man's reserve brigade was available. The other was directed to say that General Van Cleve would at once be sent to his assistance, which was accordingly done.
A message from General Thomas soon followed, that he was heavily pressed, Captain Kellogg, aide-de-camp, the bearer, informing me at the same time that General Brannan was out of line, and General Reynolds' right was exposed. Orders were dispatched to General Wood to close up on Reynolds, and word was sent to General Thomas that he should be supported, even if it took away the whole corps of Crittenden and McCook.
General Davis was ordered to close on General Wood, and General McCook was advised of the state of affairs and ordered to close his whole command to the left with all dispatch.
General Wood, overlooking the direction to "close up" on General Reynolds, supposed he was to support him, by withdrawing from the line and passing to the rear of General Brannan, who, it appears, was not out of line, but was en echelon, and slightly in rear of Reynolds' right. 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, as well as in front, threw his whole division in confusion.
The same attack shattered the right brigade of Wood before it has cleared the space. The right of Brannan was thrown back, and two of his batteries, then in movement to a new position, were taken in flank and thrown back through two brigades of Van Cleve, then on the march to the left, throwing his division into confusion form which it never recovered until it reached Rossville.
While the enemy poured in through this breach, a long line stretching beyond Sheridan's right was advancing. Laiboldt's brigade shared in the rout of Davis. Sheridan's other two brigades, in movement toward the left, under orders to support Thomas, made a gallant charge against the enemy's advancing column, but were thrown into disorder by the enemy's line advancing on their flank and were likewise compelled to fall back, rallying on the Dry Valley road, and by a circuitous route reached Rossville, from which they advanced by the La Fayette road to support our left.
Thus Davis' two brigades, one of Van Cleve's, and Sheridan's entire division were driven from the field, and the remainder, consisting of the division of Baird, Johnson, Palmer, Reynolds, Brannan, and Wood, two of Negley's brigades and one of Van Cleve's, were left to sustain the conflict against the whole power of the rebel army, which, desisting from pursuit on the right, concentrated their whole efforts to destroy them.
At the moment of the repulse of Davis' division, I was standing in rear of his right, waiting the completion of the closing of McCook's corps to the left. Seeing confusion among Van Cleve's, troops, and the distance Davis' men were falling back, and the tide of battle surging toward us, the urgency for Sheridan's troops to intervene became imminent, and I hastened in person to the extreme right, to direct Sheridan's movement on the flank of the advancing rebels. It was too late. The crowd of returning troop rolled back, and the enemy advanced. Giving the troops directions to rally behind the ridge west of the Dry Valley road, I passed down it accompanied by General Garfield, Major McMichael, Major Bond, and Cap-