September 6.--Road up Running Water Creek rough but passable. At thirty minutes past nine A. M. arrived at junction of Murphy Valley and Nicajack road, and encamped there as ordered. Generals Palmer and Van Cleve and their divisions following us, and General Wood and his division pursuing road up Running Water Creek, and encamping seven miles from Chattanooga, reporting that the enemy was close before him in force. September 7.--Colonel Harker, with his brigade, made a very satisfactory reconnoissance to spur of Lookout Mountain, drove the enemy's pickets and light advance two miles, and returned by dark, believing the enemy in force in his front. September 8.--Gave orders to make two reconnoissances to-morrow morning, the one up Lookout Mountain, via Nicajack Trace, and for which General Beatty and his brigade was detailed; the other up same mountain to Summertown, for which Colonel Gross and three regiments was detailed, both to unite, if practicable, on top of the mountain, and to start on or before day to-morrow. September 9.--At twenty minutes past two A. M., received despatch from the General commanding the army, approving the two reconnoissances ordered, and directing that the whole command be held in readiness to move round the point of Lookout Mountain, to seize and occupy Chattanooga, in the event of its being evacuated. To move with caution, and not to throw my artillery around the point of Lookout Mountain till I am satisfied that the evacuation is not a ruse. Should I occupy Chattanooga, I am to order General Wagner and all his force across to join me. At forty-five minutes past five A. M., further despatches from Department Headquarters apprising me of the evacuation of Chattanooga, and ordering that the whole command be pushed forward at once with five days rations, and to make a vigorous pursuit. This later despatch was too late to stop the reconnoissances ordered; but I lost no time in putting the balance of the command in motion, and arrived in Chattanooga with General Wood's division at thirty minutes past twelve P. M., having taken peaceable possession of same. It was nightfall, however, before the troops were well up, owing to the great delay in getting the artillery and ammunition train up this very rough and precipitous hill. It was thus impossible to make any pursuit to-day. I, however, ordered Generals Palmer and Van Cleve to turn off south after having passed the spur of Lookout Mountain, and encamp at Rossville, distant five miles from Chattanooga. General Wood I placed in command of the town. At fifteen minutes past two P. M., I received further instructions from Department Headquarters, ordering me to leave a light brigade to hold Chattanooga, and with the balance of my command to pursue the enemy with the utmost vigor. The line of march would probably lead me near Ringgold, and from thence in the vicinty of Dalton. September 10.--Generals Palmer and Van Cleve with their division ordered to make vigorous pursuit early this morning, marching on the road from Rossville to Ringgold, thence to Dalton. General Wood, after leaving one brigade at Chattanooga, to follow with his two brigades in the same direct line. General Wagner, with his brigade, having crossed during the night, was left as post commander. At four P. M., received report from General Palmer, that owing to want of supplies, troops only marched six miles, the advance encamping at Chickamauga Creek, five miles from Ringgold — the rear, General Wood, on Pea Vine Creek, two miles to the rear of advance. Also, that the enemy's cavalry was in his front, and that a portion of it had charged his advance, rode over four companies of the First Kentucky infantry, and captured fifty men and two officers, without any one on either side being hurt. At night received from the front several reports, going to show that the enemy was in force this side of Lafayette, and threatening to retake Chattanooga. September 11, at 1 A. M.--The General Commanding feeling uncertain about the position and strength of the enemy in our front, ordered me to proceed to the front at once. Was misled by the guide and did not reach my command until six A. M. ; and two of my orderlies on duty with Captain McCook in search of me, thinking I had taken the wrong road, were captured, he narrowly escaping. Early in the morning, Colonel Harker, with his brigade, was moved back to Rossville, and by night made a reconnoissance up the Rossville road as far as Gordon's Mills, driving squads of the enemy before him. At half-past 2 P. M. gave General Wood his orders through one of my staff, who received them in person from Department Headquarters to move his other brigade at once to Gordon's Mills to support Colonel Harker, and at five P. M. my staff-officer reported to me at Ringgold. My entire second and third divisions were then at Ringgold. General Hazen, with his brigade, having crossed the river yesterday, rejoined his division (Palmer's) to-day. Colonel Deck, with second brigade, Van Cleve's division, (left at McMinnville to guard stores,) rejoined his command on the ninth. Your instructions received at this time, and dated a quarter-past nine A. M., were to move with the balance of my corps on the Chickamauga and Pea Vine Valley roads, keeping in view two objects: first to support General Thomas, in case the enemy is in force in the vicinity of Lafayette; or second, to move eastward and southward toward Rome, in case he has continued his retreat. Other verbal instructions received by my staff-officer urged upon me the importance of keeping my separate divisions in supporting distance of one another. At half-past 8 A. M. I received your despatch of half-past 3 P. M., informing me that the enemy was in heavy force in the valley of Chattanooga, and instructing me to move my whole force across by the most available route, and as quickly as possible, to the Rossville and Lafayette road, to some defensible point between Gordon's Mills and
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.