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Doc. 211.-the battle of Wauhatchie.

Major-General Hooker's report.1

headquarters Eleventh and Twelfth corps, army of the Cumberland, Lookout Valley Tennessee, November 6, 1863.
Lieutenant-Colonel C. Goddard, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Cumberland:
Colonel: I desire to submit the following report of the battle of Wauhatchie, and the operations of my command preliminary to that engagement:

In conformity with orders from the headquarters of the Department, I crossed the Tennessee by the pontoon-bridge, at Bridgeport, on the morning of the twenty-sixth of October, with the greater portion of the Eleventh corps, under Major-General Howard, a part of the Second division of the Twelfth corps, under Brigadier-General Geary, one company of the Fifth Tennessee cavalry, and a part of a company of the First Alabama cavalry, and at once took up line of march along the railroad, to open and secure it in the direction of Brown's Ferry. A regiment was left to defend the bridge head, when the column had crossed the river, and to take possession of and hold the passes leading to it through Raccoon Mountain.

Our route lay along the base of this mountain, until we reached Running Waters, when we followed the direction of that stream, and in the morning descended through the gorge into Lookout Valley. No event attended our first day's march deserving mention, unless it be that the enemy's pickets fell back as we advanced, and the leaving of two more of my regiments--one at Shellmound, with instructions to occupy a pass near Gordon's Mines, and another at White-sides, to protect the route over the mountains through which we had passed.

After entering Lookout Valley, our general course lay along a creek of that name, until within a mile or more of its mouth, where the Brown's Ferry road leaves it to the left. This valley is, perhaps, two miles in width, and completely overlooked by the lofty crests of Lookout and Raccoon Mountains. All the movements and disposition of troops are easily descried from the heights of either, while the valley itself affords abundant opportunity for concealment from the observation of those within.

Another prominent feature in Lookout Valley requires mention, to a clear perception of its topography, and a correct understanding of our operations. This is a succession of hills two or three hundred feet high, with precipitous timbered slopes, and narrow crests, which penetrate three miles up the valley, and divide it, as far as they go, nearly in the centre. There are five or six of them in number, almost isolated, though in a direct line, on the left bank of Lookout Creek, with the railroad passing between the two summits; at the extreme of the range, and still lower down the valley, the road bears off to Chattanooga, about two miles distant through these hills, while the road to Brown's Ferry continues along the west base of the Tennessee River. The enemy held possession of these hills, as indeed of all the country through which we had passed after crossing at Bridgeport. They had also batteries planted on Lookout Mountain, overlooking them.

On the opposite side of the valley is Raccoon Range, and about three miles up is the gorge through which it leads to what is called Kelly's Ferry, three miles distant. As it was proposed to make this our new line of communications with Chattanooga, my instructions required me, if practicable,. to gain possession of and to hold it. As the gorge debouches into Lookout Valley, the road forks, one leading to Wauhatchie, and up the valley, the other to Chattanooga, and down the valley.

It was known that a portion of Longstreet's command was in the valley, it is presumed, in part, for convenience in supplying themselves with rations and forage, but mainly for his sharpshooters to annoy our communications on the north side of the Tennessee, and compel our trains to make long detours over execrable roads in their transit from Chattanooga to our depots [584] at Stevenson. From its proximity to the enemy's lines of investment around Chattanooga, and his facilities for detaching heavily from his masses, it was apprehended that the enemy would make unusual efforts to prevent the transfer of its possession, as a failure on our part to establish new communications involved a fact of no less magnitude than the necessity for the early evacuation of Chattanooga, with the abandonment of much of our artillery and trains.

To return to the column: it pushed on down the valley until arrested by an irregular fire of musketry, proceeding from the hill next the railroad, as it passes through the central ridge before described. As it was densely covered with forest, we had no means of ascertaining the number of the enemy, except by feeling. Howard's corps being in the advance, he was directed to throw a brigade to the right to turn the position, and a regiment, supported by the balance of another brigade, to the left, for the same purpose. No sooner had the brigade on the right deployed, than the enemy took to his legs and fled across the creek, burning the railroad bridge in his flight.

We lost a few men here, as well as from the shelling we received from the batteries on Lookout Mountain, whenever our column was exposed to them. The central ridge of hills afforded partial cover from these batteries. These, however, caused no serious interruption in the movement of the column, which, about six o'clock P. M., halted for the night, and went into camp a mile or more up the valley from Brown's Ferry. Here we learned that a pontoon-bridge had been thrown across the river, and that General Hargen's brigade held the heights on the south side of it.

Geary's division being in the rear, and being anxious to hold both roads leading to Kelly's Ferry, he was directed to encamp near Wauhatchie, three miles from the position held by Howard's corps. Pickets were thrown out from both camps on all of the approaches, though no attempt was made to establish a communication between them. The commands were too small to keep up a substantial communication that distance, and I deemed it more prudent to hold the men well in hand than to have a feeble one. In my judgment, it was essential to retain possession of both approaches to Kelly's Ferry if practicable, as it would cause us inconvenience to dispossess the enemy if he established himself on either.

Before night, Howard threw out three companies in the direction of Kelly's Ferry, to intercept and capture, if possible, the enemy's sharpshooters, who had been engaged in firing across the river into our trains, and had, in fact, compelled them to avoid that line entirely. A regiment was also sent toward the point where the Chattanooga road crosses Lookout Creek, and about twelve o'clock had a little skirmishing with the enemy. An hour after, the muttering of heavy musketry fell upon our ears, from the direction of Geary. He was fiercely attacked, first his pickets, and soon after his main force; but not before he was in line of battle to receive it. Howard was directed to double-quick his nearest division (Schurz's) to his relief, and before proceeding far, a sheet of musketry was thrown on him from the central hills, but at long range, and inflicting no great injury. This was the first intimation that the enemy was there at all.

Directions were immediately given for one of the brigades en route to Geary (Tyndale's) to be detached, and assault the enemy in the hills on the left, and the other brigade to push on as ordered. Meanwhile, Howard's First division, under Steinwehr, came up, when it was discovered that the hill to the rear of Schurz's division was also occupied by the enemy in force, and Smith's brigade of this division was ordered to carry it with the bayonet. This skeleton but brave brigade charged up the mountain, almost inaccessible by daylight, under a heavy fire without returning it, and drove three times their number from behind the hastily thrown up intrenchments, capturing prisoners, and scattering the enemy in all directions. No troops ever rendered more brilliant service. The name of their valiant commander is Colonel Orlan Smith, of the Seventy-third Ohio volunteers. Tyndale, encountering less resistance, had also made himself master of the enemy's position in his front.

During these operations, a heavy musketry fire, with occasional discharges of artillery, continued to reach us from Geary. It was evident that a formidable adversary had gathered around him, and that he was battering him with all his might. For almost three hours, without assistance, he repelled the repeated attacks of vastly superior numbers, and in the end drove them ingloriously from the field. At one time they had enveloped him on three sides, under circumstances that would have dismayed any officer except one endowed with an iron will and the most exalted courage: Such is the character of General Geary.

With this ended the fight. We had repelled every attack, carried every point assaulted, thrown the enemy headlong over the river, and, more than all, secured our new communications for the time being, peradventure.

These several conflicts were attended with unusual interest and satisfaction, from the violence of the attack, the great alacrity displayed by the officers and men in springing to their arms on the first indication of the presence of the enemy, and the glorious manner in which they closed in on him for the struggle.

I regret that my duty constrains me to except any portion of my command in my commendation of their courage and valor. The brigade despatched to the relief of Geary by orders delivered in person to its division commander never reached him until long after the fight had ended. It is alleged that it lost its way, when it had a terrific infantry fire to guide it all the way, and also that it became involved in a swamp where there was no swamp or other obstacle between it and Geary, which should have delayed it a moment in marching to the relief of its imperilled companions. [585]

For the instances of conspicuous individual daring and conduct, also of regiments and batteries most distinguished for brilliant service on this field, the attention of the Commanding General is respectfully called to the reports of corps and division commanders herewith transmitted. I must confine myself to an expression of my appreciation of the zealous and devoted services of Major-General Howard, not only on the battlefield, but everywhere and at all times. Of General Geary I need say no more. To both of these officers I am profoundly grateful for the able assistance they have always given me.

Our loss is four hundred and sixteen, among them some of the bravest officers and men of my command.

General Green was severely wounded while in the heroic performance of his duty. Colonel Underwood, of the Thirty-third Massachusetts volunteers, was also desperately wounded, and for his recovery I am deeply concerned. If only in recognition of his meritorious services on this field, his many martial virtues and great personal worth, it would be a great satisfaction to me to have this officer advanced to the grade of Brigadier-General.

For the many whose deaths the country will deplore, I must refer you to the reports of subordinate commanders.

Of the loss of the enemy, it cannot fall much short of one thousand five hundred. Geary buried one hundred and fifty-three rebels on his front alone. We took upward of one hundred prisoners, and several hundred stand of small arms. With daylight to follow up our success, doubtless our trophies would have been much more abundant.

The force opposed to us consisted of two of Longstreet's divisions, and corresponded in number to our corps. From the prisoners we learn that they had watched the column as it descended the valley, and confidently counted on its annihilation.

To conclude, I must express my grateful acknowledgments to Major-General Butterfield, Chief of my Staff, for the valuable assistance rendered me on the field; also to Major Lawrence, Captain Hall, Lieutenants Perkins and Oliver, Aids-de-Camp, for the faithful, intelligent, and devoted performance of all the duties assigned them.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Joseph Hooker, Major-General Commanding.

Colonel Wood's report.

headquarters one hundred and Thirty-Sixth N. Y. V., in the field, Lookout Valley, near Chattanooga, Tenn., November 1, 1863.
Captain B. F. Stone, A. A. A. G., Second Brigade:
I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the regiment under my command, since and including the twenty-sixth day of October, ultimo.

On that day I was relieved from the duty of guarding the part of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, and the bridges and wooden structures thereon, between Anderson and Tantalton, to which I had been assigned, by orders from brigade headquarters, bearing date eleventh October, ultimo.

The regiment marched from Anderson to Bridgeport, to join the brigade from which it had been detached while guarding the railroad. The march was made over the Cumberland Mountains by a steep and declivitive road or bridlepath, inaccessible to wagons, under the guidance of L. Willis, Esq., a firm and unconditional Union man, residing near Anderson. The regiment arrived at Bridgeport the evening of the same day, having marched a distance of sixteen miles. On arriving at Bridgeport, I learned that the brigade had marched the evening before to Shellmound, on the south side of the Tennessee River. I thereupon reported with my command to Brigadier-General A. Von Steinwehr, division commander, and encamped for the night.

During the evening I received orders to march with the Eleventh corps at sunrise the next morning, and to join my brigade on the march. In pursuance of the order, the regiment marched with the corps at the time designated, crossed the Tennessee River at Bridgeport, on pontoonbridges, and took up the line of march on the Chattanooga road. At Shellmound the regiment came up with and joined the brigade. From this point the regiment with the Eleventh corps, of which it forms a part, marched to Brown's Ferry on the Tennessee River, in Lookout Valley, about three miles from Chattanooga, at which point it arrived near sunset, October twenty-eighth. Although the troops were on two occasions during the march massed in columns by divisions, preparatory to an engagement, in case the enemy attempted to dispute our progress, (of which it was reported there were indications,) and some skirmish firing was heard in our front, this regiment did not see, nor was it in any way molested by the enemy on this march, except that as soon as the marching column came within range of his artillery posted on Lookout Mountain, he opened upon it with shot and shell, and kept up the fire until the whole had passed. But such was the elevation of the mountain and necessary inaccuracy of aim, that the cannonade was entirely harmless. The shot and shell fell wide of the mark, and did not as much as create any sensible uneasiness among the men of my command.

I may be allowed to mention, that as I passed the point next exposed to the fire, I found Major-General Hooker stationed beside the road, notifying the men as they passed that there was no danger from the artillery firing, and testifying by his presence and position that he believed what he said.

It is unnecessary for me to say that this conduct of our Commanding General had the most inspiriting influence on the officers and men of my command. On arriving at our place of destination, this regiment with the brigade encamped for the night. [586]

About one o'clock of the morning of the twenty-ninth I was awakened by skirmish firing, which seemed to be a short distance back on the road over which we had marched. The firing, rapidly increased in intensity, and the report of artillery soon mingling with it, admonished us that some part of our forces were engaged with the enemy.

The regiment was immediately ordered to fall in under arms, and to march in the direction of the conflict. It was soon ascertained that the firing was occasioned by an attack made by the enemy upon the command of Brigadier-General Geary, of the Twelfth corps, who had been following us from Bridgeport, and was a few hours in our rear. His command, consisting of a part of his division, had encamped for the night at a place called Wauhatchie, about three miles from the position occupied by the Eleventh corps. General Howard ordered his command to march at once to the aid of General Geary. This regiment, at a double-quick, took up the line of march in rear of the brigade, being preceded by the Seventy-third Ohio, Thirty-third Massachusetts, and Fifty-fifth Ohio. When about one and a half miles from camp, it was ascertained that the enemy occupied the crest of a hill, at the foot of which the road on which we were marching passed, and it was regarded important to dislodge him. Colonel O. Smith, commanding the brigade, was ordered to do it. Preparatory to executing the movement, the brigade was halted in the road. Colonel Smith sent forward the Seventy-third Ohio and Thirty-third Massachusetts, and directed them to charge the hill and drive the enemy therefrom. In the mean time I was ordered by Brigadier-General Steinwehr, division commander, to march my regiment by file to the left, and form in line of battle west of and perpendicular to the road on which we had been halted. This was at the foot of another hill about two hundred yards north of the one occupied by the enemy, and similar in appearance to it, and from which it was separated by a “gap” or “pass.” When I had completed the movement ordered, I was directed to send two companies to skirmish up the hill, at the foot of which our line of battle was formed, to ascertain if it was occupied by the enemy. I immediately detached companies H and K from the left of my left wing to execute the movement, and placed the force in command of Captain Eldredge of company K.

The Seventy-third Ohio and Thirty-third Massachusetts being hard pressed by the enemy on the hill which they had been ordered to charge, my regiment was ordered to their support. I marched to the base of the same hill, halted and formed in line of battle facing it. My centre was opposite the highest crest of the hill. Although it was a bright moonlight night, neither the height of the hill nor the obstacles to be encountered could be seen. I was ordered to charge in line of battle to the top of the hill, drive off the enemy, and form a junction with the Thirty-third Massachusetts on my right.

It should be borne in mind that the two companies detached as skirmishers had not at this time rejoined the regiment. I gave the command “Forward!” when the regiment advanced in line of battle at as quick a pace as the steep ascent of the hill would permit, moved steadily and firmly forward under a brisk and constant fire from the enemy, reached and crowned the crest of the hill, drove off the enemy, and took possession. Not a shot was fired by my men until the crest was gained, when one volley was discharged at the retreating enemy. At the time the charge was made the enemy was engaged in throwing up a line of rifle-pits. We captured their intrenching tools.

Having gained and occupied the crest of the hill, I deployed one company to the front as skirmishers. Moved by the right flank and formed a junction with the Thirty-third Massachusetts, which regiment had preceded me, charging up the hill on my right, and was vigorously engaged with the enemy when I reached the crest. The victory was complete. The crest of the hill is not more than six yards in width, from which there is a rapid descent, with a valley on the other side. Down this declivity the enemy precipitately fled in the utmost confusion. He staggered under the intrepid charges and deadly blows delivered to him by the braves of the Seventy-third Ohio and Thirty-third Massachusetts. His discomfiture was made complete by the vigorous and splendid charge of the One Hundred and Thirty-sixth New-York. The ground over which he retreated was strewn with rifles, swords, hats, caps, and haversacks. As daylight opened upon us, we were astonished by the audacity of our charge, and astounded at our success. The hill is over two hundred feet perpendicular height, and the distance from the road where I formed in line of battle to the crest of the hill is one hundred and eighty yards. Prisoners report (and the report is confirmed by other information, and may be regarded as reliable) that the force of the enemy occupying the hill consisted of Law's brigade of Hood's division, Longstreet's corps. This brigade was composed of six regiments, five of which were posted on the crest, the sixth being held in reserve in the valley below. The face of the hill is covered by a forest of wood and a thick coating of leaves, broken by gullies or ravines, and obstructed by bushes and upturned trees. Over and through these obstructions, up an ascent of over forty-five degrees, the men charged with a steadiness and precision that could not be excelled by the most experienced and veteran troops. At no time was there any confusion. At no time was there any wavering. From the commencement to the end of the charge the alignment of the line of battle was wonderfully preserved.

My hearty commendation and profound thanks are especially due to the officers and men of my command, for their brave and gallant conduct on this occasion. As I was deprived of the assistance of my able and energetic field-officer Lieutenant-Colonel Faulkner, being absent on detached service in the State of New-York, and [587] Major Arnold being detained at Bridgeport by an attack of illness, which rendered him unable to take the field, there is no occasion to make special mention of any officer or man of my command, for every one engaged seemed to perform his whole duty.

No one faltered — there were no stragglers. All are alike entitled to credit — all alike should receive the commendation of their superior officers, the gratitude of their country, and the friends of all may well feel proud of the bravery and gallantry which was exhibited.

Our casualties, it affords me pleasure to say, are slight, our loss being only two killed and four wounded. This exemption from disaster is due to the steepness of the hill up which we charged, the bullets from the enemy's rifles passing harmlessly over our heads. The casualties happened after we reached the crest. We captured five prisoners and forty rifles left on the field by the retreating enemy.

I have the honor to be, Captain, Respectfully yours, etc.,

James Wood, Jr., Colonel Commanding.

headquarters Second brigade, Second division, Eleventh corps, Lookout Valley, near Chattanooga, Oct. 31, 1863.
General orders:

The Colonel Commanding, in adding to the testimony of others to the valor of his troops, renews his thanks to the officers and men of his command for their heroic conduct on the afternoon of October twenty-eighth and the morning of the twenty-ninth. The splendid deeds of that memorable morning need not to be recounted. The glory of the living and the dead is complete and sufficient for the most ambitious. To those brave comrades of all grades who so gallantly responded when called to breast the wall of fire from two thousand muskets, he cannot be too grateful. Yours is the credit — yours is the fame. Let its brilliant lustre never be tarnished either upon the battle-field or in the more quiet routine of duty. You are above jealousy of others or sinister discussions about the appropriation of praise. Your greatest satisfaction will be derived from the consciousness of a perilous duty heroically done.

You have won the title of gallant soldiers — add to it that of honorable and upright men, and your fame shall be perfect, and the most precious legacy you can bequeath to your loved ones at home.

Let us sympathize with the suffering wounded, and cherish the memory of our fallen comrades.

By order Colonel Smith. B. F. Stone, Captain and A. A. G.

Second division Eleventh corps, Church of John the Baptist, Oct. 31, 1863.
General orders:

The General Commanding division desires to express to his troops his appreciation of the valor shown by them in the action of the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth instant.

This division formed the advance during the march from Bridgeport to this place — the First brigade, under Colonel A. Buschbeck, leading.

Their movements were marked by calmness and resolution. Whatever resistance was made by the enemy was quickly borne down.

During the night of the twenty-eighth to the twenty-ninth instant the rebels made a fierce attack upon the command of General Geary. Our corps was ordered out for his support. The division moved forward on the double-quick, the Second brigade, under Colonel O. Smith, in advance. On the left of the road by which the division must pass to support General Geary, a hill commanding the way was found occupied by two rebel brigades. The Second brigade was ordered to take and hold this position. The Seventy-third Ohio and Thirty-third Massachusetts formed line of battle, and with the greatest determination scaled the precipitous slope, moving over almost impassable ground in the face of rapid volleys.

The One Hundred and Thirty-sixth New-York was now ordered to support the left of the two advancing regiments, and advanced with heroic bravery, as did the Fifty-fifth Ohio, which was to support the right. On the crest a fierce hand-tohand contest ensued. The enemy, although well fortified in a position almost impregnable by nature, could not withstand this most extraordinary bayonet attack, and were forced to inglorious flight, leaving many arms and intrenching tools behind their parapet.

The storming of this hill against such stupendous odds is a brilliant episode of the war, a feat of arms rarely surpassed in history.

Officers and soldiers! by your courage you have gained your badge, a proud distinction. Let your valor preserve unsullied the honor of the White Crescent. By command of

headquarters Eleventh corps, Lookout Valley, Tenn., November 1, 1863.
General orders, no. 5.

It is with extreme pleasure that the Major-General Commanding communicates to the troops composing the Eleventh corps, and to the Second division of the Twelfth corps, the subjoined letter from the Major-General commanding the army of the Cumberland, expressive of his appreciation of your distinguished services on the night of the twenty-eighth ultimo.

It is a noble tribute to your good conduct from a brave and devoted soldier.

The General hopes that it will inspire as much satisfaction in the hearts of his officers and men as it has in his own, and that we may all be stimulated by it to renewed efforts to secure the good opinion of our commander, while we also emulate the courage and valor of our companions in arms.

headquarters Department of the Cumberland, Chattanooga, October 30, 1863.
Major-General Hooker, Commanding Eleventh and Twelfth Corps :
General: I most heartily congratulate you [588] and the troops under your command at the brilliant success you gained over your old adversary (Longstreet) on the night of the twentyeighth ultimo. The bayonet charge of Howard's troops made up the side of a steep and difficult hill over two hundred feet high, completely routing the enemy from his barricades on its top, and the repulse by Geary's division of greatly superior numbers, who attempted to surprise him, will rank among the most distinguished feats of arms of this war.

Very respectfully, etc.,

(Signed) George H. Thomas, Major-General Commanding. By command of Major-General Hooker.

(Signed) H. W. Perkins, A. A. G. Official. (Signed) F. A. Meysenbery, A. A. G. Official. Fred. W. Stone, Capt. and A. A. G. headquarters Second brigade, November 5, 1863.
Official. Benj, F. Stone, Capt. and A. A. A. G.

Cincinnati Gazette account.

Chattanooga, October 29.
Last night, a little before one o'clock, we were startled, though not surprised, to hear volleys of musketry, interspersed with the booming of cannon at short intervals, off to the right of Chattanooga, seemingly about five miles. The sound came up from what is called Lookout Valley, which lies between that mountain and the Raccoon Ridge. It was known that troops had been sent across the new pontoon at Brown's Ferry, but had not gone as far down as the place whence the sound proceeded, and so the great secret, so long and faithfully guarded, must out. Hooker is there!

And this was the fact. “Fighting Joe” had come, even at the eleventh hour, to the help of the army not yet rested of Chickamauga.

We rejoiced, and yet shuddered, when the deep-mouthed cannon belched forth from Lookout, and the waves of musketry, the more terrible by night, crashed up through the valley and reechoed from the mountain sides; for we could not believe that General Hooker had chosen this midnight hour for his attack.

It is not proper to state the various movements that brought about the battle, much less to give a full catalogue of the troops engaged. Sufficient that the afternoon of the twenty-eighth instant found Hooker in the Lookout Valley, with his forces present, arranged as follows:

General Geary, with a portion of the Twelfth corps, was at Wauhatchie Junction on the Memphis, Charleston, and Trenton Railroad, while certain portions of the Eleventh corps, under General Howard, marched further up the valley toward Brown's Ferry, where it was expected to unite with our troops that had been thrown across the river, thus making navigation safe, as the rebels would be entirely driven from it. They were permitted to march quietly up the valley and pitch their tents at leisure. The night wore silently till near twelve o'clock, when, like an eagle swooping on its prey, the rebels rushed down from Lookout Mountain and the plateau below, with the evident intention of wedging themselves into the space between our two corps, and thus cut them off by piecemeal. As they came they fired a deadly volley into Geary's ranks, and at the same time their batteries on Lookout opened and sent their shells crashing among the tree-tops above the heads of our men. Hooker was not long in seeing the necessities of the hour. Geary's men were fighting with that desperation which made brave men braver; but the rebels were three to their one, and it was evident they could not long hold out against such fearful odds. “Forward to their relief, boys! charge the devils double-quick!” shouted fighting Joe, and his words flew like magic through the camp. “Fall in line!” and down they rushed through the valley, seemingly “into the jaws of death.” But their danger, as it appeared, was not all, nor even half, in front; for as they passed along the foot of a ridge, some two hundred feet high, lying on their left, which, as it seems, they thought to be occupied by our forces, a furious volley of musketry was poured into them from its brow. This force must be dislodged, or here would be a second danger of being flanked. Estimating from the firing, it was thought that one brigade would be sufficient to do the work, the strength of the position occupied by the enemy being as yet entirely unknown. Accordingly, the Seventy-third Ohio and Thirtythird Massachusetts, to be supported, if necessary, by the One Hundred and Thirty-sixth New-York, the whole under command of Colonel Smith, of the Seventy-third, which was commanded by Captain Thomas W. Higgins, Acting-Major. Colonel Underwood led the Thirty-third Massachusetts till he was wounded, mortally, it is feared.

At the word “Charge!” the two regiments, in all not more than five hundred men, rushed up the hill with fixed bayonets — rushed madly, it would seem, when it is remembered that they knew not how many reapers of death were on the top, waiting to mow them down.

But on they went; through the underbrush and trees, up a hill so steep, that even by daylight, when one can pick his way, nor fear a wily enemy, it is found very difficult to climb. The rebels held their fire till we had approached near the top, and then, accompanied by that demoniacal yell which only a rebel can utter, they poured a most deadly volley into our ranks.

Taken aback by the immensely superior numbers which the firing proved the enemy to have, staggered by the unexpected appearance of heavy rifle-pits which frowned like death itself, in the flash of the guns, many fallen, among whom was a large proportion of officers, it was not strange, nay, it could not but be, that our men should fall back to the foot of the hill to rally and arrange their broken lines.

It was now known that the enemy was four times their own number, that he had strong riflepits, and was elated and encouraged by the success [589] of his first blow; but the hill was ordered to be taken, and the blood of their brothers who had already fallen cried out to our boys for revenge.

Again they came to the charge, and this time with that desperate determination that knows no retreat. Volley after volley was poured into them, and many fell, but none faltered. Yells and fiendish shouts that often before had been set up with terrifying effect, now swept over this noble remnant of two regiments, powerless as the winds that moaned the while through the pines above them. On they rushed — leaped into the rifle-pits. “Back, ye grayhounds!” And their flashing eyes still emphasized the words.

Confused and confounded by such bravery, ay, reckless daring, the rebels broke and rushed in every direction down the hill, except forty, who remained as prisoners, and left us in possession of the entire ridge. According to their own statements, there were on this hill five regiments, in all two thousand men, it being Lowe's brigade. Hood's, now Jenkins's division, Longstreet's corps.

The One Hundred and Thirty-sixty New-York is entitled to some honor in this most brilliant action, although it was not brought up till the eleventh hour. The loss in that regiment will probably amount to five or six in killed and wounded. It is due also to state that it was through no lack of desire on their part that they were not brought up sooner. To prove what desperate and almost unequalled fighting the other two did, it is but necessary to state that the Thirty-third Massachusetts lost one hundred and one men in killed, wounded, and missing, among whom is Colonel Underwood, wounded, a brave patriot, and Adjutant Mudges, killed, a gallant and very promising young officer; and that the Seventy-third Ohio lost one hundred killed and wounded, among whom are six commissioned officers.

In walking over the hill where this fight was, I could not but be surprised that any of our brave boys escaped. Scarcely a tree or a shrub could be seen that was not marred by some stroke of the fearful contest. Trees not more than ten inches through had, in some instances, as many as a dozen bullet holes.

While the contest was in progress on this ridge, General Geary, with his reenforcements from the Eleventh, was hotly engaged with the rebels a half mile below. Here victory seemed to perchawhile on one and then on the other side, but at length our fire got too warm for them, and they fled precipitately to Lookout Mountain, leaving us in possession of the field and their dead.

Our loss altogether, in killed, wounded, and missing, will foot up something near five hundred. The enemy's, perhaps, is not larger than ours, as all the advantages were on his side. The firing ceased about four o'clock this morning. The enemy, however, has been throwing shell from the batteries on Lookout nearly all day, but with little or no damage to us. Our guns have replied three or four times. According to count, the shells thrown by the enemy last night amounted to two hundred and forty. His entire force is estimated at about sixteen thousand, which was at least three times that of our own. General Green is reported dangerously wounded. Captain Geary, son of the General commanding, was instantly killed. One of the saddest losses Ohio sustained, is the death of Captain McGroarty, of the Sixty-first, who fell early in the fight.

Our men are in high spirits. Their confidence in Hooker is unbounded. In the thickest of the fight he was foremost amoung the men, cheering and waving them on to victory.

1 see Doc. 96, page 847, ante.

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