gaged in the same apparently vain and painful task, we succeeded in occasionally collecting squads of men from different commands, and finally halted on the second range of hills to the rear of the road. Here I found of my command, Lieutenant-Colonel Lister, of Thirty-first Ohio, with a number of men he had rallied, and Major Butterfield, of the Seventeenth Ohio, who had also a squad of his command, and several officers of the two regiments, who had been laboring hard to rally their men.
At one time it looked as if we would be able to collect enough stragglers to make a successful stand, but at this time General Negley appeared with an unbroken force, and, assuming general command, it was announced that he would conduct the retreat in an orderly manner and cover and protect the artillery and trains, then in apparently inextricable confusion on the hills. By his orders all stragglers were to be collected and marched with his command, in retreat, in as orderly manner as possible, until a point of safety could be gained, where a rally and reorganization could be effected.
Without any information that the commander of this division was making a brave and determined stand in the rear about a half a mile to the right of this point, with a handful of stragglers and broken divisions there rallied chiefly by his efforts, I accepted the announcement that General Negley was conducting the retreat and commanding the rear guard, and joined his command with all of the rallied men under my orders, and thus moved to a point about 2 miles from Rossville, and at least 3 from the battle-field, where proper precautions were taken and arrangements made for reorganizing straggling regiments and brigades.
Here I succeeded in collecting about 350 men and organizing them in their proper commands, Lieutenant-Colonel Lister being present and in command of the remnant of the Thirty-first Ohio, Major Butterfield in command of the rallied men of the Seventeenth Ohio, and Adjutant Hunter in command of a large number of men of the Second Brigade were rallied and reorganized.
Riding back to gather up the stragglers who were still coming up the road, I saw Lieutenant Germain, of the division staff, who first informed me that General Brannan was making, with his rallied force, a desperate but successful stand in the rear. I started back immediately to take my rallied men back to General Brannan's assistance. Reaching the point where I had left my command, I found that it had been ordered by General Negley to Chattanooga. I pressed after my men and succeeded in overtaking them about 2 miles from Chattanooga, and at once ordered them back. Before reaching the former rallying point, however, information reached me that the battle was ended, and that General Brannan was moving his forces to the rear without further molestation from the enemy.
Many of my command had joined General Brannan, and, under Colonel Hunter, Eighty-second Indiana, and Lieutenant-Colonel Ward, Seventeenth Ohio, had fought most nobly. Their conduct not having come under my personal observation, I can only refer to the reports* of Colonel Hunter and Lieutenant-Colonel Ward for the full details of that brave, determined stand by, at first, but a few unorganized rallied men, which truly and most fortunately changed the fortunes of that disastrous day, and saved the army from worse than defeat.