the western base, parallel to the enemy's front, and toward his right,so rapidly we were a considerable distance in advance of Cruft, whose passage on the summit was contested by the rebels.
Pushing Creighton's and Cobham's brigades forward along the base, in column of regiments, I placed Ireland in support of the artillery, and opened a battery (Captain Landgraeber's horse artillery) upon the flank and rear of the enemy's lines, compelling him to fall back, pressed by Cruft on the ridge and Osterhaus on the other side of it.
Much commotion was now visible among the hostile troops upon the ridge, and pouring into them a brisk artillery fire, I formed my command in a column of brigades, with Creighton in front and Cobham in the second line, and scaled the craggy sides of the ridge, moving obliquely to effect a junction with Palmer's right, which was just gaining the top, half a mile north of me, and 2 miles from the gap. The men were thoroughly imbued with enthusiasm at the sounds of battle ahead and in prospect of speedy engagement with the rebels so plainly visible in retreat upon the ridge. It required considerable effort to restrain our men from dashing forward with unnecessary velocity. The cheers from above were taken up and re-echoed by our men below as they pressed forward, over ground strewn with arms and equipments of the enemy, to cut off the rebel retreat now fairly started by the combined pressure of the troops in front and my column, three-quarters of a mile in advance, upon their flank. Each successive stand they made in front was shaken in rear by my artillery, our missiles penetrating their lines at different point with great precision and effect.
Our skirmishers firing upon the flying enemy were followed by Creighton and Cobham up the steep and cragged sides of the ridge.
The ascent was a work of strong exertion, manfully accomplished amid such cheers as only attest glorious victory. My line of battle gained the summit. Johnson's division,of the Fourteenth (Palmer's) Corps,having just attained the adjoining cliff on the left, and my command holding in abeyance a rebel brigade striving to escape, our junction was complete and the left of the ridge was ours at 6 p.m., together with Stuard's [?] brigade, of Breckinridge's corps. Success rewarded the prowess of our whole army, and the entire ridge was ours.
Our combined movements on the left gave us many prisoners and a number of pieces of artillery. The presence of General Hooker upon the scene gave renewed zest to the outbursts of enthusiasm indulged in by his victorious right wing.
Pursuant to orders, we descended to the western base of the ridge and bivouacked for the night in the enemy's winter quarters. Several hundred prisoners were brought in during the night.
PURSUIT THROUGH CHICKAMAUGA VALLEY.
At 10 o'clock on the morning of the 26th, under orders from Major-General Hooker, I marched my command through Rossville Gap, in a southeasterly direction, following the line of retreat of the left of Bragg's army on the road to Graysville.
My column was in rear of Osterhaus' division, and was followed by Cruft's division, of the Fourth Corps. We crossed West Chickamauga Creek, the infantry on a foot bridge and the horses swimming. The artillery was compelled to await the arriving of pontoons.
26 R R-VOL XXXI, PT II