January 1, 1864.
Standing on a peak of Mission Ridge
to-day, we had spread out before us one of the grandest prospects which ever delighted the eye of man. Northward Waldron's Ridge and Lookout mountain
rose massive and precipitous, and seemed the boundary wall of the world.
Below them was the Tennessee
, like a ribbon of silver; Chattanooga
, with its thousands of white tents and miles of fortifications.
Southward was the Chickamauga
, and beyond a succession of ridges, rising higher and higher, until the eye rested upon the blue tops of the great mountains of North Carolina
The fact that a hundred and fifty thousand men, with all the appliances of war, have struggled for the possession of these mountains, rivers, and ridges, gives a solemn interest to the scene, and renders it one of the most interesting, as it is one of the grandest, in the world.
When history shall have recorded the thrilling tragedies enacted here; when poets shall have illuminated every hill-top and mountain peak with the glow of their imagination; when the novelist shall have given it a population from his fertile brain, what place can be more attractive to the traveler?
Looking on this panorama of mountains, ridges, rivers, and valleys, one has a juster conception of the power of God.
Reflecting upon the deeds that have been done here, he obtains a truer knowledge of the character of man, and the incontestable evidences of his nobility.
Standing here to-day, I take off my hat to the reader, if by possibility there be one who has had the patience to follow me thus far, and as I bid him good-by, wish him “A happy New year.”