Today in History:

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


and Nineteenth Arkansas (consolidated), under command of Lieutenant Colonel A. S. Hutchison, 50 paces in rear and parallel to the former regiment; the Sixth and Seventh Arkansas (consolidated), under command of Lieutenant Colonel Peter Snyder, and the Second, Fifteenth, and Twenty-fourth Arkansas Regiments (consolidated), under Lieutenant Colonel E. Warfield, at suitable distances in rear and covered as well as the nature of the ground would permit, thus giving me four short lines across the gap. From these regiments I sent a body of skirmishers to occupy the patch of woods at the mouth of the gap and left of the railroad and that portion of the bank of the creek close to the mouth of the gap. In front of the mouth of the gap, supported by Govan's foremost regiment in the ravine, I placed a section of Semple's battery, two Napoleon guns, commanded by Lieutenant Goldthwaite. I had screens of withered branches built up in front of these, so as to effectually conceal them from view, and made the artillerymen shelter themselves in the ravine close by. The remaining three regiments of Lowrey's brigade-consisting of the Thirty-second and Forty-fifth Mississippi Regiments (consolidated), under command of Colonel A. B. Hardcastle; the Thirty-third Alabama, under command of Colonel Samuel Adams, and the forty-fifth Alabama, Lieutenant Colonel H. D. Lampley commanding-I placed in reserve in the center of the gap. The portion of Polk's (Tennessee and Arkansas) brigade with me-consisting of the First Arkansas, Colonel J. W. Colquitt commanding; the Second Tennessee, Colonel W. D. Robinson commanding, and the Third and Fifth Confederate Regiments (consolidated), under Lieutenant Colonel J. C. Cole-I ordered to take position temporarily near the rear mouth of the gap with direction to observe my right flank and prevent the enemy from turning me in that quarter.

I had scarcely half an hour to make these dispositions, when I was informer the enemy's skirmishers were crossing the Chickamauga, driving our cavalry before them. Immediately after the cavalry retreated through the gap at a trot, and the valley in front was clear of our troops, but close in rear of the ridge our immense train was still in full view, struggling through the fords of the creek and the deeply cut up roads leading to Dalton, and my division, silent, but cool and ready, was the only barrier between it and the flushed and eager advance of the pursuing Federal army.

Shortly after 8 a.m. the enemy's skirmishers were in view, advancing. He opened fire, and under cover of it his lines of battle were placed and moved with the utmost decision and celerity against the ridge on the right of the gap. So quick and confident was this attack, the enemy must have been acting on a concerted plan, and must have guides who knew well the nature of the country. As the first line moved toward the ridge its right flank became exposed at canister range to my artillery in the mouth of the gap. Five or six rapid discharges broke the right of this line to pieces and caused them to run for shelter under the railroad embankment. Farther to his left, however, he continued to advance, and made a heavy attack on the right-hand ridge. He continued to advance in the face of a deadly fire from Major Taylor's regiment, with the determination to turn the right flank of the Texas brigade. Major Taylor deployed skirmishers up the hill at right angles to his line of battle, and held him in check, while he informed Colonel Granbury of the state of affairs. Colonel Granbury sent two companies of his left regiment