Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 12.djvu/399
General Bragg and the Chickamauga Campaign. 389
his forces had formed a junction and recrossed the Chicamauga. Again disappointed, immediate measures were taken to place our trains and limited supplies in safe positions, when all our forces were concentrated along the Chickamauga, threatening the enemy in front.
him. After opening communication with General Van Cleve and General Wood, moved the whole command to Gordon's Mills, Colonel Wilder also coming m after night, having had a severe skirmish during the day near Leet'stan yard, and losing thirty men killed and wounded.
In the morning, the Fourth United States cavalry, six hundred and fifty strong, reported to me for duty. The three divisions were put into position for defence.
General Croft and Colonel Wilder sent out to reconnoitre on the left, the Fourth cavalry on the right, to McLeMore's Cove, and General Van Cleve to the front and centre on La- fayette road. The latter only found the enemy (cavalry with artillery), who retired skirmishing a distance of three miles, when the brigade was halted, and soon after returned to camp.
From this it is plain that when General Bragg, at 6 o' clock, September I2th, w^as writing his order to Polk to attack Crittenden on the east of the Chickamauga on the Greysville road, Crittenden was west of the Chickamauga, at Lee and Gordon's Mills, and it is also evident that the General commanding the Confederate army, ordered his sub- ordinate to make an attack in a direction in which there was no enemy, and then held him responsible and even blamed him for fail- ing to find and engage an enemy in a position to which he had been ordered and in which there was none.
The questions suggested by this study are: when General Bragg saw that he had failed to strike Thomas, why did he turn on McCook, miles away to the south, and neglect Crittenden, who lay close by and in his power ? when he did turn on Crittenden, why did he send Polk to attack him to the east of the Chickamauga, when he lay to the west? Why did he not attack on the 13th, 14th and 15th ?
This, Mr. Editor, is my version of this portion of the Chickamauga campaign. If I am in error I wish to be put right, for I have no desire to do General Bragg injustice. But if I am right, you and your