While General Negley with the brigades of Beatty in Stanley was engaged on the Lafayette road at and the near the north end of the Kelly field he was ordered by Gen. Thomas to take charge of all the artillery at hand and mass it on the high ground in rear of the left of the line to resist its being turned. In the execution of this order he collected and posted several batteries on Snodgrass Hill which opened fire with marked effect upon the Confederates then operating in the McDonald field.
At 11 A.M. the Union line was broken and Brothertons and the troops next north of the gap forced in disorder some from the field and some to Snodgrass Hill where they were rallied and formed on the crest of the hill and ridge facing south and southeast. Sirwell’s brigade was the first infantry to arrive thus giving Gen. Negley support for his batteries. Stanley’s brigade arrived soon afterwards and formed on Sirwell’s right. Beatty’s brigade had become scattered as a result of the earlier fighting. Its commander accompanied Stanley to Snodgrass Hill and rendered efficient service there until the close of the day. Meanwhile other troops arrived and were rallied on Negley’s right and in his rear by Gen. Brannan. With Sirwell’s brigade in his artillery Negley undertook to extend Brannan’s line along the crest toward the west but when his extension was about half completed he decided that to save his artillery he must withdraw at once from the field. He was moved to this decision by the sight of the stream of fugitives which he could not arrest by close proximity to the enemy by the smallness of his own force and by reports that both his flanks were being turned. He accordingly withdrew with a part of his infantry and artillery towards Rossville leaving Stanley’s brigade the 21st Ohio of Sirwell’s and one battery with Brannan. Casualties Sept. 19th and 20th killed 66 wounded 430 missing 295 total 791.