Crittenden first came to this position the fire of the batteries was held, not being certain as to what troops the ones advancing over the open ground in front of the position were, as they carried a blue flag with a gold star, the battle-flag of the regular brigade of our army; but when they were out from the woods, seeing their uniforms, all the guns were opened on them, and kept firing till the enemy were nearly on the guns at the left of the battery. General Crittenden then rode down into the valley toward Mission Ridge to see if he could find or hear of General Rosecrans, General McCook, General Sheridan, or General Davis, or their troops, to find support for these batteries. We soon heard the noise of the batteries moving rapidly away, and were told by Captain Elwood, of Colonel Buell's staff, that the enemy were now at the guns and their skirmishers advancing rapidly. When on the ridge west of the road General Crittenden, with his staff, made every effort to rally the men that were straggling around. About 100 had been got together, when a shell passed over our heads to the rear, when the officers could hardly keep the men already rallied together. Major Mendenhall, General Crittenden's chief of artillery, informed him that the enemy had turned the guns on the hill we had shortly left, and were firing on the transportation, artillery,&c., moving down the Dry Valley road. General Crittenden then determined to go to Rossville or Chattanooga. When about a mile from this point met Colonel Parkhurst, Ninth Michigan, with a portion of his own and the Tenth Ohio Infantry, as a train guard. He had his men formed across the road, and had stopped enough to form another small regiment. He informed General Crittenden that General Rosecrans had gone to Chattanooga, and then offered the command of the troops with him to General Crittenden. The general told him to retain command; let all transportation, artillery,&c. pass to the rear, and then follow with his command. Soon after this he met Captains Burt and Drouillard, of General Rosecrans' staff, who also said that General Rosecrans was in Chattanooga. He then rode until about a mile from Rossville. He, with Captain Oldershaw, assistant adjutant-general, went to the side of the road to listen if he could still hear firing from the left of the army. He then rode to Rossville, where he found some other members of General Rosecrans' staff, who went with him to Chattanooga, going by the Point Lookout road. He arrived at Chattanooga at 3.30 or 4 p.m.; went direct to General Rosecrans' headquarters, reported condition of affairs, and remained there for more than an hour, until after General McCook had arrived. General Rosecrans told General Crittenden that he must take rest, and be ready to return to the front. At about dusk he went to his own headquarters. After talking and giving directions to Captain Oldershaw, he made arrangements to return to Rossville. At 11.30 he and his staff rode to General Rosecrans' headquarters, where he remained until nearly 2 o'clock on the morning of the 21st, when he received orders from General Rosecrans to go to Rossville, to get together his two division, and report to General Thomas. At 2 o'clock he started with General McCook and General Rousseau by direct State road for Rossville.
By General CRITTENDEN:
Question. Was it possible for General Crittenden to go to General Thomas except by Rossville?
Answer. It was not in any way, as the enemy's skirmishers, as he looked from the battery, were in front, right, and left, and he wold have to pass through them to reach General Thomas.
Question. About what time did General Crittenden reach Rossville? State, if you know, why the general did not take the directs rout to Chattanooga from Rossville.
Answer. I think he reached Rossville about 3 o'clock. His reason for not going by the direct road, as I heard him say, was because it was with transportation moving from the field to Chattanooga, and he thought it would be the quickest and best to go by Point Lookout.
Question. While at Rossville, did General Crittenden send officers of his in search of some one who cold give information as to the condition of General Thomas' command?
Answer. I think, am not quite certain, that Lieutenant-Colonel Starling rode to General Thomas for information.
The Court adjourned to meet at 10 o'clock on February 4.