The position to be occupied was pointed out to me by Major Lowrie, of General Negley's staff. The line of battle on my front was in a wooded valley east of a by-road leading to the Rossville road and nearly parallel to it. Temporary breastworks of wood, rocks,&c., had been erected by our troops, affording fair protection against infantry. Immediately on my front there was an open field about 400 yards wide, bounded by timber on the south and east. My skirmishers were thrown out in this field, and at once an exchange of shots with those of the enemy occurred. We got well into position about 10 a.m.
For some time previous, light firing of artillery and infantry was heard on our left, which continually grew heavier and appeared to extend toward the right. I had previously directed Captain Bradley to keep well to the rear with this battery. I kept well apprised of movements,and told him to conform his own to mine, moving to the right or left as he might be directed, but not to bring it into the woods where it could not be used to advantage.
About 10.15 a.m., a section of the enemy's battery opened upon my front. I ordered up a section of Bradley's battery, which silenced the enemy's. I again ordered his section to the rear, as it was but a useless expenditure of ammunition to continue the fire longer. About 11 a.m., I received orders, through General Wood, to move to the left, and support General Reynolds, in obedience to orders from the general commanding the department. I immediately got my command in readiness, and sent word to Captain Bradley to conform himself to my movements. Though we well knew that the enemy was immediately in our front ready to take advantage of any false step that we might make, yet as a part of General McCook's corps was immediately on our right, and as I understood, ready to fill the gap which our removal would make, we at once moved to the left and rear in search of General Reynolds' division. Having passed General Brannan's division, we were halted, as I understood that General Wood was not advised as to the exact position of General Reynolds. I was soon directed by General Wood to move to the right again, as General Brannan was being pressed. While executing this move, Lieutenant Germain, of General Brannan's staff, came up, laboring under great excitement, and requested me to hasten to General Brannan's relief. He stated that Brannan's right had been turned, that Van Cleve's division, which had come to their relief, had broken. I had moved but a short distance from this point before I was fired upon from the right. I immediately formed line of battle, facing to the right and nearly perpendicular to the general line of battle heretofore existing all of my regiments on the same line.
We had moved but a short distance, when we perceived a line of battle about 600 yards to our front, stretching across a corn-field. This line was facing, and nearly parallel to our own. The uniform of these troops was blue, and though we could not see their colors distinctly, many of us thought they were our own troops.
I could not conceive it possible that our troops had been so suddenly routed by an enemy who had thus far been repulsed at every point. I was therefore in the most painful state of uncertainty that it is possible to conceive a commander to be placed in. The idea of firing upon our own troops was a most horrible one to me, yet if perchance they should be rebels, valuable time was being lost to me, and they would take advantage of it; but to be on the safer side, I restrained