though more exposed to the fire of his musketry. Seeing this, I sent my assistant adjutant-general to inquire, first of General Wood and then of General Sheridan, whether the troops had been ordered up the ridge by them, and to instruct them to take the ridge if possible. In reply to this, General Wood told him that the men had started up without orders, and that he could take it if he could be supported.
In the meantime an aide-de-camp from General Sheridan had reported to me that the general wished to know whether the order that had been given to take the rifle-pits "meant those at the base of the ridge or those on top." meant those at the base of the ridge or those on top." My reply was that the order had been to take those at the base. Conceiving this to be an order to fall back to these rifle-pits, and on his way to General Sheridan so reporting it to General Wagner, commanding Second Brigade of Sheridan's division, this brigade was withdrawn from a position which it had gained on the side of the ridge to the rifle-pits, which were being raked by the enemy's artillery, and from this point, starting again under a terrible fire, made the ascent of the ridge. My assistant adjutant-general, on his way to General Sheridan, reported to me General Wood's reply, but by my instruction went no farther with the message which I had given him, as I had already sent Captain Avery, my aide-de-camp, directly to Major-General Sheridan, instructing him to go ahead and take the ridge if he could. I had also in the meantime sent all of the rest of my staff officers, some of them to deliver similar messages to Major-General Sheridan and Brigadier-General Wood-fearing the first messages might not get through-and others to order up the reserves and every man that remained behind to the support of the troops starting up the ridge. Brigadier-General Baird's division, of the same corps, was pushed up to the support of Brigadier-General Wood on the left. Through the shower of musket shot that came from above, climbing up the ridge over rocks and felled timber, my command marched upward. In just one hour from the time of leaving Orchard Knob it was driving the enemy from his last line of breastworks and rifle-pits and capturing his batteries. As soon as the enemy had been driven from the summit of the ridge in front of Major-General Sheridan he fled down its southern slope, retreating toward Chickamauga Creek. General Sheridan promptly followed them, moving with two brigades of his division [Brigadier-General Wagner's and Colonel Harker's] down the road leading to Chickamauga Station. He had pursued but 1 mile, when, as night was approaching, he came up with a large body of troops posted, with eight pieces of artillery, in a strong position on a high ridge. Our men, elated with their success thus far, stopped not at this obstacle, but boldly pushing up to the enemy's line, opened a vigorous fire of musketry and then made a gallant assault, which caused him to fly. Two guns and part of the enemy's wagon train were here captured. As it was now night, and as the troops were almost exhausted by the fatigues of the day, they were halted on this ridge for the purpose of taking a short rest before continuing the pursuit. Brigadier-General Wood had just driven the enemy from his front on the summit of the ridge, when I observed a large force of the enemy coming from the part of the hill occupied by Major-General Sherman, and moving in the direction of our left flank. Before General Wood could get his troops in shape to meet them, Brigadier-General