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[604] point of the mountain slope. These two regiments of Colonels Waters and Bennet, the latter in front, with the whole line, only halted when imperative orders were received to “pursue to the crest of Lookout Slope only, and no farther,” until farther orders. The Eighty-fourth and Seventy-fifth Illinois had already been gallantly pressed forward four or five hundred yards in advance of the crest, and beyond and to the left of the White House, and sufficiently far to uncover the mouth of Chattanooga Creek and allow troops to pass from the city to our rear. My other regiments were in the line rather above and to the right of the White House, but fully covering the plateau of ground on which it is situated.

There were two regiments of the troops on my right that were immediately under the high ledge of rocks at the top of the mountain that were farther advanced than the centre of the line. I was greatly annoyed with overtures to relieve these two regiments with regiments from my command, and before nightfall, I sent the Fifty-ninth Illinois and Ninth Indiana to relieve them, making now four regiments of mine in the front line, two on the extreme left and two on the right and far in the advance of all other regiments. At the point now occupied by these two regiments there was constant firing kept up on both sides, and about eight o'clock P. M., Colonel Suman and Major Hale, commanding those two regiments on the right, reported their ammunition exhausted, when the Thirty-sixth Indiana and Twenty-fourth Ohio were sent to relieve them, who held the position until about midnight, when the firing ceased on both sides, the enemy evidently having retired from our front, and, as afterward appeared, from the top of the mountain, but not until these two latter regiments had also exhausted their ammunition. Thus all my regiments had been in the front line during this engagement. The ground in front of the centre of the line, in and about the White House, I believe, was the common stock of the skirmishers of all the commands engaged, and at the house they found in park two pieces of the enemy's artillery, (with the limbers,) which was not in use upon our advance. Early the next morning, the enemy having entirely left the mountain, the Stars and Stripes waved upon the point of rocks on the summit of this grand old mountain. This was the conclusive evidence to observers for many miles around that one of the grandest feats of the war had been performed by our soldiers in successfully storming this stronghold, and taking most of the enemy, that were there posted, prisoners. Our advancing lines completely enfiladed most of the enemy's works, which were poorly adapted to the defence of the position.

Early on the morning of the twenty-fifth November, the Eighty-fourth and Seventy-fifth Illinois were advanced on the left to make a reconnoissance, and captured some rebel guards, camps, baggage, and several boxes of arms, near the road from Chattanooga up the mountain to Summer Town, and found that the main force of the enemy had evacuated Chattanooga Valley. These facts being reported, the whole force, under General Hooker, moved about ten o'clock A. M., toward Rossville, situated at the base of Missionary Ridge, five miles distant from Chattanooga, at which place the La Fayette road passes through a gorge in the ridge. Having to rebuild the destroyed bridge over Chattanooga Creek, it was after two o'clock P. M. before our advance, General Osterhaus's division, reached the rebel lines strongly posted in the gorge. The attack was soon made, however, and the advance division forced the passage, routed the enemy and moved forward through the gorge. As my advance approached the passage in the ridge, General Cruft. directed me to move up the point of the ridge to the left and at right angles with the road. As we assumed the point of the ridge, a brisk fire was opened from the summit upon some cavalry escort in our front. They soon found other quarters and gave way for our infantry. The Ninth Indiana, Colonel Suman, was in advance, and, seemingly by intuition, came into line with skirmishers in front, supported by the Fifty-ninth Illinois, Major Hale, in double-quick, on the left, the Eighty-fourth Illinois and Thirty-sixth Indiana in the second line, the Seventy-fifth Illinois and Twenty-fourth Ohio forming the third line. By the time the rear lines were formed, the advance line had charged and driven the enemy from two lines of barricades, visiting the enemy with severe punishment, killing and wounding a large number and taking all the balance prisoners that were behind the barricades. Two regiments of. General Whittaker's brigade soon came up on the left of my second and third lines on the slope of the ridge, General Geary's division advancing still further to the left in the valley; at the same time General Osterhaus's division was advancing to the east side of the ridge to my right.

We continued the advance, meeting and driving more of the enemy northward on the ridge. At the same time heavy firing was going on a couple of miles to our front. As we approached, it seemed to be advancing toward us, which turned out to be General Johnson's division, Fourteenth corps, driving the enemy south on the ridge. When his lines and ours approached within eight hundred or nine hundred yards of each other, the enemy's forces, between us, threw down their arms, and firing and destruction of life ceased; and it appeared to me that we had more prisoners between than we had men in our own lines. Here we disposed of prisoners, cared for the wounded, buried the dead, and rested for the night. Colonel Suman and Major Hale, with their regiments, deserve favorable mention for daring and gallant conduct on this occasion.

On the morning of the twenty-sixth, our forces moved on the Ringgold road in pursuit of the routed enemy. Two divisions of Fourteenth corps, under Major-General Palmer, had the advance, followed by General Osterhaus's division; then came the two brigades of our division, followed

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J. C. B. Suman (3)
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