On the afternoon of the 18th instant, the brigade was bivouacked
on the left of the road leading south from Lee and Gordon's Mills, up McLemore's Cove and near Crawfish Spring, Catoosa County. At 6.30 p.m. the brigade column rested on the road ready to march, as ordered, but was detained in this position for some three hours, awaiting the passage of commands belonging to other corps. About 10 p.m. the brigade was in motion, pretty closely followed by the Second Brigade and later by the Third Brigade of the division. The column reached Lee and Gordon's Mills about 1 a.m. of the 19th instant. The brigade was here placed in line of battle by Major-General Palmer, with its right resting on the left fork of the Chickamauga River, near a battery on a slightly fortified hillock, constituting General Van Cleve's left, and extending northwest across the Rossville road. In this position the men rested until daylight. About 9 a.m. the Third Brigade (Colonel Grose) was ordered to the front on a reconnaissance. All was quiet at the front until about 10.40 a.m, when a discharge of artillery and volleys of musketry off in a northerly direction indicated the commencement of a battle. It soon became evident that a portion of General Thomas' corps had become engaged with the enemy. The Second Brigade (General Hazen) was ordered up by General Palmer, and immediately (at 11 a.m.) my brigade was ordered to follow, bringing up with it the artillery of the division.
After marching a short distance, this brigade was ordered past the Second Brigade and down the road. After having passed along the Rossville road to the house of McNamara, distant about 1 1/2 miles from the mills, the brigade was thrown to the right into an open woods and formed in line, facing the direction of the sound of battle, which was nearly east. Here General Palmer indicated the order of battle and superintended the formation of his division lines. The Second Brigade (General Hazen) passed me and formed on the left, the Third Brigade (Colonel Grose) on the right. The division line was to advance en echelon by brigades, retiring the right. This order threw the Second Brigade some hundred paces to the front of my left and the Third Brigade the same distance to the rear of my right, and made this brigade for the time being the center of the movement. Skirmishers were thrown out rapidly, and the advance of the division soon commenced in steady line. After advancing about 400 yards, the skirmishers engaged those of the enemy and drove them in. The line pressed steadily up. The Second and First Brigades engaged the enemy nearly simultaneously, at about 12.30 p.m, and the Third Brigade soon also became engaged.
The general orders were to press off in an east or rather northeasterly course, in the direction of the sound of the battle then progressing, and endeavor to connect on the right of the line of our troops that were fighting. The sound of the fire when first heard at the mills, seemed to be to the left of the Rossville road (looking north), and then speedily changed to the right or east of it, becoming constantly more intense.
My command encountered the enemy's line at point about three-quarters of a mile east of the Rossville road. The ground between the road and the enemy's line was, at first, an open woodland, with an undulating surface, which terminated in a small ridge, parallel with the road and about half a mile back from it, below which lay a level plateau about a quarter of a mile across. On the east side of this plateau the ground broke off abruptly and disclosed a level,