Mills, but on our left the enemy's pickets were reported to be between the road and the river.
I was informed by the general commanding that we also occupied the bridge across the Chickamauga with one brigade of infantry at Reed's Mill, situated northeast from Gordon's Mills and distant about 3 1/2 miles, and thus the space between the two mills was in a great measure open to the enemy.
REPORT OF THE OPERATIONS OF THE TWENTY-FIRST ARMY CORPS, DURING THE ENGAGEMENTS OF THE 19TH AND 20TH OF SEPTEMBER, ON CHICKAMAUGA RIVER, GA.
Battles.-In continuation of my report of the movements of the Twenty-first Army Corps, since crossing the Tennessee River and ending the 18th ultimo, the day preceding the battle I have now the honor to report the operations of my command during the late engagements. It was 4 o'clock on the morning of the 19th before the last brigade of Major-General Palmer's division arrived at its position on the left of Brigadier-General Van Cleve. During the evening and night of the 18th of September, my command was placed in position as directed by the general commanding the department, the right resting at Gordon's or Lee's Mills, and the left running northeasterly along the Chickamauga and the road to Rossville.
On the morning of the 19th I rode to the extreme left of my line, and there being no appearance of the enemy in my front, at 7.40 a.m. I ordered Colonel Grose, Major-General Palmer's division, with his brigade, then i reserve to make a reconnaissance down the road and in direction of Reed's Mill, on the Chickamauga, to ascertain if the main road from Gordon's Mills to Rossville was clear,and if practicable to ascertain if Colonel McCook with his brigade held the brigade at Reed's Mill, from which direction I had just heard the report of four or five cannon.
On arriving at this position I found all quiet, Colonel Wilder, with his command supported by two regiments of Brigadier-General Van Cleve's division, being on the extreme left. I found Colonel Wilder in the edge of the woods some 150 yards west of the road leading to Rossville his men dismounted and behind a breastwork of rails.
It was here reported to me that the command of General Thomas had been heard passing in our rear toward Chattanooga. I immediately directed an officer to go to the rear until he came to the road on which these troops were passing and to report at once the character of the country which intervened, the distance,&c. I remained until the officer returned and reported. All still being quiet, I rode rapidly to department headquarters with this information, which I thought important and which I believed would be gladly heard by the commanding general. I promptly returned, and on my arrival at the left of my lines, about 11 a.m., I heard heavy cannonading about 1 1/2 to 2 miles to my left. Musketry firing began and soon became so heavy that I was satisfied the battle had commence. For a moment I felt embarrassed. The general commanding the department had inquired of me several times if I could hold my position, and I knew the importance to the movements of the army then going on of my ability so to do. I was on the left and thrown forward, covering a movement by which the entire army was to pass in my rear, leaving me on the right should the movement take place without