mishers north and east of my position, I sent messengers to find General McCook.
Lieutenant-Colonel Thruston, chief of General McCook's staff, soon appeared and notified me that the line to my left was driven back and dispersed, and advised that I had better fall back to Lookout Mountain. I determined, however, to attempt to cut my way to join General Thomas at Rossville, and was arranging my line for that purpose when General Dana, Assistant Secretary of War, came up and said that "our troops had fled in utter panic; that it was a worse rout than Bull Run; that General Rosecrans was probably killed or captured;" and strongly advised me to fall back and occupy the passes over Lookout Mountain to prevent the rebel occupancy of it. One of my staff officers now came up and reported that he had found General Sheridan a mile and a half to the rear and left, who sent advice to me that he "was trying to collect his men and join General Thomas at Rossville, and that I had better fall back to the Chattanooga Valley." I now, at 4 p. m., did so with great reluctance, bringing off with me a number of wagons loaded with ammunition, a great many ambulances, a number of caissons, a great many stragglers, and quite a number of straying beef-cattle.
After reaching Chattanooga Valley at dark, my pickets were properly posted to guard all approaches to Chattanooga from that direction, when I sent a courier to you at Chattanooga informing you of my position and disposition.
The list of casualties* in my command has been forwarded heretofore.
In conclusion, I am happy to state that through the entire campaign my commands were obeyed with cheerful promptness, men and officers seeming to fully appreciate our dangers and difficulties, and willingly submitting to the great privations incident thereto. My subordinate commanders are entitled to the warmest praise for their gallantry and judgment in the numerous engagements, in all of which each did his whole duty.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. T. WILDER,
Colonel Seventeenth Indiana, Comdg. Mounted Brigade.
Major General W. S. ROSECRANS, U. S. Army,
Report of Colonel Abram O. Miller, Seventy-second Indiana Infantry, commanding First Brigade (Mounted Infantry).
HDQRS. 1ST BRIG., 4TH DIV., 14TH ARMY CORPS,
Friar's Island, September 28, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that on the afternoon of the 9th instant two regiments of this command, the Seventy-second Indiana, myself commanding, and the Ninety-eighth Illinois, Colonel Funkhouser, forded the Tennessee River at this point and bivouacked on the south bank for the night.
*During the campaign the loss was 1 officer and 20 men killed, 9 officers and 96 men wounded, and 1 officer and 18 men captured or missing; total, 145. For loss at Chickamauga, see p. 173.
29 R R-VOI XXX, PT I