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More about Sheridan, Davis et al. at Chickamaugua

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  • Will
    Trying to discover more about what happened to the union right after Longstreet s breakthrough at midday on the 20th of September, I have collected the
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 18 5:31 PM
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      Trying to discover more about what happened to the union right after
      Longstreet's breakthrough at midday on the 20th of September, I have
      collected the following excerpts from the ORs.

      From Wilder's Report:
      "Lieutenant-Colonel Thruston, chief of General McCook's staff, soon
      appeared and notified me that the line to my left was driven back and
      dispersed, and advised that I had better fall back to Lookout
      Mountain. I determined, however, to attempt to cut my way to join
      General Thomas at Rossville, and was arranging my line for that
      purpose when General Dana, Assistant Secretary of War, came up and
      said that "our troops had fled in utter panic; that it was a worse
      rout than Bull Run; that General Rosecrans was probably killed or
      captured;" and strongly advised me to fall back and occupy the passes
      over Lookout Mountain to prevent the rebel occupancy of it. One of my
      staff officers now came up and reported that he had found General
      Sheridan a mile and a half to the rear and left, who sent advice to
      me that he "was trying to collect his men and join General Thomas at
      Rossville, and that I had better fall back to the Chattanooga
      Valley." I now, at 4 p. m., did so with great reluctance, bringing
      off with me a number of wagons loaded with ammunition, a great many
      ambulances, a number of caissons, a great many stragglers, and quite
      a number of straying beef-cattle."

      Also, General Negley collected statements from all his staff officers
      in an attempt to salvage his reputation. Among those are the
      J.A. Lowrie: "When I reached the Rossville road it was filled with
      wagons, artillery, infantry, and some cavalry, all moving toward
      Rossville, somewhat confusedly, but without panic. It was very
      difficult to pass them at all. My progress was very slow, and I did
      not overtake General Negley until I reached the open fields at the
      end of the gap through which the road runs. Here I found him and
      General Davis endeavoring to stop all the troops, and to organize
      them for service. I this they seemed to be very successful. Very
      shortly after I arrived there, General Negley told me he would leave
      these troops in command of General Davis, and he would go back and
      attempt to reach General Thomas. He started for this purpose with his
      escort. He failed in this, and came back. Then he, General Davis, and
      General Sheridan (who had just come up with about 1,500 organized
      troops of his own division), and Lieutenant-Colonel Ducat, of General
      Rosecrans' staff, held a short consultation, after which the whole
      command moved on to Rossville, General Sheridan immediately taking
      the La Fayette road toward the battle-field. General Negley disposed
      of his conglomerate command so as to be able to move to General
      Thomas' assistance immediately, if necessary."

      Alfred L. Hough: "I joined you at clearing in the road, and found
      you had placed your three regiments and the Ninth Michigan in line,
      stopping all persons except the wounded. You then directed me to
      report to General Jeff. C. Davis, who was organizing the straggling
      troops into battalions, while you made the attempt to join General
      Thomas. I remained on this duty until your return. Soon after, the
      whole column moved in good order to Rossville, and were placed in
      position there to resist an attack from the enemy if made."

      William Moody: "At 4 p. m., when I reached the Chattanooga road, I
      found Davis' division moving on the road toward Chattanooga. I joined
      you at the large field were you were engaged in organizing the troops
      and placing them in defensible position. When you left to report to
      General Thomas, I reported for duty to General Davis, who carried out
      your plan of halting every man and placing him where he could be of
      service. General Sheridan and his division now made their appearance.
      After a consultation your ordered me to have the batteries ready to
      move to Rossville. The troops were soon on the march, arriving at
      Rossville about 5 p. m. Here the troops were put into position. I was
      assigned the duty of forming companies from the masses of detached
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