vision, Lytle's and Walworth's, were taken from the extreme right, and were moving at the double-quick to the support of General Thomas. Simultaneously with this movement, and much to my surprise, Wood's division left the position it held in line of battle on Davis' left, marching by the left flank, leaving a wide gap in the line of battle. An attempt was made by General Davis to fill up the space thus vacated. Buell's brigade, of Wood's division, had scarcely marched more than its length when a most furious and impetuous assault was made by the enemy, in overwhelming numbers, on this portion of the line, the enemy's lines of battle extending from beyond Brannan's right to a point far to the right of the Widow Glenn's house, and in front of the strong positions just abandoned by General Sheridan's two brigades.
To resist this attack I had but two brigades of Davis' division (numbering about 1,200 men), and Colonel Laiboldt's brigade, of Sheridan's division, as a support. Finding the enemy pouring through the interval between Davis and Brannan, Lytle's and Walworth's brigades were deflected from their line of march to the left, and ordered to assist in resisting the enemy.
Colonels Wilder and Harrison, with their commands, closed in on Sheridan's right as speedily as possible, and did good service. General Davis' command, being overwhelmed by numbers, was compelled to abandon its position in order to save itself from complete annihilation or capture. Laiboldt's troops, moving up to Davis' support, met with a similar fate.
The other two brigades of Sheridan's division were illy prepared to meet such an attack. They struggled nobly, and for a time checked the enemy in their immediate front, but the position being turned far to the left they were compelled to withdraw from the unequal contest.
It was thus that these five brigades of the Twentieth Corps were cut off and separated from the remainder of the Army of the Cumberland. No troops fought with more heroism or suffered greater losses than these five small brigades, their loss being over 40 percent. of the number engaged in killed and wounded.
In regard to the numbers of the enemy that attacked on the right I can make no estimate. General Sheridan captured prisoners from five different rebel divisions.
The Fifty-first Illinois, of Walworth's brigade, captured the colors of the Twenty-fourth Alabama.
The troops of Generals Sheridan and Davis' divisions were rallied a short distance in rear of the line of battle and marched toward Rossville to endeavor to form a junction with the troops under General Thomas. Their presence was reported to General Thomas by my chief of staff, Lieutenant-Colonel Thruston.
These troops were placed in position by order of General Thomas, on the road leading from the battle-field to Rossville. During the night they withdrew to Rossville with the remainder of the army. The Second Division of the Twentieth Corps, under General R. W. Johnson, fell back to Rossville with the Fourteenth Corps, Willich's brigade forming the rear guard.
On the night of September 20 the Twentieth Army Corps was united in good order at Rossville.
On the morning of the 21st, a short time after daylight, the corps was again put in line of battle, the left resting on Mission Ridge, covering the Crawfish Spring road, the right extending toward Chattanooga Creek and Lookout Mountain.