Valley, and communicated with this place on the twenty-eighth. The enemy attempted to surprise him the night after he reached his position in Lookout Valley, and after an obstinate contest of two hours duration was completely repulsed, with a loss of upward of one thousand five hundred killed and wounded, over one hundred prisoners, and several hundred stand of arms. I refer you to the reports of Generals Hooker and Smith for the details of the operations of their commands, commending to favorable consideration the names of those officers especially mentioned by them for gallant and meritorious conduct. The skilful execution by General Smith of the work assigned him, and the promptness with which General Hooker with his troops met and repulsed the enemy on the night of the twentyeighth, reflects the greatest credit on both of these officers and their entire commands. I herewith annex consolidated returns of casualties. I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General Hooker's command.
|Second Division, 12th Corps,||84||174||8||216|
|Brig.-Gen. Smith's command,||4||17||--||21|
Report of Brigadier-General W. F. Smith.
headquarters Department of. The Cumberland, Office Chief Engineer, Chattanooga, Nov. 4, 1863.General: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations for making a lodgment on the south side of the Tennessee River, at Brown's Ferry. On the nineteenth of October, I was instructed by General Rosecrans to reconnoitre the river in the vicinity of Williams Island, with a view of making the island a cover for a steamboat landing and storehouses, and began the examination near the lower end of the island. Following the river up, I found on the opposite bank, above the head of the island, a sharp range of hills whose base was washed by the river. This range extended up the river nearly to Lookout Creek, and was broken at Brown's Ferry by a narrow gorge, through which ran the road to the old ferry, and flowed a small creek. The valley between the ridge of hills and Raccoon Mountains was narrow, and a lodgment effected there would give us the command of the Kelly's Ferry road, and seriously interrupt the communications of the enemy up Lookout Valley, and down to the river on Raccoon Mountain. The ridge seemed thinly picketed, and the evidences were against the occupation of that part of the valley by a large force of the enemy, and it seemed quite possible to take by surprise what could not have been carried by assault, if heavily occupied by an opposing force. The Major-General commanding the Geographical division and the Major-General commanding the department visited with me the ferry, a few days after this reconnoissance, and both agreed as to the importance of the position by itself, and especially in connection with the movements to be made from Bridgeport to open the river, and I was directed to make the necessary arrangements for the expedition to effect a lodgment. To do this fifty pontoons with oars to carry a crew and twenty-five armed men were prepared, and also two flat-boats carrying forty and seventy men. The force detailed for the expedition consisted of the brigades of Brigadier-General Turchin and Brigadier-General Hazen, with three batteries, to be posted under the direction of Major Mendenhall, Assistant Chief of Artillery. Sunday, the twenty-fifth of October, I-was assigned to the command of the expedition, and. the troops were distributed as follows: One thousand five hundred men, under Brigadier-General Hazen, were to embark in the boats and pass down the river, a distance of about nine miles, seven of which would be under the fire of the pickets of the enemy. It was deemed better to take this risk than to attempt to launch the boats near the ferry, because they would move more rapidly than intelligence could be taken by infantry pickets, and, in addition, though the enemy might be alarmed, he would not know where the landing was to be attempted, and therefore could not concentrate with certainty against us. The boats were called off in sections, and the points at which each section was to land were carefully selected and pointed out to the officers in command, and range-fires kept burning, lest in the night the upper points should be mistaken. The remainder of Generals Turchin's and Hazen's brigades were marched across and encamped in the woods out of sight, near the ferry, ready to move down and cover the landing of the boats, and also ready to embark so soon as the boats had landed the river force,. and crossed to the north side. The artillery was also halted in the woods during.the night, and was to move down and go into position so soon as — the boats had landed, to cover the retirement of our troops in case of disaster. The equipage for the pontoon-bridge was also ready to be moved down to the river so soon as the troops were across. Axes were distributed to the troops, to be used in cutting abattis for defence so soon as the ridge was gained. General Hazen was to take the gorge and hills to the left, while General Turchin was to extend from the gorge down the river. The boats moved from Chattanooga at three A. M., on the twenty-seventh, and, thanks to a slight fog and the silence observed, they were not discovered until about five A. M., when the first section had landed at the upper point, and the second section had arrived abreast of the picket stationed at the gorge. Here a portion of the second section of the flotilla failed to land at the proper place, and alarming the pickets, received a volley. Some time was lost in effecting a landing below the gorge, and the troops had hardly carried it be