War of the Rebellion: Serial 051 Page 0524 KY., SW. VA.,TENN., MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.

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[CHAP. XLII.

enemy on the road from Chattanooga to that point; General Pegram was left at or near Pea Vine Church, and Brigadier-General Armstrong's division was located in front of General Cheatham's infantry division on the Chattanooga and La Fayette road. I retained with me at Dalton about 240 men of General Morgan's cavalry.

The reports of General Pegram and Colonel Scott sufficiently detail their operations prior to the battle of Chickamauga, and require no further comments here.

On Thursday (17th ultimo), I moved from Dalton, and Friday morning from Ringgold, toward Pea Vine Creek, having with me Morgan's men, under Lieutenant-Colonel Martin, and my escort, and met the enemy's cavalry (Minty's brigade) at Pea Vine Creek. Dismounting Lieutenant-Colonel Martin's command, and assisted by Brigadier General B. R. Johnson's command, the enemy were driven across the Chickamauga at Reed's Bridge, at which point I was joined by General Pegram's division. Crossing the creek at a ford above the bridge, the country was scoured for a mile west of the bridge. General Hodd's command of infantry also crossed the Chickamauga and formed in line of battle, my command bivouacking on the field in the rear of his line near Alexander's Bridge.

On the morning of the 19th, I was ordered to move with my command down the road toward Reed's Bridge and develop the enemy, which was promptly done, and their advance was soon engaged at the steam saw-mill near that point. Finding the enemy too strong for General Pegram's force, I dispatched a staff officer to Lieutenant-General Polk's quarters for General Armstrong's division. He could only spare Colonel Dibrell's brigade, which arrived shortly after we engaged the enemy; was speedily dismounted and formed, and, with General Pegram's division, were able to hold position until infantry re-enforcements arrived, the first brigade of which, under Colonel Wilson, formed on my left advanced in gallant style, driving the enemy back and capturing a battery of artillery my dismounted cavalry advancing with them. The superior force of the enemy compelled us to give back until re-enforced by General Ector's brigade, when the enemy was again driven back. From statements of prisoners captured, the enemy's force engaged was four brigades of infantry and one of cavalry; but when driven back the second time, with the loss of another battery, their full strength was developed, and, being met and overpowered by vastly superior numbers, we were compelled to fall back to our first position. A cavalry charge was made to protect the infantry as they retired, which they did in good order, but with loss. We captured many prisoners, but were unable for want of horses to bring off the guns captured from the enemy.

Until the arrival of Major-General Walker (being the senior officer present) I assumed temporary command of the infantry, and I must say that the fighting and the gallant charges of the two brigades just referred to excited my admiration. They broke the enemy's lines, and could not be halted orwithdrawn until nearly surrounded. WE fell back, fighting and contesting the ground, to our original position near the mill on the Reed's Bridge road. General Cheatham's division coming up and engaging the enemy drove them for some distance, but was in turn compelled to fall back. Seeing General Maney's brigade hard pressed and retiring before the enemy, I hastened to his relief with Freeman's battery of six pieces, dismounting Colonel Dibrell's brigade to support it.