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[438] a bridge across the river above the town. At the proper time, Hugh S. Ewing's division was drawn bade from Trenton and followed the others to our extreme left; but the roads were so bad, and the over taxed bridges broke so frequently — the river being swelled by heavy rains — that unexpected delays occurred: and Osterhaus's division was left to aid Hooker on the right.

Grant, impatient to relieve Burnside, had fixed the 21st for the attack; but it was found impossible for Sherman to get ready by that time; in fact, Ewing was not in position till the 23d, when the movement was begun.

Grant's eagerness to attack was stimulated by the misguiding report of a deserter that Bragg was falling1 back, when he was only posting his forces to strengthen himself for the coming attack. A most impertinent message2 from the Rebel chief, received two days before, had strengthened Grant's suspicion that Bragg was mainly intent on getting safely away from that dangerous neighborhood. Hence, before Sherman was fairly in position, Thomas was ordered3 to advance our center, and see what was behind the Rebel picket-line facing Chattanooga. Hooker's purposed attack on Lookout mountain was suspended, and Howard's (11th) corps pushed over to Chattanooga and temporarily added to Thomas's command.

The movement was initiated by Granger's (4th) corps; Sheridan's division on the right, Wood's on the left, reaching nearly to Citico creek; Palmer, of the 14th corps, supporting Granger's right with Baird's division, refused; Johnson's division under arms in our intrenchments, ready to move to any point at a word. Howard's corps was likewise held in readiness to act whenever required.

It was 2 P. M. when Granger's men moved out; advancing steadily, squarely, swiftly, upon the Rebel intrenchments, driving before them pickets, reserves, and grand guards, and rushing into the Rebel rifle-pits, on the low hill known as Orchard ridge, where they made some 200 prisoners. This was done so quickly that no force was, and probably none could have been, sent from Bragg's main camp, somewhat farther away from us, to resist it; and Granger, under orders to secure his new position at once by temporary breast-works, and throw out strong pickets, while Howard moved up on his left, was soon too well established to be expelled during the remaining day-light: so he held on, unmolested, through tile night.

Hooker was now to take the laboring oar, by an assault on the north face and west side of Lookout mountain, attracting the enemy's attention to that quarter while Sherman should lay his pontoons and cross the Tennessee on our left, near the mouth of the Chickamauga. Accordingly, Hooker, at 4 A. M., was under arms and ready to advance; but an unexpected obstacle confronted him. The heavy rain of the 21st and 22d had

1 Nov. 22.

2

headquarters army of the Tennessee, in the field, Nov. 20, 1863.
Maj.-Gen. U. S Grant, Commanding U. S. forces at Chattanooga:

General: As there may still be some noncombatants in Chattanooga, I deem it proper to notify you that prudence would dictate their early withdrawal.

I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


3 Nov. 23.

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