strength were small, but the attacks had been made with so much vigor,and succeeded so well in their object, that I deemed it unwise to call up the commands of Palmer and Cruft, and the remaining brigades of Geary, to deliver a general attack without my artillery. I therefore gave instructions for no advance to be made, and for the firing to be discontinued, except in self-defense. These orders were conveyed delivered to every officer in command on our advance line.
Word was received from General Woods that appearances in his front were indicative of a forward movement on the part of the enemy, when Ireland's brigade, of Geary's division, was sent to strengthen him. Cobham's brigade, of the same division, took a well-sheltered position behind the knoll, midway between the depot and the opening to the gap. These officers were also ordered not to attack or to fire unless it should become necessary.
I may here state that the greatest difficulty I experienced with my new command, and the one which caused me the most solicitude, was to check and curb their disposition to engage, regardless of circumstances, and, it appears, almost of consequences. This had also been the case on Lookout Mountain and on Missionary Ridge. Despite my emphatic and repeated instructions to the contrary, a Jesultory fire was kept up on the right of the line until the artillery arrived, and you will see by the reports of commanders that, under cover of elevated ground between my position and our right, several small parties advanced to capture the enemy's battery and harass his flank at the gap. It is with no displeasure I refer to these circumstances in evidence of the animation of the troops, neither is it with a feeling of resentment, for of that I was disarmed by an abiding sense of their glorious achievements. It has never been fortune to serve with more zealous and devoted troops.
Between 12 and 1 o'clock the artillery came up, not having been able to cross the West Fork of the Chickamauga until 8 o'clock on the morning of the 27th. Under my acting chief of artillery, Major Reynolds, in conjunction with Generals Geary and Osterhaus, one section of 12-pounder howitzers was placed in position to bear on the enemy in front of our right and to enfilade the gap; another section of 10-pounder Parrotts was assigned to silence the enemy's battery,and one section farther to the left, to bear on some troops held in mass in front of Geary's regiments. At the same time a regiment from Cruft's division had been sent around by the bridge to cross the Chickamauga, and, if possible, to gain the heights of the ridge on the south side of the river the possession of which would give us a plunging fire upon the enemy in the gorge. Two companies had nearly gained the summit when they were recalled. The artillery had opened with marked effect, the enemy's guns were hauled to the rear, his troops seen moving, and before 1 o'clock he was in full retreat. Williamson's brigade followed him over the mountain, while skirmishers from the Sixtieth and One Hundred and second New York Regiments pursued him through the gap. Efforts were made to burn the railroad bridges, but the rebels were driven from them and the fires extinguished.
During the artillery firing the major-general commanding the Division of the Mississippi arrived, and gave directions for the pursuit to be discontinued. Later in the day, soon after 3 o'clock, I received instructions from him to have a reconnaissance made in the direction of Tunnel Hill, the enemy's line of retreat, for pur-