tect it from an attack by Banks' army. But as there was no real danger of such an attack at that moment, it was more probably on its way to re-enforce Bragg's army. But the time of its arrival was uncertain, as we had no reliable information of its departure from Richmond. We knew that Bragg had been re-enforced by troops sent by Johnston from Mississippi, and it was afterward ascertained that the rebel authorities had falsely declared as exchanged and released from parole the prisoners of was captured by Grant and Banks at Vicksburg and Port Hudson. This shameless violation of the cartel, and of the well-established usages of civilized warfare, was resorted to by the enemy in order to swell the numbers of Bragg's army in the approaching conflict.
General Rosecrans' troops were at this time scattered along an extended line from Gordon's Mills to Alpine, a distance of some 40 miles. By the 17th they were brought more within supporting distance, and on the morning of the 18th a concentration was begun toward Crawfish Spring,but slowly executed.
The battle of Chickamauga commenced on the morning of the 19th, McCook's corps forming the right of our line of battle, Crittenden's center, and Thomas' the left. The enemy first attacked our left with heavy masses, endeavoring to turn it, so as to occupy the road to Chattanooga; but all their efforts proved abortive. The center was next assailed, and temporarily driven back; but being promptly re-enforced, maintained its ground. As night approached, the battle ceased, and the combatants rested on their arms.
The attack was furiously renewed on the morning of the 20th, against our left and center. Division after division was pushed forward to resist the attacking masses of the enemy, when, according to General Rosecrans' report, General Wood, overlooking the direction--
To "close up" on Reynolds, supposed he was to support him by withdrawing from the line and passing in the rear of General Brannan.
By this unfortunate mistake a gap was opened in the line of battle, of which the enemy took instant advantage, and, striking Davis in flank and rear, threw his whole division into confusion.
General Wood claims that the orders he received were of such a character as to leave him no option but to obey them in the manner he did. Pouring in through this break in our line, the enemy cut off our right and right center, and attacked Sheridan's division, which was advancing to the support of our left. After gallant but fruitless efforts against this rebel torrent, he was compelled to give way, but afterward rallied a considerable portion of his force, and by a circuitous route, joined General Thomas, who now had to breast the tide of battle against the whole rebel army. Our right and part of the center had been completely broken and fled in confusion from the field, carrying with them toward Chattanooga their commanders, Generals McCook and Crittenden, and also General Garfield, however, made his way to the left and joined General Thomas, who still remained immovable in his position. His line had assumed a crescent form, with its flanks supported by the lower spurs of the mountain, and here, like a lion at bay, he repulsed the terrible onset of the enemy. About half past 3 p.m. the enemy discovered a gap in the hills in the rear of his right flank, and Longstreet commenced pouring his massive column through the opening. At this critical moment Major General Gordon Granger, who had been posted