it, without further loss than 4 or 5 wounded. The residue of Gen. Smith
's men, with further materials for the bridges, had simultaneously moved across Moccasin point
on our side, to the ferry, unperceived by the enemy; and, before dawn, they had been ferried across, and the difficult heights rising sharply from the Tennessee
and from Lookout valley
on the south-west were firmly secured.
By 10 A. M., a capital pontoon-bridge had been completed at the ferry; and now, if Bragg
chose to concentrate on Hooker
or on Chattanooga
, we had the shorter line of concentration, and were ready.
Before night, Hooker
's left rested on Smith
's force and bridge; while Palmer
had pushed across to Whiteside
in his rear; and now the wagon route of supply for Chattanooga
, no longer infested by Rebel sharp-shooters, was reduced to the 28 miles of relatively tolerable road from Bridgeport
, or, by using the river from Bridgeport
's ferry, to barely 8 miles. Grant
's fighting had not yet begun; but Chattanooga
was safe, and Bragg
had found no enemy to repel, save pickets and perhaps a few sharp-shooters, until — having passed through a gorge of Raccoon mountain
into Lookout valley
, some two miles wide, which is commanded and observed throughout by the crests of Raccoon mountain
on the one hand and of Lookout mountain
on the other, while a low range of five or six hills, 200 to 300 feet high, divides it nearly in the center — he reached Wauhatchie, a petty station on the railroad, some 12 or 15 miles from Chattanooga
, directly under the guns of the Rebel
batteries on Lookout mountain
Of course, every movement on our side was watched by the enemy, who might almost count the men in our ranks as they marched.
Through another gorge on Hooker
's left, a road led down to Kelly
's ferry, three miles distant. Howard
's (11th) corps, in our advance, had passed Wauhatchie, and had lost a few men by shells thrown from Lookout mountain
, and as many by an irregular musketry fire from the wooded hills in its front, whence the enemy was speedily dislodged by a flanking advance; burning the railroad bridge over Lookout creek
as he fled.
At 6 P. M.,1
our column was halted for the night, but little over a mile from Brown
's ferry, toward which three companies were thrown out; while Geary
's weak division of the 12th corps bivouacked at Wauhatchie, three miles back, holding the road from Kelly
's ferry that leads up Lookout valley
's division of Longstreet
's corps held Lookout mountain
, and were deeply interested but quiet spectators of Hooker
's arrangements for the night.
They were not strong enough to fight his entire force by daylight; but it was calculated that they would suffice2
to strike Geary
by surprise in that strange, wooded region; routing him before he should be fairly awake, stampeding his men, running off his animals, and burning his trains.
Accordingly, about 1 A. M.,3
they attacked him with Rebel impetuosity and the unearthly yells wherein they stood confessedly unrivaled,