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sake of the unintended proofit affords that the fortune of the day was only decided at so late an hour that pursuit in that wooded, rugged region was extremely hazardous, if not impossible. Reid says:
“The western horizon, crimsoned with vermilion hues, now shed its ruddy light on the hill-top and forest-plain, painting the bloody battle-field, still reeking with human gore; but the battle-strife had not yet ceased. Driven to desperation, and determined at all hazards to hold their position on their left wing, the enemy, with a resolute ferocity, hurled his battalions upon our right, at the same time opening his batteries with a storm of shell and grape. Liddell and Gist, of Walker's corps, who had been again ordered forward, being their fifth engagement with the enemy, were met by a most destructive fire, which enfiladed them on both flanks and drove them back. Our line of battle on the right was now about half a mile from the Chattanooga road. The enemy was sorely pressing our wavering lines. Gen. Polk, who had borne the brunt of the battle during the day, and fought his wing against the concentrated masses of the enemy with unequaled bravery and endurance, had now marshaled his forces for a last desperate charge, on which depended the fate of the day. IIis flashing eye at this moment discovered that Granger's reserve corps of Abolition troops was moving down upon us, and not a moment was to be lost. At the same time, it was reported that Longstreet was driving the enemy's right flank, which added fresh nerve and vigor to our already exhausted men. The signal being given, the whole line advanced: Breckinridge leading off on the extreme right, the division making a left half-wheel, which brought it parallel to the enemy's lines, whose artillery belched forth a blasting fire. Forward pressed Stovall, Gilson, and IIelm, in perfect order, cheered by other lines of troops as they advanced, and passing through the ‘unterrified 'of Walker's line, who was then engaging the enemy, without halting, and reserving their fire until within a few yards of the foe, when they sprang forward with a wild yell to the charge, receiving a volley from the enemy without effect. A second volley from the barricades of trees and stones checked Breckinridge for a moment, and many a brave, with the noble Helm, fell; but the officers rushed forward, mounting the barricades, followed by their men, dealing destruction to the panicstricken hordes, who fled on every side; a
being perfectly routed by Gibson.
brigade of U. S. regulars, under Gen. King, Still onward pressed the division of Breckinridge, driving the enemy for three-quarters of a mile, capturing nine pieces of cannon and hundreds of prisoners, until entering the woods about 70 yards west of the Chattanooga road; the enemy's killed and wounded marking its bloody track in the pursuit. “At the same time, on came the chivalrous Cleburne, with the brave Deshler, Wood, and Polk, who soon came in conflict with Granger's corps, sweeping them before their ranks like leaves, and facing the murderous fire of their barricades. The heroic and dashing Deshler went down, but still the men pressed forward: Wood, with Lucius Polk's brigade, storming breastwork after breastwork, until the third work was carried—Polk capturing three pieces of cannon, the standards of the 2d Ohio, 77th Pennsylvania, 79th Illinois, and 500 prisoners. Like the ocean-wave rolled onward the brigades of the warrior Cheatham toward the center of the enemy's works, which were carried with an irresistible impetuosity: Maney's brigade adding new laurels to its fame, as well as Strahl's, Wright's, Jackson's, and the lamented Preston Smith's; capturing several pieces of artillery and a large number of prisoners. This sealed our victory. The enemy was totally routed from right, left, and center, and was in full retreat to Chattanooga; night alone preventing their farther pursuit. Then arose along our lines, from wing to wing for miles, one wild, tumultuous yell, and cheers which made the hills and forest shake again. The day was ours; while the croaking raven of the night perched on the ill-starred banner of the vain, boasting Rosecrans, now crestfallen, defeated, and humiliated. Polk's wing captured 28 pieces of artillery, and Longstreet's 21, making 49 pieces of cannon; both wings taking nearly an equal number of prisoners, amounting to over 8,000, with 30,000 stand of arms, and 40 stands of regimental colors. The enemy's loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners, by their own account, is not less than 30,000. Ours is computed at 12,000: our wounded being unusually large compared to the killed. The enemy is known to have had all his available force on the field, including his reserve, with a portion of Burnside's corps, numbering not less than 80,000, while our whole force did not exceed 50,000. Nothing was more brilliant in all Bonaparte's Italian campaigns; it was equally desperate as the battle of Arcola, and far more decisive in its results. So far, it exceeds all previous battles of our revolution; and nothing could surpass the irresistible
to interpose his cavalry between Ross
ville and Chattanooga; but Ibragg countermanded the order. The fact
officially stated by him, that he had
lost two-fifths of his army in the ter
rible struggle thus terminated, suf
fices to justify his moving cautiously and surely.
Our losses on the Chickamauga were officially stated as follows: Infantry and Killed. Wound. Miss'g. Total.
artillery. . ! so 9,262" 4,945 15,851 Cavalry, in various combats and skir
inishes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 500
Total 16,351; which it is perfectly safe to increase, by stragglers and imperfect reports, to 20,000 from the hour of crossing the Tennessee till our army was concentrated in front of Chattanooga. Itosecrans claims to have captured and brought off 2,003 prisoners, and admits a loss of 7,500, including 2,500 of his wounded; also 36 guns, 20 caissons, and | 8,450 small arms. Bragg admits a total loss on his part of 18,000 men,” of whom 16,000 must have been killed and wounded ; and claims to have captured over S,000 prisoners (including wounded), 51 guns, and 15,000 small-arms. These statements are not necessarily incompatible. All the arms dropped by killed, wounded, or flyjing soldiers—no matter of which army—were of course gathered up ; by those who held the field, and counted among their spoils; and, ; while the victor counts all the guns he has taken, his worsted foe subtracts his captures from his losses, and returns only the net loss. And, as our men fought mainly on the defensive, often on ridges or behind rude breastworks, and lost very few in their retreat, it is probable that our killed and wounded were the I fewer, as these antagonist reports
Baldwin and IIeg. commanding brigades; Cols.
* Including Cols. Payne, 4th Ohio, Shackleford, 6th Ky., and Armstrong, 93d Ohio, with many others.
* Gen. B. II. Helm's Kentucky brigade went
| into this fight 1.763 strong, and came out 432:
Helm being among the killed. Bate's brigade lost 60S out of 1,085. A Mississippi brigade lost 781, and came out with but two regimental officers uninjured; and there were several more brigades which lost fully half their number.
Bragg had won an unmistakable victory; yet all its fruits were reaped on the battle-field. When he advanced in force,” and appeared before Chattanooga, not even the fiercest fire-eater in his camp was anxious to storm those intrenchments, behind which Rosecrans stood ready to repeat the fearful lesson he gave Price and Van Dorn, at Corinth. The victor had the field and the dead (hundreds of whom he inhumanly left to rot unburied); but his defeated antagonist had secured the great strategic object of his campaign,” and was abundantly able to retain and defend it.
Chattanooga being unattainable, Dragg was urged to anticipate a gigantic, fatal folly in moving by his left across the Tennessee and advancing on Nashville. IIe answered, like a soldier and man of sense, that half his army consisted of réenforcements that had joined him just before the recent struggle, without a wagon or an artillery-horse, and that a third of the artillery-horses he had were lost on the field. Then, a formidable river was to be crossed, without pontoons, at a season when any day might see it swelled, amid those steep mountains, out of all possibility of fording. He might have added that, with a great army on his flank, and in a country where—its railroads being destroyed—the difficulties of an offensive were at best appalling, to have attempted such a movement
would have insured his ruin; and rashness was not his weak point. Bragg could not carry the coveted stronghold by storm; he could not flank it; but he might starve our army out of it. Holding the left bank of the Tennessee for miles below, he commanded not only the railroads connecting that city with the North and West, and with Middle Tennessee, but the navigation of the river, with the roads crowded against its banks by the steep mountains which on both sides overshadow it. East Tennessee affording insufficient forage and little or no food, our supplies must, for the present, be wagoned across the countless mountain ridges separating it from Middle Tennessee, traversed only by roads of inconceivable badness; and, for a time, our troops were on short allowance, while many thousands of our horses were starved, or worked to death in wagoning over supplies. Gen. Rosecrans, while thus cooped up in Chattanooga, received “an unheralded order relieving him from command, which he at once obeyed; leaving for the North next day—just a year having elapsed since he left Corinth—the theater of his then recent victory—to find himself assigned to command this department. Deeming it best for the service that he should depart before it was known to the soldiers that he was superseded, he bade adieu to his comrades in the following order: It was one of the strongest countries in the world, so full of lofty mountains, that it had been called, not unaptly, the Switzerland of America. As the possession of Switzerland opened the door to the invasion of Italy, Germany, and France, so the possession of East Tennessee gave
* Wednesday, Sept. 23.
“Pollard very fairly says:
“Chickamauga had conferred a brilliant glory upon our arms, but little else. Rosecrans still held the prize of Chattanooga, and with it the possession of East Tennessee. Two-thirds of our niter-beds were in that region, and a large proportion of the coal which supplied our founderies. It abounded in the necessaries of life.
easy access to Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama."
* Oct. 19.
“H’Do'RS DEP'T of TITE CUMBERLAND, ) “CHATTANooga, Tenn., Oct. 19, 1863. § “The General commanding announces to the officers and soldiers of the Army of the Cumberland that he leaves them, under orders from the President. “Maj.-Gen. George II. Thomas, in compliance with orders, will assume the command of this army and department. The chiefs of all the staff departments will report to him. “In taking leave of you, his brothers in arms—officers and soldiers—he congratulates you that your new commander comes not to you, as he did, a stranger. Gen. Thomas has been identified with this army from its first organization. He has led you often in battle. To his known prudence, dauntless courage, and true patriotism, you may look with confidence that, under God, he will lead you to victory. “The General commanding doubts not you will be as true to yourselves and your country in the future as you have been in the past. “To the division and brigade commanders, he tenders his cordial thanks for their valuable and hearty cooperation in all that he has undertaken. To the chiefs of the staff departments and their subordinates, whom he leaves behind, he owes a debt of gratitude for their fidelity and untiring devotion to duty. “Companions in arms—officers and soldiers—farewell; and may God bless you ! “W. S. Rosecl:ANs, Major-General.”
Gen. Burnside, after he was relieved from command on the Rappahannock, had been assigned “ to that of the Department of the Ohio, and his old 9th corps dispatched with him to the West, with a view to an early and determined advance through eastern Kentucky for the liberation of loyal but crushed and suffering East Tennessee. The exigencies of the service, however, compelled a diversion of the 9th corps to réenforce Grant, then in the crisis of his struggle for Vicksburg. So Burnside was obliged to remain idle at Cincinnati. A force of mounted Rebels having, under Gen. Pegram, emerged from East Tennessee, crossed the Cumberland mountains and river, and ad
dressed themselves to the spoliation of southern Kentucky. They proclaimed their force the vanguard of a large army advancing, under Breckinridge, for the rescue of Kentucky from her Yankee oppressors; paraded the greater portion of their number as infantry on entering any considerable village; and got up a handbill proclamation that every young man who did not choose to serve in the Confederate armies must leave Kentucky! These pretensions seem to have imposed, to some extent, on Gen. S. P. Carter, commanding the Union forces on that frontier, who retreated before Pegram from Danville, across Dick's river and the Kentucky; abandoning the heart of the State to rapine. Pegram lacked the audacity to continue the pursuit, as well as the force to justify it, or he might, perhaps, have chased Carter and Wolford across the Ohio. But the Rebels turned here to fly,” thus revealing their weakness; and soon found a dangerous force on their heels. They were sharply chased by Wolford's cavalry through Lancaster, Stanford, and Waynesburg, to within three miles of Somerset, where they were brought to bay:” meanwhile, Gen. Q. A. Gillmore had joined the pursuit with 250 of the 7th Ohio cavalry and taken command: swelling the Union force to about 1,200 men. The Rebels are stated, in the reports on our side, to have been twice that number—a statement which is not confirmed by any returns, and is probably a gross exaggeration, explained by the efforts of the enemy to diffuse an extravagant idea of their numbers. At all events, they were very easily driven from their chosen position; and a charge on our rear by Col. Scott's Rebel cavalry, though it threw our forces into temporary confusion, was repelled with spirit by Wolford: when the Rebels renewed their flight, and were pursued 5 or 6 miles; and now they made another stand, and were not again attacked—night soon falling; under the shelter of which, they moved quietly off; crossing the Cumberland in squads, and making good their escape into Tennessee, with a loss of only about 100” men and a large share of their plunder. Our loss was about half so many. It is plain that most of them might have been captured, but for the over-estimate of their strength by our officers. Gen. Burnside, two months later, sent a cavalry force, under Col. H. S. Saunders, from Williamsburg, Ky., across the Cumberland mountains into East Tennessee; which struck the railroad at Lenoir, 40 miles below Knoxville, breaking it thence nearly up to Rnoxville; then, passing around that city, struck it again near Strawberry Plains, burning the bridge, 1,600 feet long, across the Holston, and that across Mossy creek, above; capturing in all 3 guns, 500 prisoners, and 10,000 small arms, beside destroying large quantities of Confederate munitions and stores; making its way out with difficulty—the passes being all choked or guarded—to Boston,” Ry. Its loss was trifling. Gen. Burnside, having thoroughly organized and equipped his command, about 20,000 strong, at Camp Nelson, near Richmond, Ky., commenced,” without awaiting the re
* March 26, 1863.
* March 27.
* March 30.
turn of his old corps, his advance on Knoxville simultaneously with Rosecrans's movement on Chattanooga. Marching as light as possible—his men nearly all mounted; his munitions and stores mainly packed on mules—concentrating his forces at Crab Orchard, he pushed vigorously through Mount Vernon, London,” Williamsburg, and thence due south into Tennessee at Chitwood, halting two days” to rest; and then making a forced march over the mountains of 40 miles in two days, to Montgomery, and thence reaching Kingston, where the Holston and Clinch rivers unite to form the Tennessee; and where he was greeted by Rosecrans's pickets and communicated with Col. Minty's cavalry; while his army made another forced march of two days to Loudon, higher up; hoping thus to save the railroad bridge, 2,000 feet long, over the Holston; which they reached “just in time to see it in flames. Pushing as rapidly to Knoxville—which our cavalry advance had occupied on the 1st—Gen. Burnside was welcomed “ with such an outpouring of enthusiastic loyalty and gratitude as had rarely been
* Gillmore first reports their loss at “over 300;” and again says it “will not fall short of 500 men.” But the only account (by a newspaper correspondent) that gives precise details,
makes the numbers “19 killed, 6 wounded, and