position held by our troops, did much to inspire them with confidence during the eventful afternoon of the 20th.
On the morning of the 21st the First Division, Twenty-first Army Corps, was ordered to take a position on the left of General Palmer on the crest of Missionary Ridge. My brigade including the battery, was soon placed in position. The troops were placed at work to construct temporary breastworks of rails, &c., while a fatigue party constructed a good road leading from the rear into Chattanooga Valley. About noon the enemy from the Ringgold road attacked our skirmishers, but did not drive them in. Soon after a battery from an eminence to the right and front of us opened upon my brigade. Bradley's battery replied and soon silenced the enemy. No loss on our side.
About 10 p.m. we were ordered to leave a force on our front, while the main body was to fall back on Chattanooga. Lieutenant-Colonel Bullitt and 200 picked men were left behind, with orders to remain until 2 a.m. on the 22nd, if unmolested, but if attacked by overpowering numbers, to make a most stubborn resistance and fall back slowly toward Chattanooga. Our troops withdrew quietly and in good order. The rear, with Lieutenant-Colonel Bullitt commanding, arrived at the vicinity of our present position about 3 a.m. on the 22nd instant. About 6 a.m. on the same day we were directed to our present position where after a little delay, our lines were marked out and our present breastworks commenced.
I have already stated in my report that I had directed Captain Bradley to keep well to the rear, but to conform his movements to my own. I did this partly from prudential considerations and partly from, as I conceived a proper appreciation of the artillery arm of the service. While I have no disposition to criticism the conduct of others, and particularly my superiors, I nevertheless consider it my duty to state that I believe in many instances batteries in the late engagement were placed in positions where artillery could not be effectively used, and, from the nature of the country, could not easily be extricated. I believe that it was in this way that most of our artillery was lost in the late engagement. In other instances, from a want of judgment and knowledge of our lines, some of our artillery injured many of our own men. I submit this question as one of such great importance in the science of battles as to merit the serious consideration of the general commanding the department.
After the enemy had broken through our lines Captain Bradley, being some distance from me, and seeing from the nature of the country that he could not safely rejoin me, very wisely retired some distance to the rear. In doing this he acted upon the discretionary power conferred upon him by me. By his coolness, judgment, and skill, he succeeded in saving his battery, while so many in his immediate vicinity lost theirs. Captain Bradley states in his report that finding himself severed from my command, he reported to General Negley for orders. The latter directed him to follow his (General Negley's) troops into Rossville.
For details of the operations of my brigade, I most respectfully refer the general commanding to the official reports of my regimental commanders and of Captain Bradley.
In closing this report, I desire to call the attention of the general commanding to the good conduct, judgment, and skill evinced by regimental and battery commanders. To Colonels Opdycke, Dunlap, McIlvain, and Lieutenant-Colonel Whitbeck (wounded in action),