War of the Rebellion: Serial 053 Page 0128 KY., SW. VA. TENN., MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter XLII.

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11.30 a.m. General Wood's division was ordered to the left, and Sheridan was thrown rapidly into the gap at Gordon's Mills, while Negley's division was closed up on Sheridan, and the cavalry also moved to the left to a position near Pond Spring. At 4 p.m. General Negley was ordered to support Davis' two brigades and Sheridan to move up to the left, leaving only General Lytle's brigade to hold the position at Gordon's Mills. At 4.50 p.m. General McCook left his headquarters in the field for the day, and reported at department headquarters at Widow Glenn's house, General Mitchell having arrived at Crawfish Spring. The right had no fighting this day under General McCook, though all the divisions composing his corps were engaged. The Fifty-first Illinois captured a stand of the enemy's colors for the glory of the Third Division and Johnson's division captured seven pieces of artillery, losing but one. No other artillery was lost by this corps on this day. The losses in officers and men were, on the contrary, very severe, two brigade commanders being killed-Colonel Heg, of First Division, Colonel Baldwin, of Second Division, and Colonel Bradley, of Third Division, being very dangerously wounded.

During the preceding night and early in the morning of September 20, the five brigades acting under Major-General McCook's orders (First and Third Divisions) closed up on the left of the center, where General Wood's division was posted, and took commanding positions, Wilder's brigade of mounted infantry covering our right flank. At 9 a.m. Davis' division was posted on Wood's right, and Sheridan's division retained its position echeloned to our right rear. At 11 a.m. Wood's division was ordered to the support of Brannan's division, and Davis' was moved to fill up the gap thus made in the line; at the same moment Sheridan was ordered by written orders from department headquarters to move two brigades to the left to support the center. At this moment, before the gap caused by Wood's removal could be filled by Davis' division, and while Sheridan's two brigades were marching by the flank to their destination, which movement neutralized the topographical and military advantages of their position covering our right, the enemy made a furious assault upon the right, and, though repulsed by Davis on his front, were in such numbers as to completely outflank us on both flanks, which, as I have said before, were for the moment unprotected, and drove us back to the road near Widow Glenn's house. In vain did Sheridan's two brigades, halted in their march and brought to the front, struggle to restore our line, nor did the sole remaining brigade hurled into the fight succeed any better, and thus overwhelmed by a superior force, under every conceivable disadvantage, it was impossible to stay our routed troops in the immediate vicinity of the scene of the disaster. They were afterward collected, and participated in the fight near Rossville later in the day, and camped for the night at Rossville. During this day's fight Sheridan's division lost, all told, five pieces of artillery, as I am credibly informed, and Sheridan's division lost General Lytle, commanding First Brigade, at noon. Johnson's division, on the left, is reported to have held its own, though more than one-third of its number had been lost in the battle. A similar loss in the other two divisions, united with this loss, has fearfully reduced this corps in numbers, but in spirit it is as proudly confident in its leader and its own strong arm as the day we crossed the river at Caperton's Ferry, five weeks ago.