from La Fayette to meet him, throwing my forces along the Chickamauga between him and my supplies at Ringgold.
On the afternoon of the 18th, we effected a crossing of the Chickamauga at two points, about 7 miles nearly due west from Ringgold, after considerable resistance and some loss.
These forces moved at daylight on the 19th up the Chickamauga, and were joined by others, which crossed in succession as their positions were unmasked. About 10 a. m. our right encountered the enemy, and the action soon became hot and extended gradually toward our left. It was most obstinate until dark, and only resulted in a partial success. Our forces were all concentrated that night, and a vigorous assault ordered at daylight on the 20th, to commence on the right and be taken up to the left. By delays, not yet satisfactorily explained, this movement was not made until near 11 o'clock, and after I had visited that part of the field and reiterated my orders to Lieutenant-General Polk. After being commenced it was promptly, vigorously, and satisfactorily followed on the left under Lieutenant-General Longstreet. We met with the most obstinate resistance, the enemy holding selected positions strengthened by barricades, slight breastworks of timber and abatis, all concealed from us in a dense forest. Though frequently repulsed at points, our troops in variably returned to the charge, and when night suspended the work the whole field was ours.
The next morning the enemy had entirely disappeared from our front, leaving his dead and wounded. A vigorous pursuit followed his rear guard into Chattanooga, where we found him strongly intrenched.
We lost some artillery the first day, but recovered all before the close of the action. Thirty-six pieces taken from the enemy have so far been reported and secured. We have also collected about 15,000 stand of small-arms over and above what were left on the field from our casualties, and have some 25 stand of colors and guidons, and about 7,000 prisoners. These gratifying results were obtained at a heavy sacrifice on our part. Major-General Hood lost a leg on the 20th, when gallantly leading his command. Brigadier General Preston Smith was killed on the 19th, and Brigadier Generals B. H. Helm and James Deshler fell on the next day-all gallant soldiers and able commanders. Brigadier-Generals Gregg, McNair, and Adams were severely wounded, the first two not dangerously; the latter is missing. The accounts of him are co flicting, but he probably fell into the hands of the enemy. Brigadier-General Brown was slightly wounded, but is again on duty. The loss of inferior officers and men, though known to be large is not yet sufficiently ascertained to justify an estimate.
The conduct of the troops was admirable. Though often repulsed, they never failed to respond when called on, and finally carried all before them. For two weeks most of them had been without shelter, on short rations, in a country parched by drought, where drinking water was difficult to obtain, yet no murmur was heard, and all was glee and cheerfulness whenever the enemy was found. During the action, and for a day or two before, and up to this time, all were on short rations and without cooking utensils.
The enemy had concentrated against us four corps, being all of Rosecrans' army, and one infantry standard was captured from a regiment of Burnside's old army corps-the Ninth. But three small infantry brigades of General Longstreet's command had joined us.