headquarters army of Tennessee, Dalton, Ga., 30th Nov., 1863.Gen. S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond: Sir,--On Monday, the 23d, the enemy advanced in heavy force, and drove in our picket line in front of Missionary ridge, but made no further effort. On Tuesday morning early, they threw over the river a heavy force, opposite the north end of the ridge, and just below the month of the Chickamauga; at the same time displaying a heavy force in our immediate front. After visiting the right, and making dispositions there for the new developtment in that direction I returned toward the left, to find a heavy cannonading going on from the enemy's batteries on our forces occupying the slope of Lookout mountain, between the crest and the river. A very heavy force soon advanced to the assault, and was met by one brigade only, Walthall's, which made a desperate resistance, but was finally compelled to yield ground. Why this command was not sustained is yet unexplained. The commander on that part of the field, Maj.-Gen. Stevenson, had six brigades at his disposal. Upon his urgent appeal, another brigade was dispatched in the afternoon to his support — though it appeared his own forces had not been brought into action — and I proceeded to the scene. Arriving just before sunset, I found that we had lost all the advantages of the position. Orders were immediately given for the ground to be disputed until we could withdraw our forces across Chattanooga creek, and the movement was commenced. This having been successfully accomplished, our whole forces were concentrated on the ridge, and extended to the right to meet the movement in that direction. On Wednesday, the 25th, I again visited the extreme right, now under Lt.-Gen. Hardee, and threatened by a heavy force, whilst strong columns could be seen marching in that direction. A very heavy force in line of battle confronted our left and center. On my return to this point, about 11 A. M., the <*>y's forces were being moved in heavy masses from Lookout, and beyond, to our front, whilst those in front extended to our right. They formed their lines with great deliberation, just beyond the range of our guns, and in plain view of our position. Though greatly outnumbered, such was the strength of our position that no doubt was entertained of our ability to hold it, and every disposition was made for that purpose. During this time, they had made several attempts on our extreme right, and had been handsomely repulsed, with very heavy loss, by Maj.-Gen. Cleburne's command, under the immediate direction of Lt.-Gen. Hardee. By the road across the ridge at Rossville, far to our left, a route was open to our rear. Maj.-Gen. Breckinridge, commanding on the left, had occupied this with two regiments and a battery. It being reported to me that a force of the enemy had moved in that direction, the General was ordered to have it reconnoitered, and to make every disposition necessary to secure his flank; which he proceeded to do. About half-past 3 P. M., the immense force in the front of our left and center advanced in three lines, preceded by heavy skirmishers. Our batteries opened with fine effect, and much confusion was produced, before they reached musket range. In a short time, the rear of musketry became very heavy, and it was soon apparent that the enemy had been repulsed in my immediate front. Whilst riding along the crest, congratulating the troops, intelligence reached me that our line was broken on my right, and the enemy had crowned the ridge. Assistance was promptly dispatched to that point under Brig.-Gen. Bate, who had so successfully maintained the ground in my front; and I proceeded to the rear of the broken line to rally our retiring troops, and return them to the crest to drive the enemy back. Gen. Bate found the disaster so great that, his small force could not repair it. About this time, I learned that our extreme left had also given way, and that my position was almost surrounded. Bate was immediately directed to form a second line in the rear, where, by the efforts of my staff, a nucleus of stragglers had been formed, upon which to rally. Lt.-Gen. Hardee, leaving Maj.-Gen. Cleburne in command on the extreme right, moved toward the left, when he heard the heavy firing in that direction. He reached the right of Anderson's division just in time to find it had nearly all fallen back, commencing on its left, where the enemy had first crowned the ridge. By a prompt and judicious movement, he threw a portion of Cheatham's division directly across the
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
II . Missouri -- Arkansas .
Iii. Kentucky -- Tennessee -- Alabama .
V. New Orleans and the Gulf .
Vii. McClellan before Richmond .
IX . my Maryland -- Lee 's invasion.
X. Tennessee -- Kentucky -- Mississippi —Buell — Bragg — Rosecrans — Grant — Van Dorn ..
Xvii. Lee 's army on free soil-gettysburg.
Xviii. The Chattanooga campaign .— Middle and East Tennessee .
Xix. Missouri and Arkansas in 1863 .
Xxii. Negro soldiery.
Xxiii. The War along the Atlantic coast in 1864 .
Xxix. The War on the ocean — Mobile Bay .
Xxx. Political Mutations and results.—the Presidential canvass of 1864 .<
Xxxiii. The repossession of Alabama .
Xxxiv. Fall of Richmond --end of the War .—Grant-Lee — Sheridan .
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