaver, to get this command farther, and could only form it on the hill at right angles to my line, protecting that flank, and seek to dislodge him by a well-directed fire or hold him in check until the repulsed brigade in Anderson's line could be rallied and retake their lost ground. Having made this disposition and opened fire, I left Lieutenant Blanchard of my staff, to report the result and returned to my own line, which was being dangerously pressed. It was but a few moments until the second and third flags were on the ridge near the same spot, and the enemy in such numbers as to drive away the command under Major Weaver. This command, upon the advance of the enemy, broke and retired in disorder. The enemy turned our guns upon us and opened a fire of musketry from our right and rear. This advantage gained caused my right to give back.

In seeking to rally the right I did not see the exact time when the flag went up at the left of General Bragg's headquarters, but refer to the reports of Brigadier-General Finley, Lieutenant-Colonel Turner (who subsequently commanded Bate's brigade), and Colonel Mashburn, Lieutenant-Colonel McLean, of Florida brigade, and Major O'Neill, commanding Tenth Tennessee.

The enemy formed a line of battle and moved down upon our right at right angles with that flank. Dent's battery was turned upon us sweeping our lines from right to left, and, among other effects produced, destroyed two of Slocomb's limbers. Our men of the extreme right gave back in some confusion, and in gallantly seeking to rally them Colonel R. C. Tyler was dangerously wounded. Meanwhile the enemy had gained the summit of the ridge on our left and subjected us to a fire from that source. He was rapidly enveloping the division and yet the larger portion of it was on the front line with the artillery. I then moved the command, which was in much confusion, to the rear, ordering the batteries and that portion still remaining on the front of the ridge to retire to the line on which we were rallying. There was much difficulty in stopping the debris which had sloughed off from the first line, but through the personal exertions of General Bragg and staff and many subaltern officers, we formed a line about 1,000 yards from the one just abandoned in a most eligible position across the road leading from General Bragg's quarters to the pontoon bridge at Bird's Mill. During the process of its formation General Bragg ordered me to hold the position as long as tenable, and then cross the Chickamauga and report to him at Chickamauga Station. This line was soon molded into proper shape and organized to resist the assault then threatened by an ex-

Page 742 KY., SW. VA., Tennessee, MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.