Baird's division was posted. Brannan followed, and was posted on Baird's left, covering the roads leading to Reed's and Alexander's Bridges.
At this point Colonel McCook, of General Branger's command, who had made a reconnaissance to the Chickamauga the evening before and had burned Reed's Bridge, met General Thomas, and reported that an isolated brigade of the enemy was this side of the Chickamauga, and, the bridge being destroyed, a rapid movement in that direction might result in the capture of the force thus isolated.
General Thomas ordered Brannan with two brigades to reconnoiter in that direction and attack any small force he should meet. The advance brigade, supported by the rest of the division, soon encountered a strong body of the enemy, attacked it vigorously, and drove it back more than half a mile, where a very strong column of the enemy was found, with the evident intention of turning our left and gaining possession of the La Fayette road between us and Chattanooga.
This vigorous movement disconcerted the plans of the enemy to move on our left, and opened the
BATTLE OF THE 19TH SEPTEMBER.
The leading brigade became engaged about 10 a.m. on the 19th, on our extreme left, and extending to the right, where the enemy combined to move in heavy masses. Apprehending his movement, I had ordered General McCook to send Johnson's division to Thomas' assistance. He arrived opportunely.
General Crittenden, with great good sense, had already dispatched Palmer's, reporting the fact to me, and received my approval. The enemy returned our attack, and was driving back Baird's right in disorder, when Johnson struck the attacking column in flank and drove it back more than a half a mile till his own right was overlapped, and in imminent danger of being turned, when Palmer, coming in on Johnson's right, threw his division against the enemy and drove back his advance columns.
Palmer's right was soon overlapped, when Van Cleve's division came to his support, but was beaten back, when Reynold's division came in and was in turn overpowered. Davis' division came into the fight then, most opportunely, and drove the enemy, who soon, however, developed a superior force against his line and pressed him so heavily that he was giving ground, when Wood's division came and turned the tide of battle the other way.
About 3 p.m. General McCook was ordered to send Sheridan's division to support our line near Wood and Davis, directing Lytle's brigade to hold Gordon's Mills, our extreme right. Sheridan also arrived opportunely to save Wood from disaster, and the rebel tide was thoroughly staid in that quarter.
Meanwhile, the roar of musketry in our center grew louder, and evidently approached headquarters at Widow Glenn's house, until musket balls came near and shells burst about it. Our center was being driven.
Orders were sent to General Negley to move his division from Crawfish Spring and above, where he had been holding the line of the Chickamauga, to Widow Glenn's, to be held in reserve to give succor wherever it might be required. At 4.30 p.m. he reported with his division, and as the indications that our center was being