Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 12.djvu/569
The Battle of Chickamauga.
On the 18th of September our forces advanced in several columns to cross the Chickamauga and give battle to the Federal army under General Rosecrans. Major-General Buckner's corps, consisting of Stewart's division and mine, moved on the road to Tedford's Ford, and on the evening of that day Friday) my command bivouacked at Hunt's or Dalton's Ford, on the south bank of the river and east of the road. The skirmishers of Colonel Kelly's brigade soon discovered the enemy posted along the opposite bank of the stream, extending above in the direction of Lee and Gordon's Mill. Soon after nightfall General Gracie's brigade was moved across the ford and established in line of battle, running almost east and west, near Hunt's house, and a few hundred yards north of the river, where it remained during the night.
On the next morning my two remaining brigades crossed the river at dawn and were formed in line of battle in Hunt's field. Stewart's division soon occupied a position on my right and extended eastward in the direction of Tedford's Ford. Riding forward, I found troops of Brigadier-General Johnson's and Major-General Hood's commands forming in line of battle nearly at right angles to my own line, facing westward, toward the Chattanooga road, and afterwards met General Bragg, Major-General Hood and Major-General Buckner, who were conferring together. Having reported to Major-General Buckner the position of my troops, I returned, and about 8 o'clock received an order from him to advance through Hunt's field, in the direction of the enemy. Gracie's brigade was immediately conformed to the general line of battle and moved westwardly toward the main road—that runs north from Lafayette to Chattanooga. After advancing about six hundred yards it arrived near a sharp curve ol the Chickamauga, which impeded further progress. I halted the command on the brow of the hill overlooking the stream and plain below. The enemy's lines and batteries were discovered about fifteen hundred yards distant, in the direction of Lee and Gordon's Mill, across the bend of the river, which it would have been necessary to cross twice, with an open field intervening, swept by their artillery, had the advance continued straight forward. Having halted Gracie, I drew up Kelly's brigade three hundred yards in the rear, upon a declivity in the field, and Trigg's brigade about three hundred yards in rear of Kelly's, on the prolongation of Bates' brigade, of Stewart's division, which was on the right— thus forming my division in a column of three brigades.A rocky hill near Gracie's right, overlooking the field below, af-