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Granger with his reserve troops which had hastened from Rossville, reported to Gen. Thomas, who directed him at once to our threatened right; and as the enemy moved down the northern slope towards our rear, Steedman’s Division, with a fury born of the impending peril, charged the foe and drove him over the ridge. In gaining their position one thousand men were lost, “but if the issue of battle has ever given compensation for the loss of valuable lives, it was in this action, for the opportune aid of these two brigades saved the army from defeat and rout.” Longstreet afterward massed his whole force to carry these positions, but he failed in every instance, the configuration of the ground proving very much to the advantage of our men, who could advance and deliver a plunging fire from the brow of the hill, and by a slight recession while loading were entirely covered from the bullets of the enemy. Indeed, the greatest danger at last was the scarcity of ammunition, the average to the man being not more than three rounds, and it was quite common to search the cartridge boxes of those who fell. Whenever ammunition failed entirely, the order was given to fix bayonets and hold the hill with cold steel. Thus was the enemy repulsed at every point until night fell, and in the final attacks this was accomplished in no slight measure with the bayonet and clubbed muskets.

After Sheridan had reported to Thomas, his division was sent toward Rossville to bring off a train which was falling into the hands of the enemy. After marching some miles, they went in perfect silence to within rifle shot of the enemy's camp-fires without discovery, secured the train, and returned five miles, where they bivouacked for the night as best they could. A more tired and hungry set of men it would have been hard to find, some having had nothing to eat all day, and others had breakfasted on bran pudding. But saddest of all was the thought that so many comrades were gone, partners and mess-mates, killed, wounded or missing. Not a few have never been heard of since. During the night the army was withdrawn, and took a strong position around Rossville.

The train of ambulances with the wounded whom we left on the road to Chattanooga pursued their way all the afternoon and evening, being much delayed by various causes, but arrived in the town about nine o'clock. Wagons, ambulances and all kinds of army baggage, with wounded and unwounded men, had been streaming in on the different roads all the afternoon. The teams filling the main streets in rows four and five deep, were ordered across the river. Breastworks were planned and commenced in the rear of the place, ready for a new and last line of battle should such a struggle come. The stragglers were set to work, and many of them reformed and sent back to the army. We had about eighty men in the ambulances of which we had charge, and it was a long, tedious task to find accommodations for them all, dress their wounds, and supply them with food. But this was done before we stretched our own tired limbs to rest long after midnight.

Next morning we were up early, went down to see the boys, had all the 36th removed to one of the churches, of which Dr. Lytle was put in charge, drew rations for them, and had their wounds dressed. The other hospitals also were visited to find any of our men. By and by the hospital wagon with the nurses arrived, the big tent was set up, and our men were made tolerably comfortable. Lists and descriptions of the wounded were made out to be sent home the first opportunity, and it was observed that the wounds as a class were specially light, which was easily accounted for by the fact that the worst wounded men were unable to leave the field when our troops fell back. In the



meantime every kind of wild report was brought by stragglers from the front, and it was the confident expectation of all that our troops would fall back. Every man capable of walking was sent over the river, where a field hospital on a large scale was being laid out.

After the most pressing work had been done, it was arranged that the Chaplain and Dr. Hatch should go to the regiment, while Dr. Lytle should remain with the wounded. As they rode out toward Rossville it was evident from the streams of wagons, caissons, &c., coming in, that preparations were being made for a retreat. They found the division a short distance to the south and west of Rossville, with a strong line of barricades protecting their front and flank. During the night the army had withdrawn from the position occupied at the close of the battle, and was now grouped on the roads concentrating at Rossville. During the day the enemy with a strong force of infantry and cavalry approached on the direct roads from the battle-field, and in the afternoon they felt our lines and there was considerable skirmishing, succeeded later in the day by a brisk artillery fire. What remained of the three left companies of the regiment, aided by a company from the 21st Michigan, were sent forward about one-quarter of a mile as skirmishers, but were relieved at night. Our army seemed terribly shrunk in size, but they were undaunted

in spirit.

The movement to Chattanooga was commenced at nine P. M. It was made by divisions in supporting distance, one after another, from left to right. Sheridan's Division being on the right, we did not start until two or three o'clock, although we were called up about midnight. The air was chilly; we were forbidden all lights, fires or noisy movements, and it seemed as though the order to move would never come. At last, however,

we filed out to the road, and found Sheridan sitting calmly on his horse, waiting until the very last of his division had safely retired. His subsequent history only confirmed the confident judgment of his men that night that had he been in a superior instead of subordinate command, the results at Chickamauga would have been much more satisfactory. Our march was in double column, filling the whole road so that the retreat was speedily made. At five o'clock we reached the suburbs of Chattanooga, where, after breakfast, the brigade was set to digging rifle pits, and the siege and defence of Chattanooga had begun.

The battle of Chickamauga has provoked the most active criticism from both sections of the country. But the verdict of time is not very different from that which our army gave as they entrenched themselves at the foot of Lookout, that provided we held Chattanooga it was for our army a great triumph. For, if to attain and hold the objective point of the campaign, to throw ourselves across such a river, and by wise and vigorous marching day and night over mountains and through mountain gaps, threaten communications and then elude attack in detail, gather up our widely scattered forces and concentrate in the face of an outnumbering enemy, foil his plans to throw himself on our flanks, and then in a great battle not only hold him at bay, but inflict upon his overwhelming force such terrible losses that he was incapable of any but the most cautious following when we fell back to occupy the place for which we had been contending -if all this was not success,

what was it? On the other hand, for Bragg to have his own army reinforced by large bodies from both the east and west, a veteran corps

from Lee in Virginia, Buckner's corps from East Tennessee, troops from Mississippi and Georgia, until this force was superior to ours by twelve or fifteen thousand, with the expectation not



simply of retaking Chattanooga but annihilating the army of the Cumberland, and then to have failed to strike our scattered forces in detail, to fail to prevent their concentration on his chosen battle-field, fail to drive them from their position even when mistakes on our part gave him the advantage, and then, notwithstanding the preponderance in numbers, to suffer such immense losses especially in men and officers, that though possessing the field he was too exhausted and beaten to follow to any purpose, thus making whatever success he had barren of any real results—if this was not failure, what was it? No wonder that Bragg's generalship was criticised, and that the Southern people complained that the battle of Chickamauga gave no results commensurate with the resources it represented or the losses it entailed. Bragg admits in his report the loss of two-fifths of his army; two Major Generals were wounded, three Brigadiers killed and three wounded, and one of the latter was captured.

As regards our own division and brigade and the 36th, every man feels that it was an honor to have served amid such perils and contests. Not to mention the weary marches, day and night, over mountains two thousand feet high, the dust, heat, lack of water and rations, the spirit of the men in battle was something to be proud of. Virtually deprived of the direct handling of their trusted Sheridan by the over-ruling orders of his superiors, and thrown into the battle after the enemy had made the attack in overwhelming numbers, success was hopeless before they fired a shot; while the large number of both officers and men who fell in the front line, attests the persistent courage of all in the face of the most terrible odds. Instead of counting it any lessening of their honor that they finally fell back, it would have been no disadvantage if they had done so sooner, for the forces both in front and on each flank were simply overwhelming.


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