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[211] the left of the enemy's line. In consequence of the non-arrival of the force mainly relied on to lead off, the attack was postponed until the following morning, and again postponed until the twenty-fourth, for the same reason. Meanwhile orders were received for the Eleventh corps to go to Chattanooga, where it reported on the twenty-second. This divided my command, and, as the orders contemplated no advance from Lookout Valley, application was made by me to the Major-General commanding the department, for authority to accompany the Eleventh corps, assigning, as a reason, that it was my duty to join that part of my command going into battle. This was acceded to, and, preparatory to leaving, invitation was sent for Brigadier-General Geary, who was the senior officer in my absence, to examine with me the enemy's position and defences, and to be informed at what points I desired to have his troops held. This was to enable me to make use of the telegraph in communicating with him advisedly during the progress of the fight, should a favorable opportunity present itself for him to advance.

The advance upon and capture of Lookout Mountain.

On the twenty-third, the commander of the department requested me to remain in Lookout Valley, and make a demonstration as early as possible the next morning on the point of Lookout Mountain, my command to consist of the parts of two divisions. Later in the day, (the twenty-third,) a copy of a telegram was received from the Major-General commanding the military division of the Mississippi, to the effect that in the event the pontoon-bridge at Brown's Ferry could not be repaired in season for Osterhaus's division of the Fifteenth corps to cross by eight o'clock A. M. on the twenty-fourth, the division would report to me. Soon after, another telegram, from the headquarters of the department instructed me, in the latter case, to take the point of Lookout Mountain, if my demonstrations should develop its practicability. At two o'clock A. M., word was received that the bridge could not be put in serviceable condition for twelve hours; but, to be certain on the subject, a staff-officer was despatched to ascertain, and a quarter-past three A. M. on the twenty-fourth, the report was confirmed.

General Hooker's actual command

As now composed, my command consisted of Osterhaus's division, Fifteenth corps; Cruft's, of the Fourth, and Geary's, of the Twelfth, (excepting from the two last-named divisions such regiments as were required to protect our communications with Bridgeport and Kelly's Ferry;) Battery K, of the First Ohio, and Battery K, First New-York, of the Eleventh corps, (the two having horses but for one;) a part of the Second Kentucky cavalry, and company K, of the Fifteenth Illinois cavalry--making an aggregate force of nine thousand six hundred and eighty-one. We were all strangers, no one division ever having seen either of the others.

Geary's division, supported by Whitaker's brigade, of Cruft's division, was ordered to proceed up the valley, cross the creek near Wauhatchie, and march down, sweeping the rebels from it. The other brigade of the Fourth corps was to advance, seize the bridge just below the railroad, and repair it. Osterhaus's division was to march up from Brown's Ferry, under cover of the hills, to the place of crossing; also to furnish supports for the batteries. The Ohio battery was to take a position on Bald Hill, and the New-York battery on the hill directly in the rear. The Second Kentucky cavalry was despatched to observe the movements of the enemy in the direction of Trenton, and the Illinois company to perform orderly and escort duty. This disposition of the forces was ordered to be made as soon after daylight as practicable.

The enemy — Lookout Mountain and the valleys

At this time the enemy's pickets formed a continuous line along the right bank of Lookout Creek, with the reserves in the valleys, while his main force was encamped in the hollow, half-way up the slope of the mountain. The summit itself was held by three brigades of Stevenson's division, and these were comparatively safe, as the only means of access from the west, for a distance of twenty miles up the valley, was by two or three trails, admitting of the passage of but one man at a time, and even these trails were held at the top by rebel pickets. For this reason no direct attempt was made for the dislodgment of this force. On the Chattanooga side, which is less precipitous, a road of easy grade has been made, communicating with the summit by zigzag lines running diagonally up the mountainside; and it was believed that before our troops should gain possession of this, the enemy on the top would evacuate his position, to avoid being cut off from his main body, to rejoin which would involve a march of twenty or thirty miles. Viewed from whatever point, Lookout Mountain, with its high, palisaded crest and its steep, ragged, rocky, and deeply furrowed slopes, presented an imposing barrier to our advance, and when to these natural obstacles were added almost interminable well-planned and well-constructed defences, held by Americans, the assault became an enterprise worthy of the ambition and renown of the troops to whom it was intrusted. On the northern slope, midway between the summit and the Tennessee, a plateau or belt of arable land enriches the crest. There a continuous line of earthworks had been thrown up, while redoubts, redans, and pits appeared lower down the slope, to repel an assault from the direction of the river. On each flank were rifle-pits, epaulements for batteries, walls of stone, and abattis to resist attacks from either Chattanooga or Lookout valley. In the valleys themselves, were earthworks of still greater extent.

The advance of the Union troops — the Mountain taken

Geary commenced his movement as instructed, crossed the creek at eight o'clock, captured the


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