War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0635 Chapter XLII. THE CHICKAMAUGA CAMPAIGN.

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lines between Sheridan's left and Brannan's right. Although I had not been at all seriously engaged at any time during the morning, I was well satisfied the enemy was in considerable force in my immediate front. Consequently I was extremely vigilant. Such was the status of the battle in my immediate vicinity when I received the following order:


September 20-10.45 a.m.

Brigadier-General WOOD,

Commanding Division, &c.:

The general commanding directs that you close up on Reynolds as fast as possible and support him.

Respectfully, &c.,


Major, and Aide-de-Camp.

I received the order about 11 o'clock. At the moment of its receipt I was a short distance in rear of the center of my command. General McCook was with me when I received it. I informed him that I would immediately carry it into execution, and suggested that he should close up his command rapidly on my right to prevent the occurrence of a gap in our lines. He said he would do so, and immediately rode away. I immediately dispatched my staff officers to the brigade commanders with the necessary orders, and the movement was at once begun. Reynolds' division was posted on the left of Brannan's division, which, in turn, was on the left of the position I was just quitting. I had consequently to pass my command in rear of Brannan's division to close up on and go in to the support of Reynolds.

So soon as I had got the command well in motion, I rode forward to find General Reynolds and learn where and how it was desired to bring my command into action. I did not find General Reynolds, but in my search for him I met General Thomas, to whom I communicated the order I had received from the commanding general, and desired to know where I should move my command to support General Reynolds. General Thomas replied that General Reynolds did not need support, but that I had better move to the support of General Baird, posted on our extreme left, who needed assistance. I exhibited my order to him, and asked whether he would take the responsibility of chancing it. He replied he would, and I then informed him I would move my command to the support of General Baird. I requested General Thomas to furnish me a staff officer who could conduct me to General Baird, which he did. Taking this staff officer with me, I rode at once to Barnes's brigade and directed the staff officer to conduct it to and report it to General Baird. I then rode to the other two brigades for the purpose of following with them in the rear of Barnes' brigade to the assistance of General Baird. When I rejoined them I found the valley south of them swarming with the enemy.

It appears that when I moved my command to go to the support of General Reynolds, the gap thus made in our lines was not closed by the troops on my right, and that the enemy poured through it very soon in great force. The head of his column struck the right of Buell's brigade, and cutting off a portion of it, forced it over the advanced ridge, whence it retired, as I have subsequently learned, with the vast mass of fugitives from the troops on our extreme right toward Rossville. In moving to the support of General Reynolds,