War of the Rebellion: Serial 051 Page 0144 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter XLII

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between him and Chattanooga. He believed that our forces were moved on his left, and he detached largely from his right in order to secure his line of retreat. A gap was made by the withdrawal of an entire division, and Longstreet's troops poured through the opening. All the Yankee accounts agree in this view of the battle.

A heavy pressure upon us when first disordered by the repulse might have been serious, but our left wing now came into action and McCook and Crittenden were soon fleeing before the heroes of Manassas and Murfreesborough. After our line had been reformed and the troops somewhat rested, I reported in person to Lieutenant-General Polk, and told him that I wished to renew the attack when the gap between Breckinridge and Cleburne should be filled, and that not less than a brigade could fill it. He promised to have it filled, and I learned that Brigadier-General Jackson's brigade was selected for that purpose. That officer, however, never occupied the gap, taking position opposite it, but far in rear. General Polk had directed me to take charge of all the attacking forces, and Walker's corps was ordered forward, and advanced in beautiful order and gained some important advantages. The Chattanooga road was once more seized and our guns thundering in the Yankee's rear. Unfortunately, the left had been disordered by the oblique fire from the unfilled gap, and the right brigade, instead of being formed across the road, was aligned parallel to it, and thus became exposed to an enfilading fire. The forcing back of the Yankee right had thrown some of the troops with a battery to the Blount House, in rear of the position gained by Walker's right, and his whole force was driven back. This second repulse from the Chattanooga road, though unfortunate, probably saved the troops occupying it from destruction; for that ever-watchful officer, General Forrest, reported to me soon after that a heavy Yankee column was coming from the direction of Chattanooga. His active scouts soon brought in some prisoners, who gave the information that Granger's corps was passing. Skirmishers were thrown out toward us, and there was every indication of a flank attack. Preparations were made to meet it. Forrest's artillery, aided by a section under Lieutenant Gracey, opened upon the marching column, which, however, passed on. A portion of it went to the left of the corps, and, advancing upon Cleburne, was met with a storm of shot and shell and driven back in confusion.

It was now 3.30 p.m., and Lieutenant-General Polk ordered a general advance. Some delay was occasioned by attempting to get officer after staff officer having in vain been sent to him. Cheatham's division, which had been taken out of line by General Polk and placed upon reserve, had been sent up to meet the supposed attack from Granger's corps. I directed General Cheatham to make the advance, but learning from him that he came up as a support to General Breckinridge, I turned over the order to advance to the latter officer, who responded with alacrity, and his brave men sprang eagerly forward. Two brigades of Cheatham, under the immediate command of that gallant officer, went to the left of Breckinridge to establish connection with Cleburne. General forrest agreed to move forward and to seize the Chattanooga road, while Breckinridge swept down it southward and in rear of the breastworks. As the whole line was moving forward a message was received from General Cleburne that Brigadier-General Polk had carried the northwest angle of the Yankee works-the point where Helm, Walthall, and Gist had