15th, back to Chickamauga River Valley, and encamped at Crawfish Spring.
On the 18th, by your order, I marched to Gordon's Mills. Toward evening I received a communication from Colonel Wilder, who was about a mile in front, that he needed support or would be compelled to fall back. I sent to his aid Colonel Dick, with two regiments of his brigade.
On the 19th, about 1 p.m., I was ordered to have one brigade in position near Gordon's Mills and move forward rapidly with the rest of my command to support General Palmer on our left, who was then hotly engaged with the enemy. I immediately ordered General Beatty, with the First Brigade, to move the left at double-quick, and at the same time ordered so much of the Second Brigade as was not with Colonel Dick to move forward, sending an order to Colonel Dick to join us we passed him. Colonel Barnes, with the Third Brigade, was left in position in the road.
With the First and Second Brigades I formed on the right of General Palmer, and immediately engaged the enemy fiercely, drove him rapidly, and captured four guns. The enemy, however, soon threw re-enforcements on his left, flanked my right, which was not supported, and compelled me to retire and leave the guns we had captured. We soon rallied and again charged him, driving him as before, and captured four more guns, which were brought off the field by the First Brigade. Again we were driven back, and again we rallied and drove the enemy, till, overwhelmed by masses on our unsupported right, we fell back in some disorder. I sent successively two officers of my staff to inform General Crittenden of my situation. The first reached him, but was unable to return; the second could not reach him, communication being cut off by the enemy. On the left of the road a battery was stationed. I fell back to that point; and there attempted to rally my men, with only partial success. Here Captain Thomas F. Murdock, of my staff, was struck down by my side while cheering those who rallied.
While the First and Second Brigades were thus engaged, the Third Brigade, Colonel Barnes, which had been left in position in the road near Gordon's Mills, was ordered forward by you to take part in the action, and to engage the enemy wherever he should be met. He encountered the enemy in a wood about three-quarters of a mile to the right of the position occupied by the First and Second Brigades, and after a sharp contest for about a half hour, being overpowered by superior numbers, was compelled to fall back to a more commanding position, where he threw up barricades and remained, till ordered to join the rest of the division on the following morning. Our losses this day were very heavy.
On the morning of the 20th, my division took position on the left of the First Division, General Wood, on the eastern slope of Missionary Ridge, and on the west side of the road running from Crawfish Spring to Rossville. Here we issued rations and replenished our stock of ammunition. About 10 a.m. I was instructed by you to order Colonel Barnes to move his brigade forward to the support of General Wood. With the First and Second Brigades I was ordered to the front and left, and [to] take position by my batteries on a hill about 400 yards distant. The eastern slope of this hill was a clear field, at its foot a strip of timber, beyond which was a large cornfield bordered by timber. I had no sooner gained my position than I was ordered by General Rosecrans in person to form my regiments