a.m., under a vigorous, concentrated fire on artillery and infantry, Osterhaus, on the extreme right, was giving way, sorely pressed by the quickly advancing lines of the enemy. It was a critical moment. Many of the troops fell back to the railroad, and that flank was threatened to be turned. Ireland was at once ordered to the right, on the double-quick, to drive the enemy back. His troops, in compact order, swept over an open, swampy space of nearly half a mile like an avalanche, fairly running, in their eagerness to stem the advancing tide, a murderous fire of grape, canister, and musketry sweeping through our ranks and dropping a number of our men. Quickly crossing the open field, he moved to the left, along the Catoosa Creek, passing the troops in front, toward the mouth of the gap, and hastily formed line, with his right resting on an old barn in the gap bottom, on the banks of the creek, and the left on the railroad.
The One hundred and forty-ninth New York was on the right,and the One hundred and thirty-seventh New York on the left, of the brigade, the latter joining Cobham's right. They at once warmly engaged the enemy, and compelled him to recoil in the zenith of his audacious charge; at first, at close quarters.
The hills on both sides of the gap were lined with busy sharpshooters, and the shell and grape came plunging and hurting into and around our position.
Ireland handled his men with great skill, covering his men as much as the ground would admit of, while they were giving battle, and he carried out my orders with promptitude and precision.
The enemy, at first checked, were soon repulsed and compelled to seek protection upon the ridge in the sides of the gap, under a murderous fire from Ireland's whole line. Our ammunition was expended only with effect.
About fifteen minutes after retiring, they advanced a piece of artillery to the edge of a belt of woods, at the mouth of the gap, with infantry supports, under cover of the timber, and within 100 yards of Ireland's line. At this short range it commenced hurling shrapnel into our lines. A detachment of sharpshooters from the One hundred and forty-ninth New York were at once directed to play upon the artillerists, a number of whom were disabled, and the balance retired from their gun to the woods behind. Four or five advances, made by them to recover it, were driven back, when, after the lapse of half an hour, they succeeded in dragging it off,losing a number of men in doing so. Our men were eager to charge, but, in the face of the forces massed in the woods, such a movement would have unnecessarily inflicted serious loss upon us.
Ireland retained this position, with some sharp skirmishing, until Major Reynolds arrived with his batteries, at noon. These had been detained on the other side of the West Chickamauga until 8 a.m. They had made all haste from that point to the front. One section of Knap's (Pennsylvania) battery was wheeled into position near Ireland's right, and in front of the gap, and one section of Captain Landgraeber's 12-pounder howitzers was placed to the right of Knap's. This move directed the fire of the rebel sharpshooters upon the artillery, which opened upon the gap and silenced the hostile guns with a few discharges, and drove back the infantry.
Simultaneous with the posting of the artillery on the right, one section of Knap's battery, under my guidance, opened from the