saying that the general still wanted support on his left. I directed this officer to General Rosecrans' position, then not far distant and did not stop the movement of General Van Cleve, as he was going in the right direction if the general commanding the department should change my orders to move General Van Cleve's division with the utmost dispatch, not exhausting the troops, to the support of General Thomas' left. I gave the order immediately to General Van Cleve and its execution was at once begun.
At this moment I received a message from General Wood that it was useless to bring artillery into the woods. The chief of artillery of this corps was ordered to put the batteries back on the ridge, in a commanding position with several hundred yards of open country in front, where I hoped, in the event of any reverse, these guns could cover our retiring troops. I now received a message from General Wood informing me that he had received an order direct from headquarters of the department to move at once to the support of General Reynolds. Looking at the artillery which Major Mendenhall had just put in position and not knowing exactly what to do with it under my last order, my difficulty was suddenly removed by the enemy. While we had been steadily, from the beginning of the battle, and very properly in my judgment, weakening our right and strengthening our left, the object of the enemy being clearly to throw himself between us and Chattanooga, the enemy had been receiving accessions of fresh troops, driving these attenuated lines from the field.
Upon turning from the batteries and looking at the troops I was astounded to see them suddenly and unaccountably thrown into great confusion. There was but little firing at this moment near the troops, and I was unable until some time afterward to account for this confusion. In a moment, however, the enemy had driven all before them, and I was cut off from my command though not 100 yards in rear, and in full view. The enemy had attacked and run over our extreme right at the same moment of time. I was now cut off entirely both on the right and left from all our troops. The way, however, was open to the batteries, and I rode immediately there, hoping that stragglers enough, both from right and left, would rally there to hold the position, or at least enable me to carry off the guns. Upon reaching the batteries, I found them without the support of a single company of infantry. It was a time of painful anxiety. I still hoped that support would come from somewhere or be driven to me. But the signs grew rapidly worse. Lieutenant Cushing, commanding Battery H, Fourth U. S. Artillery, rode up to me at this moment and said he thought the enemy's cavalry had got in our rear. Upon asking him his reason, he answered that a shell had just been thrown from our rear. I started to look if this could possibly be so, stating to Lieutenant Cushing that I did not think it possible. He asked me in case he was driven which way he should go. I replied he must not be driven, still hoping for support. He said he would like to know what road to take in case he should be driven, and I pointed out the direction.
A short distance in rear of the guns, just at this moment I met about 60 or 70 men, apparently rallied and led up to the batteries by a young officer whom I did not recognize, but who were really rallied and brought up by that pure-hearted and brave officer, Brigadier-General Cleve.