War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0980 KY.,SW.VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N.ALA., AND N.GA. Chapter XLII.

Search Civil War Official Records

increased at that point, and I saw the troops giving way. It was the rear of Van Cleve's column which I saw. I saw no enemy at that point. General Van Cleve in his official report says: "Two batteries belonging to Brannan's command, he believes, ran through his column at that point, cutting off three regiments which remained during the battle of 20th, while the other five fell back and rallied near Rossville."

Question. Did the conduct of General Crittenden in coming into Chattanooga meet your approval?

Answer. It did not meet my disapproval. I only thought possible he might have rendered some assistance in rallying the troops; but had no sufficient evidence that he could have done so, to warrant me in censuring him.

By General CRITTENDEN:

Question. In your official report you say on my return from and examination of the ground in rear of our left center, I found, to my surprise, that General Van Cleve was posted in line of battle on a high ridge, much too far to the rear to give immediate support to the main line of battle. Did or did not General Van Cleve take this position while General Crittenden was talking with you in plain view?

Answer. My recollections of that are that on my return from toward the left I passed to a battery at the edge of a narrow strip of woods in front of a line infantry, posted on a hill in the open fields; that I gave directions to the battery to employ their idle time in cutting passage ways through this wood, and then rode up to the infantry just mentioned, and ascertained they were part of Van Cleve's troops; that General Van Cleve came to me and state he was just coming up there and was posting them. I told him that was not the place; he ought to be at a point in advance and in close column by division, doubled on the center so as to be ready for a movement. I then moved toward the right, met General Crittenden and staff in a peach orchard, perhaps 300 yards from the place; called his attention to General Van Cleve's position, and that at that time some of Van Cleve's troops in column were moving up, and that at my suggestion General Crittenden gave him the orders to form in close column by division, in the direction indicated, reiterating them for fear General Van Cleve would not understand them fully. It may be proper to add that General Crittenden stated to me at that time that General Van Cleve had moved in obedience to his orders, to go eastward from the position which he had occupied during the night, which orders General Crittenden had give on my suggestion as I passed him early in the morning, that it would be better to move his whole force farther toward the left. I think Van Cleve was about 150 or 200 yards farther back than the place where I wanted him to be.

Question. What portion of General Crittenden's corps were driven to or near Rossville?

Answer. About five regiments.

Question. Did any of the corps which fought the battle of Chickamauga, have in proportion to its strength more men engaged throughout the battle, and did any behave better?

Answer. I think the Twenty-first (Crittenden's) had as large a proportion of its strength in the fight, and that they sustained themselves as well, all the circumstances considered, as any other corps. It lost a larger percentage of killed and wounded, if my memory serves me, and a smaller percentage of prisoners.

Question. Was it possible for the general commanding at Chickamauga to sent staff officers familiar with the ground, who could show corps commanders the positions they should take, and did he do so?

Answer. The battle was fought mostly on wooded ground, entirely unknown to us; and notwithstanding corps and division commanders had orders to connect their headquarters immediately with those of their superiors, and the commanding general's escort and a battalion of cavalry were employed as couriers, communication with the corps headquarters with those of the subordinate commanders was very imperfect, and much had to be left to the discretion of commanders of troops.