War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0989 Chapter XLII. THE CHICKAMAUGA CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

to the crest of the hill on which most of his batteries were stationed, and in plain view of the line of woods out of which the troops were breaking. For some time he hesitated opening these batteries; afterward, after a large number of troops had passed from he woods into the open field, he ordered the artillery to open fire upon the troops then on the line of the woods. These batteries were unprotected by any infantry, and the general and staff there perhaps three-quarters of an hour, when Lieutenant Cushing,commanding Company M [H], Fourth U. S. Artillery, stated a shot had just passed by him from his rear, and believing that the enemy had got entirely to our rear, his guns were faced to the rear. They soon after resumed their formed position, and commenced firing rapidly on the enemy, then advancing rapidly up the hill. About a quarter of a hour later the general and staff left the batteries, giving their commanders instructions which I did not hear. At this time the enemy were not only in our immediate front, but also in our left and right, pursuing our troops, who were escaping round the base of the hill, up the valleys. General Crittenden, then, had no alternative but to ride straight to the rear or be killed or captured,as Major Mendenhall, who remained a few moments later at the batteries, soon overtook General Crittenden with the information that the enemy were in the batteries and turning them on us. Crossing the Dry Valley road, we ascended another ridge, on which some troops of the Eighteenth Regulars had been rallied (at least, I was informed they belonged to that regiment). Here General Crittenden halted a while in hopes of receiving orders or hearing from General Rosecrans. Shortly afterward he rode on further and met Colonel Parkhurst, commanding the provost-guard of the Fourteenth Army Corps, which was in line of battle, increased by other stragglers they had rallied. Colonel Parkhurst tendered the command to General Crittenden, which he declined, stating that he (Parkhurst) was doing very well, and finally gave him instructions to rally and hold all the men he could until the wagons,&c., had passed by, when he was to follow on with his command as a rear guard. General Crittenden was very anxious as to the safety of Generals Rosecrans, McCook, Sheridan, and Davis, all [of] whom he believed to have been to his right at the time of the breaking of the center of the line, and asked Colonel Parkhurst for information concerning them. He had none, except that he believed that General Rosecrans had left for Rossville or Chattanooga. He could gain no information whatever on the road, which was filled wagons, guns, and men, all marching in orderly disorder, without confusion or noise, and on arriving near Rossville, he met Colonels Ducat, Goddard, Taylor (quartermaster), who as I understood, stated General Rosecrans had gone to Chattanooga. On arriving at Rossville the general detached me to pass through the troops across the road to ascertain about General Gordon Granger's position, supposing his headquarters were there. I could find nothing of his quarters or learn anything of his movements, and I continued to Chattanooga, where I arrived at 4.15 p.m., not having overtaken General Crittenden.

Question. Did General Crittenden send officers to ascertain whether there were any general officers or troops still on the field, and if any could be found?

Answer. He did, several times, and from several positions, after breaking of the lines, but he gained no information from any one until his arrival near Rossville, where he was informed General Rosecrans had gone to Chattanooga.

Question. Did General Crittenden stop at Rossville and endeavor there to get information from General Thomas?

Answer. He stopped a little while, conversing with several of General Rosecrans' staff officers. Having detached me to hunt up General Gordon Granger's headquarters or troops, I cannot tell what inquiries he made about General Thomas' troops, or how long

General Crittenden staid at Rossville.

Question. Did you ride to one side with General Crittenden to see if the battle was still going on?

Answer. I did.

Question. What did you hear?

Answer. I heard an occasional cannon shot, which sounded to me in the direction of the Chickamauga Creek, which enters the Tennessee River 8 miles above Chattanooga. There was nothing to be heard there of a general engagement.

The Court adjourned to meet at 10 o'clock on the 13th instant.