Confederate victory between the The Army of the Cumberland and Army of Tennessee.
On July 18, 1863 Rosecrans concentrated his forces with the utmost dispatch
to meet the inevitable combat. The battle was opened on the 19th by an attempt
to gain possession of the road to Chattanooga, continued through the day, and
resulted in Rosecrans defeating the attempt and planting General George H.
Thomas's corps, re-enforced by General Richard W. Johnson's and General John M.
Pahner's divisions, firmly upon that road; but during the night Longstreet came
up, and was immediately given command of the Confederate left.
On the following morning the contest was renewed by a determined
attack on the National left and centre. At this moment, by the misinterpretation
of an order, General Thomas J. Wood's division was withdrawn, leaving a gap in
the centre, into which General Longstreet pressed his troops, forced Jefferson
C. Davis's two brigades out of the line, and cut off Philip H. Sheridan's three
brigades of the right, all of which, after a gallant but unsuccessful effort to
stem this charge, were ordered to re-form on the Dry Valley road at the first
good standing-ground in rear of the position they had lost. The two divisions of
Horatio P. Van Cleve and Davis, going to succor the right centre, were partly
shattered by this break, and four or five regiments were scattered through the
woods, but most of the stragglers stopped with Sheridan's and Davis's
The remainder, nearly seven divisions, were unbroken, and continued the
fight. The gallant General George H. Thomas, whose orders the night before,
reiterated a few moments before this disaster, were to hold his position at all
hazards, continued the fight with seven divisions, while General Rosecrans
undertook to make such dispositions as would most effectually avert disaster in
case the enemy should turn the position by advancing on the Dry Valley road, and
capture the remaining commissary stores, then in a valley two or three miles to
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