Soon after night was upon us, and General Hardee ordered an immediate retreat across the Chickamauga, and that Smiths' (Texas) brigade should remain in position and bring up the rear. General Lowrey attacked and drove back the enemy's skirmishers in his front and then retreated. By 9 p.m. everything was across except the dead and a few stragglers lingering here and there under the shadow of the trees for the purpose of being captured, faint-hearted patriots succumbing to the hardships of the war and the imagined hopelessness of the hour. I now ordered Smith's brigade to move in retreat. Sadly, but not fearfully, this band of heroes left the hill they had held so well and followed the army across the Chickamauga.
To Brigadier-General Smith, Cumming, and Maney, and Colonel Granbury, I return my thanks for the able manner in which they managed their commands. My thanks are also due to Brigadier-Generals Polk and Lowrey, and Colonel Govan, commanding brigade; although not actively engaged, they were rendering good service in holding important positions.
Swett's battery, under command of Lieutenant H. Shannon, and Calvert's battery, commanded by Lieutenant Thomas J. Key, were bravely fought and did great execution. Swett's battery was hotly engaged the whole day and lost some noble officers and men.
A section of Barret's battery, under command of Lieutenant Isaiah Lightner, in position where the road crosses the hill, did much toward driving back the right of the enemy's line in its attempted advance across the open fields.
Brigadier General John C. Brown's brigade, on my left flank, was engaged in heavy skirmishing most of the day.
The following officers of my staff-Major Calhoun Benham, assistant adjutant-general; Major J. K. Dixon, assistant inspector-general; Captain Irving A. Buck, assistant adjutant-general; Captain Charles S. Hill, ordnance officer (whose horse was shot under him); Surg. D. A. Linthicum, Lieutenants L. H. Mangum,, and S. P. Hanly, aides-de-camp, and Captain C. H. Byrne, volunteer aide-de-camp (whose horse was shot under him)-acted with their usual gallantry and discharged their duties with zeal and intelligence.
Messrs. Henry Smith and William Rucker, of the signal corps, volunteered on my staff for the battle, and were very efficient.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. R. CLEBURNE,
Brigadier-General, Provisions Army, C. S.
Colonel KINLOCH FALCONER,
HEADQUARTERS CLEBURNE'S DIVISION,
Tunel Hill, Ga., December 9, 1863.
COLONEL: On the retreat of the Army of Tennessee from Missionary Ridge, Tennessee, to Ringgold, Ga., my division covered the retreat of Hardee's corps, arriving safely on the west bank of the East Chickamauga River at 10 p.m. on November 26. At this point the river had to be forded. It was nearly waist-deep and the night was freezing cold. I therefore determined to postpone crossing until the morning, and bivouacked on the hills near by.
48 R R-VOL XXXI, PT II