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moved up in splendid order, only to scatter and melt away like mist. There was no shrinking now. A high, heroic purpose had taken possession of every man, and he stood there, a willing victim, in the great sacrifice that was demanded of him. Unable to force Thomas' front, the enemy then began to swing around his flanks. On the right of Thomas, a low ridge ran at right angles to the extremity of his line, with a gorge directly in his rear; and now the rebels were seen pouring in dark masses through it. The heart of Thomas stood still at the sight. He had no troops to oppose this force, for his moving calls for help had found no response from his Commander. His army, to all human appearance, was lost. A few minutes more, and the shouting foe would be in his rear, and then a swift butchery or surrender would close the scene. Turning his eye away to the Jeft, he saw a vast cloud of dust rising over the tree-tops, and soon after, dark columns of men moving swiftly across the fields towards him. But were they friends or foes? Captain Johnson, of Negley's Staff, having in the fight become separated from his division, just then galloped up and reported himself for duty. Find out," exclaimed his distressed Commander, “what troops those are, moving upon me.” Away dashed Johnson to fulfill his perilous mission. Thomas, to whom the moments were now fraught with life and death, watched with painful anxiety the approaching force, with his glass. Nearer and nearer they came, with the long, swinging tread of trained battalions. It is—ycs, it is the battle-flag of Granger that waves and flutters in the breeze! Oh, who can tell the load that rolled from his heart as he caught the welcome sight. The firm-set lip relaxed for an instant, and a sudden gleam flashed from his blue eye. “All is not yet lost.” The old flag shall yet fly over t’ie field, and the battle-shout still roll along his shattered lines ! Granger had heard, at half-past ten, the roar of ihe fearful
storm that was bursting on Thomas, and, as it swelled and deepened, he moved uneasily about, and turned his eye along the road to catch the form of some Staff-officer with orders to march. But none came, and being three miles distant, he was afraid when one should come it might be too late. Seized by a sudden inspiration, he called to horse, and started his columns for the scene of conflict. Leaving Colonel McCook to cover the Ringgold road, he took Mitchell's and Whittaker's brigades, under the command of Steedman, and moved swiftly forward. After going about two miles, he came upon the enemy, and halted. But quickly perceiving that it was a small force, he orderea Colonel McCook to take care of it, and pushed on to where the incessant crash and roar of artillery and musketry told him the decisive struggle was going on.
He had not come a moment too soon. As his eye took in the perilous coucition of Thomas, it needed no consultation to decide what was to be done. He saw the fearful danger at a glance, and moved at once to meet it. The gallant Steedman dashed forward, and seizing the regimental colors, spurred to the head of the two brigades, and waving them above him, shouted the charge.' His troops wire mostly new recruits, but, fired at the danger that menaced Thomas, they sent up a shout that rose over the din of battle. Where that fag went, they would go, even into the gates of death; and, sweeping swiftly forward, they met, breast to breast, the veterans of Hindman, pouring through the gorge and already shouting the victory. There was no halting, no wavering, no rallying. Eight on into the desolating fire, they pressed, reckless of numbers and of death, with a loud and thrilling shout. 'Over the batteries, over the astounded battalions or Hindman, they went, in one wild wave.
It was marvelous--the cñarge of those two immortal brigades. For one moment, they were lost in the smoke of battle--the
next, their standards were waving along the ridge. Like a thunderbolt they had fallen on the columns pouring through the
gorge, and shivered them to fragments--like a whirlwind they had swept the ridge, clearing it of the foe.'. Only twenty minutes had passed—and yet, in that brief time, the battle had been saved; and in the same short interval, a thousand men on our side, or nearly a third of those two heroic brigades, had fallen. A smile, such as heroes wear, lighted up the face of Thomas, when he saw our victorious banners waving where but a moment before the standards of the enemy were advancing to his certain destruction. Hindman, enraged to see the victory so suddenly snatched from his hands, rallied to retake the position, and Longstreet's veterans were sent against it. Though Steedman, by the fall of his horse in the citarge, had been bruised severely, yet he still kept the field, and with scarce a dozen pieces of artillery in all. swept the enemy with such a terrific fire that he was forceá to retire. But though driven back, he returned again and again to the attack; yet those two immortal brigades stood like a blazing citadel on the heights. Bafiled here, the enemy advanced on the left. Thomas saw the heavy column approaching, and, pointing to it, told Reynoids to “go in there.” This gallant Commander obeyed, and, facing his troops by the rear rank, to save time, ordered them to "charge bayonets.” Springing forward at the double-quick, the weary, brave fellows walked straight over the column, capturing several hundred prisoners in their fierce passage. Night was now coming on, and Steedman's brigades, which all that Sabbath afternoon, though bleeding and lessening, had stood rock-fast, had exhausted all their own ammunition, and all they could gather from the dead and dying around them. In this fearful dilemma, Thomas saw the rebels rallying for a last assault. Casting his eye along his shattered line, standing stern and dark in the
CLOSE OF THE BATTLE.
gathering gloom, he ordered it to “stand fast.” Waiting till the shadowy mass came within striking distance, he
shouted, "Give them the cold steel !". With bayonets at charge, they leaped forward at the double-quick, rending thể gloom with their shout. As the rebels saw them advancing, and caught the faint sheen of their bayonets in the twilight, they turned and filed. The last blow had been struck, and a thrilling shout went up from the darkened field.
The struggle was over, and the enemy, exhausted and discouraged, sullenly withdrew. Never was a great battle more nearly lost, and then saved-not even that of Marengo. Thomas, and his brave commanders and troops, had covered themselves with glory; and Rosecrans sent him word to use his own judgment about attempting to hold his position. The former, seeing that his troops had been learfully overtasked, and that ammunition, food and water were sadly wanting, concluded to fall back on Rossville, which place he reached in good order—the enemy hovering near, but afraid to risk another blow. A new line of battle was here formed, with the aid of McCook's and Crittenden's divisions, and the advance of the enemy awaited. But he had been too severely punished, however, to renew the attack, and the next night the whole army fell back to Chattanooga.
A bloodier Sabbath than that of the 20th of September, Dever closed over this land. Sixteen thousand, three hundred and fifty-ome, or about a third of Rosecrans' splendid army, had disappeared, of which only five thousand were taken prisoners. Thirty-six guns, twenty caissons, and eight thousand, four hundred and fifty small arms, and other spoils, fell into the hands of the enemy; while we could show but two thousand prisomét's to offset all these losses. The loss
of the engine than ours'; for, in their headlong advance on our batteries and positions, they had been mowed down with terrible
REVIEW OF THE CAMPAIGN.
slaughter." But, though they got the victory, it was to thein a barren one, for they failed to recover Chattanooga. The possession of that was the chief object of the campaign, and we still held it, while the enemy, after two days of desperate fighting, had gained only a few miles of useless fields and roads.
Much criticism was passed on this battle, and on the movements that preceded it, and difference of opinion will probably exist forever. It is much easier to tell the causes of a failure, than to prevent it; still, there were some grave mistakes, that ought to have been better guarded against. If it was designed or supposed that Rosecrans, after he had taken Chattanooga, would advance further into the interior, the Government at Washington should have had supporting columns múch nearer that place than it did have. A portion of Grant's army should have marched long before; for it was not to be expected that that stronghold would fall without a fierce struggle, and it might be at a sacrifice of a third of the ar.ay. Such a contingency ought to have been provided for, but was not; and when that loss actually occurred, it was by the narrowest chance that Chattanooga was saved.
Again, when the enemy evacuated Chattanooga, he did not destroy the supplies or bridges along the route, thus showing one of two things-either that he had fled in such haste that he could not do it, or that he expected to return and need them lvimself again very soon.
Rosecrans adopted the former view, and therefore strained every nerve to cut off the retreat of a demoralized enemy.
In doing this, he made su wide a separation of his corps that it was sure to provoke an attack if any fight whatever was left in the enemy. But the idea that Bragg had failed to destroy supplies and bridges through want of time, was preposterous ---at all events, the circumstances were sufficiently suspicious to demand the greatest caution. The result showed it; for if the rebels had not committed a great blunder, the proba oilities are, we should have lost Chattanooga.