War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0968 KY.,SW.VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N.ALA., AND N.GA. Chapter XLII.

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called upon, and General Crittenden sends in Wood's division to supply the place left vacant. All is yet quiet upon the right, the demands of the left are pressing, and General Van Cleve is ordered to march to Thomas, and afterward Wood's division leaves the line and takes the same direction.

Whether this order was correctly construed or not it is unnecessary to discus; the consequences to General McCook's troops are the same; that front of a division is suddenly withdrawn from the line, without any information to him except that given by General Wood on an accidental meeting at the moment the movement commenced. "It was done at the double-quick, thus giving General McCook no time to close his troops properly and fill the vacant space." (General Rosecrans' testimony.) There was not only no time to fill the space, but I had no troops to fill it with, unless a small brigade could cover a division interval. "Just as I had formed on General Wood's right I was told by Colonel Buell that he was leaving for the left, and that the other brigades had already move." (General Davis' testimony.)

At 10 o'clock the attack had not begun upon the right, but, the left being heavily pressed a few moments later, the resolution was taken that everything having been employed, the right is called upon. At ten minutes after 10 o'clock this order was given:

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, In the Field, September 20, 1863-10.10 a.m.

Major-General McCOOK,

Commanding Twentieth Army Corps:

General Thomas is being heavily pressed on the left. The general commanding directs you to [make] immediate dispositions to withdraw the right, so as to spare as much force as possible to re-enforce Thomas. The left must be held at all hazards - even if the right is drawn wholly back to the present left. Select a good position back this way, and be ready to send [start*] re-enforcements to Thomas at a moment's warning.

J. A. GARFIELD,

Brigadier-General,and Chief of Staff.

At thirty minutes after 10 the order for preparation is followed by the command of execution.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, In the Field, September 20, 1863-10.30 a.m.

Major-General McCOOK,

Commanding Twentieth Army Corps:

The general commanding directs you to send two brigades of General Sheridan's division at once, and with all dispatch, to support General Thomas,a nd send the third brigade as soon as the lines can be drawn in sufficiently. March them as rapidly as you can without exhausting the men. Report in person* to these headquarters as soon as your orders are given in regard to Sheridan's movement. Have you any news from Colonel Post?

J. A. GARFIELD,

Brigadier-General,and Chief of Staff.

At a few minutes before 11 these orders were received, almost simultaneously, "not six minutes' interval," and the fate of the right was sealed.

Well might the general, who was "calm and confident at his line in the morning," become "anxious when he saw the dust rising

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*See p.70.

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