Doc. 14.-battles at Chattanooga, Tenn.
Despatches to the war Department: from General Grant.
[received 6.40 P. M., Nov. 23, 1863.]
From General Thomas.
[received in cipher, 8.45 A. M., Nov. 25.]
From General Grant.
[received 4 A. M., 25th.]
From General Grant.
[received 10 P. M.]
From General Thomas.
From General Thomas.
From General Grant.
From General Thomas.
General Grant's report.
General Sherman's report.
Report of Major-General Thomas.
Department of the Cumberland--report of casualties during the battle of Chattanooga, November, 1863.Fourth Army Corps--Major-General Granger: First division, Major-General Stanley, 19 killed, 85 wounded--aggregate, 104; Second division, Major-General Sheridan, 135 killed, 1151 wounded--aggregate, 1286; Third division, Brigadier-General Wood, 150 killed, 851 wounded-aggregate, 1001. Total, 2391. Fourteenth Army Corps--Major-General Palmer: First division, Brigadier-General Johnson, 46 killed, 258 wounded--aggregate, 304; Third division, Brigadier-General Baird, 97 killed, 461 wounded and missing--aggregate, 565. Total, 869. Eleventh Army Corps--Major-General Howard: Second division, Brigadier-General Stein-wehr, 25 killed, 176 wounded, 124 missing--aggregate, 325; Third division, Major-General Schurz, 1 killed, 14 wounded, 10 missing--aggregate, 25. Total, 350. Twelfth Army Corps--Major-General Slocum: First division, Brigadier-General Williams, not engaged; Second division, Brigadier-General George, 56 killed, 255 wounded, 4 missing--aggregate, 345. Total, 345. Grand Total, 529 killed, 3281 wounded, 141 missing--aggregate, 3955. The following is a copy of a telegram just received from Major-General Granger at Knoxville. The list of casualties in the Fourth army corps, on the previous page, is compiled from the statement of staff-officers at this place. The discrepancy cannot be explained until General Granger's report is received: [By telegraph from Strawberry Plains, January sixteenth, 1854, via Calhoun, Tenn.]
report of rebel deserters and prisoners of war received and captured from October 20, 1863, to December 1, 1863.
Ordnance officer's report.
Major-General Hoorer's report.
General Wm. F. Smith's report.
Report of Brigadier-General Whitaker.
Brigadier-General Hazen's report.
Colonel Berry's report.
Lieutenant-Colonel Kimberley's report.
Major Stafford's report.
Cincinnati Gazette account: events of Monday, November twenty-third.Although no soldiers were seen on Monday morning, scaling the acclivities of Mission Ridge, those of us who were in Chattanooga had not many hours to wait before we knew that, ere sundown, the ball was to be inaugurated, and the day made historical. The big guns, twenty, twenty-four, and thirty-two pounders, upon Fort Wood, Fort Negley, and a smaller work, began at an early hour to wake the echoes of the valloy. From Moccasin Point, too, the music of Union cannon was frequently heard. The rebels replied from the top of Lookout, from their formidable line along the summit of Mission Ridge, and from their batteries at the foot of the same. A great deal of noise was made, although I could not ascertain that any body on our side was hurt. From the excellent practice of sole of our own guns, however, I am not sure that the rebels escaped so easily. The truth is, the rebels had very little heavy artillery, worked inefficiently that which they had, and threw shot and shell from their smaller pieces, which, in almost every instance, fell short. By eleven A. M., it was generally known that a reconnaissance in force was to be made of the enemy's position, although I feel perfectly certain that all the facts that could be ascertained by the reconnoissance were known to our leaders long ago. But the real object of the contemplated movement was to assail the enemy in the direction of his right centre, drive him from a line of rifle-pits midway between Fort Wood and Mission Ridge, and hold the knobs or series of knobs upon which the rifle-pits were dug. In case we did not succeed in effecting this object, it would do very well to call the affair a reconnoissance. But those who knew the commanders selected for this work, (Wood and Sheridan,) and the temper of their troops, had little fear with regard to our success. It is not Wood's “style” to be defeated in any thing he undertakes, and Sheridan, who directly supported him, is one of the “men” of our army. The soldiers whom they command have often heretofore spoken for themselves, by means of their great deeds, but never with a louder voice than in the battle of Chattanooga. General Howard's corps was formed in rear of line of battle as a reserve; and, at a given signal, the entire body moved forward into the plain open ground in front and to the right of Fort Wood. The day was bright and beautiful. The rays of the sun, reflected from ten thousand bayonets, dazzled the beholder's eyes; the men were dressed as if for a holiday; proud steeds, bearing gallant riders, galloped along the lines. Every eminence about the city was crowded with spectators, and, for the first time in my experience, I saw the soldiers of the Union marching to battle to the beat of the spirit-stirring drum. This was, indeed, the “pomp and circumstance” of war; and it is no wonder that the rebels whom we afterward captured, declared they did not think we were going to make an attack upon them, but had our troops out for a review or dress-parade. I was glad to see this splendid pageant, for I think that, as a general thing, we are apt to under-estimate the moral effect of military display upon our soldiers. The masses of men are strongly moved by pomp and glittering symbols; and I am sure that even the man of giant intellect feels himself more a hero when in battle if he fights with shining banners waving above his head, and the sounds of martial music ringing in his ears. On the eventful day of which I write, I saw an exultant and lofty pride, a high and patriotic hope, a firm and deep resolve expressed in the countenance of each soldier, as I had never seen them expressed before; and no one could doubt, as he looked upon them, that they would go that day wherever they were bidden, even should they be compelled to pass through surges of vindictive fire. After the troops had moved out into position, they remained in full view of the entire rebel army for half an hour before they received orders to advance against the enemy's lines. Just below the eminence on which stands Fort Wood is open ground, through which runs the Western and Atlanta Railroad, and just upon the other side of the latter could be plainly seen the rebel pickets. Singular to say, these last were leaning on their muskets, and quietly watching the spectacle presented by our magnificent battalions. Thinking it was a review, they did not dream of danger, and were only awakened from their fancied security by the rapid advance of our skirmishers, and the moving forward of our entire line in their support. It was nearly two o'clock when the advance began, and a dozen shots from our skirmishers served to scatter the enemy's pickets, who fled hastily through a strip of not very dense timber lying between the open ground and some secondary eminences, upon which was the first line of rebel rifle-pits. The reconnoissance was now fairly begun, and two brigades of General Wood's division, Hazen on the right and Willich on the left, moved rapidly into the woods. General Samuel Beatty's brigade marched still further to the left and a little to the rear, forming, with Sheridan's fine division, a second line of battle, which was at any moment ready to support the first. General Howard's corps, drawn up in order to the right of Fort Wood, and in rear of Sheridan, might be considered a third line. Upon a knob near the centre of Sheridan's position, was placed a battery, which, together with the heavy artillery in Fort Wood, kept up a galling fire upon the enemy, and occasionally called forth replies from his guns on Mission Ridge, as well as from a battery which he had at the foot of the same. His missiles, however, did but little damage. Hindman's old division occupied the enemy's first line of rifle-pits, and from these a heavy fire of musketry was poured upon our men, as they  entered the strip of woods. Willich and Hazen, however, continued steadily to advance, nor was their progress checked until they had ascended the slope of the hills, hurled the rebels from their rifle-pits, and planted the American flag upon the summit of the ridge. The position was, however, hotly contested by the enemy, and some of our men were shot down at the very foot of the intrenchments. Meantime Sam Beatty's brigade had moved as the left of Wood's division, and, after Hazen and Willich had carried the heights in front of them, became sharply engaged with the enemy's skirmishers who obstinately contended for the low ground lying north-east of the hills we had carried. Through this low ground, indeed, a rude continuation of the line of rifle-pits upon the hill extended to a lithe stream called Citico Creek. Sheridan had also moved up on the right of General Wood, driving the rebel pickets before him and occupied that portion of their first line which lay in front of his division. At three o'clock, General Howard's corps was put in motion. Wheeling to the left, it passed Fort Wood, between that work and the railroad, and took position upon the left of General Granger's corps, (Wood and Sheridan;) and while Carl Schurz's division relieved Sam Beatty, Steinwehr's halted in the open ground and waited for orders. At this point, I, with hundreds of others, was gazing upon the spectacle below from the battlements of Fort Wood. Generals Thomas, Granger, and Reynolds were there, watching every movement of the troops, with looks of intelligence and earnestness. Wood and Sheridan were at the head of their respective divisions. General Howard was also on the parapet of Fort Wood, and, standing a little apart from the rest, was gazing fixedly upon his corps below. He seemed really absorbed in reverie, and motionless as a marble statue. Not feeling absolutely certain as to which of the two divisions of the famous Eleventh corps it was which was then taking position upon Granger's right, I approached General Howard to inquire. Twice I spoke to him, but he did not hear. I touched him upon the elbow. “General,” I said, “which of your divisions is nearest General Granger's left?” He turned sharply round, as if suddenly waked from sleep, and asked me what I had said. I repeated my question. He answered politely, and immediately added: “My line yonder does not suit me exactly; I must go and rectify it.” He started off, and in a few minutes afterward Steinwehr was moving around to the left of Schurz, his skirmishers were driving the enemy's pickets before them, and dislodging such rebels as defended this part of their first line of works. Fifteen minutes afterward the rebels had abandoned the whole of their advance line; the battery at the foot of Mission Ridge was hastening up to the summit; nothing remained to them west of the ridge, except their rifle-pits at the foot; and thirty thousand men of the Union army were in line of battle, a full mile in advance of the outposts which at noon that day were occupied by the enemy. A grand artillery duel, in which Fort Wood vied with the rebel cannon upon Missionary Ridge, continued until nightfall, when all the tumult ceased, and we had time to count our losses and gains. One hundred men of the Union army had been killed and wounded. Among the former was Major Wm. Burch, of the Ninety-third Ohio, who is spoken of by those who knew him best as an efficient officer and gallant gentleman. Captain W. W. Munn, of the Forty-first Ohio, was also numbered amongst our dead. These two regiments, with the Fifth Kentucky, whose colonel was slightly wounded, suffered more than any others. The rebels had, perhaps, lost as many as we in killed and wounded, and, besides these, a hundred and fifty prisoners, among whom eight commissioned officers were left in our hands. One hundred and seventeen of the captives belonged to the Twenty-eighth Alabama. A number of deserters came into our lines, even during the progress of the fight; and not one of the prisoners manifested the least chagrin or disappointment at having been taken. Granger had not fallen short of expectations based upon his conduct at Chickamauga; Sheridan had sustained his excellent reputation; Howard had done well; brave old Willich had won the confidence of his new brigade; and Wood had exhibited, in a highly favorable light, his great and striking abilities. The result of this passage at arms cannot be measured by the casualties or the prisoners. The enemy had been driven from his first line of intrenchments; his prestige was gone; his demoralization was begun; while, on the other hand, a wonderful confidence was diffused throughout our army, and the men lay down upon their arms, longing for the renewal of the combat, and for the coming day.
Events of Tuesday, November twenty-fourth.I have stated that, according to the original plan of battle, General Hooker's entire force was to cross from Lookout valley to the north side of the Tennessee, move up between Stringer's Ridge and the river, to a point opposite Chattanooga, and there remain, to act with Granger or Sherman, as occasion might require. But afterward it was determined to have his forces, (except Geary's,) which now included General Osterhaus's division, recross to the Chattanooga side, in order to make a grand attack upon Lookout Mountain, in conjunction with the troops left in Lookout valley. In pursuance of this plan, Howard's corps and Osterhaus's division crossed the river upon the pontoon-bridge, on Sunday evening, in full view of the rebels, who could be seen diligently signalling the fact from their station upon the top of Lookout Mountain, to Bragg's headquarters upon the summit of Mission Ridge. The Eleventh corps, Howard's, took such part in Monday's combat as I have related; the other portion of Hooker's force was posted upon the right of our line, ready for the  assault upon Lookout Mountain, which was to come off to-day. Sherman was up. Pontoon-boats, one hundred and ten in number, had been safely lodged in the North-Chickamauga; twenty more were concealed in a ravine near Caldwell's Ford, just below the mouth of the South-Chickamauga; numerous wagon-loads of lumber for bridging were in the same vicinity. The Fifteenth army corps, Major-General Frank Blair commanding, was well massed behind the hills; the division of Jeff. C. Davis, of the Fourteenth corps, was prepared to support it, and all things were in readiness for crossing the river. It was two o'clock on the morning of the twenty-fourth of November, when the fleet of boats carrying a brigade of Morgan L. Smith's division, pushed carefully out of the Chickamauga, and dropped quietly down the Tennessee. So perfectly was the thing managed, so exquisite were the arrangements for silence and secrecy, that even our own pickets along the bank of the river did not know when the boats passed. Before daylight they had reached their destination; and the soldiers, jumping on shore, formed as soon as possible, and, advancing rapidly, captured the rebel pickets, who were sleeping unconsciously by their fires. No sooner was this accomplished, than our boys, who had landed, fell to intrenching themselves with the industry of beavers, while the boats began to take over other troops, and workmen carried vigorously forward the building of the pontoon-bridge. Just after daylight, I was over to the left of our line, upon the north side of the river, to witness the crossing. As I passed along the river, behind Stringer's Ridge, I saw that the tents of Sherman's men were nearly all deserted, only a few invalids, sutlers' clerks, and teamsters being left in the camps. Passing on, I finally came to a point where, from the road descending the ridge, you can catch a glimpse of some open ground in the vicinity of Caldwell's Ford. Here a spectacle of surpassing beauty met my eyes. Two score of boats were plying back and forth across the somewhat swollen river, each one carrying, from the northern to the southern shore, from a dozen to twenty soldiers. The splendid pontoon-bridge already stretched halfway across, and the pioneers were just commencing work upon its southern end. Fifty-six pieces of artillery, some brass and glittering, some iron and sombre, were ranged along the shore and upon the sides of the hills, to protect the crossing; while ten thousand soldiers, constituting a splendid army, with music, banners, horses, and equipments, were massed upon the level ground by the river, ready and anxious to go over. While I was gazing at those already there, the fine brigade commanded by General John Beatty marched in column across the ridge, and entered the plain below. About the same time, Colonel Daniel McCook's and General Morgan's brigades could be seen advancing to the rendezvous down the river, from the Chickamauga, near which they had been stationed, to protect the pontoon fleet while it lay in that creek. The whole scene was calculated to impress the beholder with a sense of beauty and power, and make him feel that, this time at least, the Union army would be irresistible. General Sherman himself superintended the landing, as he did all the subsequent operations of his troops. A quarter of a mile down the river from Caldwell's Ford, rises a high hill, the highest in that vicinity; and on the summit of this, was one of our signal-stations. By a series of tacks, now this way, now that, I urged my horse half-way up, fastened him there, and climbed on foot to the top. All the region around Chattanooga was visible from this eminence, and looking from it, one might get some idea of the immensity, the grandeur, the complication, and, at the same time, the simplicity, of the operations going on below. Those operations had for their theatre the whole country, from Wauhatchie, in Lookout valley, to the mouth of the North-Chickamauga, a distance of twelve miles! And one mastermind, with subordinates at once able and intelligent, was overseeing and directing the whole. While I was on this hill, it began to rain gently; a thick mist overspread Lookout, rolled in immense columns up the river. and gradually filled the entire basin of Chattanooga. The last object upon which my sight rested was Sherman's men still advancing toward the north end of Mission Ridge, without interruption, and extending their lines gradually to the right, until at last they came into communication with the left wing of General Howard's corps. The last sounds I heard were the crash of musketry and thunder of artillery in the direction of Lookout Mountain, which told that General Hooker had assailed the position from which the enemy had so long insolently menaced our army. As I descended the hill, I could scarcely repress an emotion of terror as the sound of battle toward the right became more and more awful and continuous, until it seemed as if some tremendous torrent had sapped the foundations of Lookout, and the mountain itself was crumbling into ruin. Our soldiers were storming Lookout. Let me trace the facts connected with Hooker's great exploit, as briefly and succinctly as possible. When General Hooker, with Howard's corps, Osterhaus's division, and a part of Hugh Ewing's, crossed the river by the pontoon-bridges opposite Chattanooga, on Sunday evening, it was in pursuance of the bold design to mass his forces upon our right, carry the rebel line of rifle-pits between Lookout Mountain and Mission Ridge, sever the enemy on Lookout Mountain from all support, and then, advancing boldly up one side of the mountain, while Geary scaled the other, plant the Stars and Stripes triumphantly upon its summit. General Howard's corps was sent to our left, as I have described. It was half-past 7 in the morning when Geary's division, (part of the Twelfth corps,)  supported by Whitaker's brigade of Stanley's (temporarily Cruft's) division of the Fourteenth corps, left its position near Wauhatchie, crossed Lookout Creek, and began to work down its right bank. Whitaker's brigade had, I believe, marched nearly all night the night before, from the neighborhood of Shell Mound, in order to be present at this attack. Almost from the moment our forces crossed the creek, their advance was stubbornly resisted. But Church's Michigan battery from Fort Negley, Naylor's Tenth Indiana from Moccasin Point, and the Eighth Wisconsin from the banks of Chattanooga Creek, played upon the rebels with such good effect, that, although not much hurt, they became confused and frightened, and Geary slowly and steadily pushed forward. Forward and upward! for he now began to ascend the slope, and never rested until he had reached a point so high that Hooker could see the flashes of his musketry from the other side. Then Osterhaus and part of Ewing suddenly crossed Chattanooga Creek, and advancing in line of battle, carried the rebel rifle-pits near the foot of the mountain, swept like a whirlwind up the eastern slope, dislodged the rebels wherever they attempted to make a stand, and finally shook hands with Geary just underneath the mighty mass of rocks which crowns the summit of Lookout. The united hosts now moved on together, crushed the battalions of the enemy as they attempted to make one more stand, and at midnight finished the contest by capturing or dispersing the last band of rebels to be found anywhere upon the sides of the mountain. That night, in front of General Thomas's headquarters in Chattanooga, I stood watching the combat going on, away up there upon that mighty wall of limestone; and the long line of fires which marked the course of our intrenchments; the shouts of the combatants yelling defiance at each other; the fierce jets of flame from the muzzles of a thousand muskets; the spluttering sound of the discharges, muffled by distance; the great brow of the mountain looming dark and awful through the night; the single signallight upon the extreme crest, which, waving to and fro, revealed to the rebel leader on Mission Ridge the tale of disaster and woe — all these together formed one of the scenes, in that wonderful three days drama, which will linger for ever in my memory, haunting even my dreams. The battle that night upon Lookout Mountain! Seen from Chattanooga, it was the realization of olden traditions; and supernatural armies contended in the air! But after the noise of combat had ceased, after nearly all (save the faithful sentinel and the wounded writhing in pain) had sunk to slumber, another scene occurred which even he whose weary fingers trace these records at the midnight hour dare not omit. After Hooker's troops had ascended the slope of the mountain, and were still engaged with the enemy, General Carlin's brigade, of Johnson's division, came to their support. This was at half-past 5 P. M. Two days previous to the commencement of the battle, Colonel B. F. Scribner, of the Thirty-eighth Indiana, arrived at Chattanooga. I need not speak particularly of him here. The story of his deeds at Perryville, at Stone River, and at Chickamauga, (commanding a brigade in the last two battles,) is familiar to his countrymen. His regiment now forms a part of General Carlin's brigade, and the latter, with a nice appreciation of real merit which does him honor, immediately upon Colonel Scribner's arrival, requested him to take command of the right wing of his brigade. Scribner consented, and played well his part, both in the night combat on the mountain, and in the battle of the succeeding day. Far upon the mountain toward the city is a white frame house — a prominent and noted object. To this, after the struggle of Tuesday and Tuesday night, our wounded were conveyed. But there were no surgeons to wait upon them. Colonel Scribner heard of their condition. His noble nature was moved. The toils of the day were disregarded. He entered the hospital, and with a faithful few to assist, he labored until far into the small hours of night, like an angel of mercy, in soothing the pains of the sufferers, alleviating, as far as it was possible, their agony, and binding their bleeding wounds. In my varied experience thus far, I have known no incident of the war more touching, more worthy of remembrance, and more honorable to human nature, than this of a brave man who had led his troops unflinchingly through a half-dozen battles, forgetting his own somewhat feeble health, entering the house of anguish, standing over the wounded, and with the tenderness of a woman ministering to their wants. The nation may hereafter shower honors on his head for his heroism on the field of battle; but the recording angel, who notes alike the good and bad actions of all, will place upon the credit side of his account no worthier deeds than those kind attentions bestowed upon the wounded in the silent watches of that Tuesday night! The rebels lost in this engagement two hundred killed and wounded, two pieces of artillery, and one thousand three hundred prisoners. Our losses all told could scarcely amount to three hundred men. But before we have done with Thursday's story, we must return to the left. At seven A. M., General Howard ordered Colonel Orland Smith, commanding a brigade in the second division of his corps, to send a regiment to the extreme left of his (Howard's) line, to drive a body of rebel sharp-shooters from some rifle-pits, whence they annoyed our lines considerably. The Seventy-third Ohio was selected to execute the command. Forming line and throwing out skirmishers, this excellent command at once charged the enemy upon the double-quick, with fixed bayonets, and drove them half a mile, taking more than thirty prisoners. While this movement  was going on, Wheeler's Independent Kentucky battery shelled the rebels from the north side of the river with apparently good effect, and Captain Bridges's splendid Chicago battery, placed on the knob taken the day before by Willich's men, kept the enemy's attention occupied by a furious shelling of Mission Ridge. This movement, finished at half-past 10 A. M., put Howard's left in communication with Sherman's right, as I have already mentioned. General Sherman's forces now continued to advance slowly over the fields toward the ridge. The Western or Atlanta Railroad was crossed, but no enemy appeared. A belt of timber near the foot of the range concealed no foe; and at last, making a bold push, the Sixth Iowa and Forty-sixth Ohio, belonging to General J. M. Corse's brigade, reached the summit of the ridge, followed by the rest of the brigade, and immediately commenced throwing up intrenchments. The eminence is just north, and within musketshot of Tunnel Hill. The rebels opened a fire from the latter, which was replied to by our men. Little damage was done, however; but when night came the eyes of the soldiers in other corps sparkled brightly when they learned that the numerous fires upon the north side of Mission Ridge marked the bivouac of Sherman's men.
Events of Wednesday, November twenty-fifth.Wednesday morning came, and as soon as the sun's rays were warm enough to disperse the mists from the mountains, all eyes were turned toward the summit of Lookout. A wild and deafening cheer ran along our lines. The banner of beauty and of glory was floating from the very crest of the mountain — from that gigantic pile of rock whence rebel cannon had so long been hurling missiles of death toward the city. The enemy on Lookout had not been able to rally after his disastrous defeat of the day before. He had fled during the night; and the disjointed fragments of his force, belonging to Stevenson's division, were moved around to the right of his line in order to withstand the storm which it was perceived would soon burst from our left. Captain John Wilson, Eighth Kentucky, had the honor of being the first to plant the flag upon the now deserted rebel citadel. Thus had Hooker and the brave men under him again established their claim to the gratitude and admiration of their countrymen. But still grander events were hurrying onward, and leaving the Eighth Kentucky upon the summit of the mountain, “Fighting Joe” descended early in the morning, crossed Chattanooga Creek, and joined Johnson's division upon the right of our position. Hugh Ewing's division had previously left its position upon the mountain, and passing over to the left, had joined General Sherman, forming upon his right. Thus was completed our immense line of battle, extending from the Knoxville road on the right to the north end of Mission Ridge upon the left, a distance of about six miles! Osterhaus's division was on the extreme right; then Geary's; then Johnson's; then Sheridan's; then Wood's; then Baird's; then Schurz's; then Steinwehr's; then Ewing's then John E. Smith's, with Morgan L. Smith upon the extreme left. Whitaker's and Grose's brigades fought with Hooker; Jeff. C. Davis was in reserve on the extreme left; and Howard's two divisions might also be considered as a reserve. The enemy's line of battle coincided with the line of Mission Ridge, he occupying all of it (with lines of rifle-pits at the foot) except the portion from which he had been dislodged by Sherman. Early in the morning, I took position upon the knob held by Willich's brigade of Wood's division, known as Bald Knob, from which the entire battle-field could be distinctly seen. The morning was raw and cold, but the sun shone brilliantly from a cloudless sky. The prospect was beautiful in the extreme. The entire valley was before you, surrounded by walls of everlasting adamant, and watered by the finest river on the continent. Toward the north, you looked across the low ground through which ran the railroads; feasted your eyes upon the winding Tennessee, glittering like silver in the sunlight; then looked beyond until the view was bounded by the giant Cumberlands. Westward you behold the town of Chattanooga, the nearer portion hidden, however, by the frowning battlements of Fort Wood, from whose guns ever and anon a puff of smoke burst forth, a thundering explosion shook the earth, and a screaming, shrieking missile went tearing through the air, bent, like a destroying angel, upon the work of death. Beyond Chattanooga, in the same direction, the winding river, never for a mile, apparently, pursuing the same course, again met the eye, tending southward to pass between Moccasin Point and Lookout Mountain; northward again, skirting between Stringer's Ridge and a low range in Lookout Valley, dividing itself into two great arms to embrace the beautiful William's Island, and then sweeping away majestically to the north-west around the point of Raccoon Mountain. South-west the point of the Lookout itself, always the most prominent feature of this landscape, rose grandly in the sunlight, while east and south the view was bounded by Mission Ridge, on which were ranged the legions with which Bragg expected to stay the march of loyalty and uphold the cause of treason. Breckinridge's corps was on the left of the enemy's line. Hardee occupied the centre, and part of Buckner's corps, with the Georgia State troops and other fragmentary bodies, held the right. Bragg's headquarters, a small house on Mission Ridge, in a south-east direction, was plainly visible, and served as a mark for many an ambitious artillerist that day. Singularly enough, too, as if to attract special attention, the enemy's largest cannon were placed in battery near this house. Let us glance around now, and see who occupy  this little knob from which we are gazing upon the animated scene we have described. Since Napoleon stood in the midst of his marshals, on that eventful morning when the sun of Austerlitz broke from behind the eastern walls of the world, scarcely had a more distinguished group of personages been collected together than that which I there beheld. There was General Smith, Chief of the Engineer Department, a useful, industrious, scientific man, concealing, under a somewhat repellent exterior, a generous, kindly nature. There was Hunter, without command, but assisting by counsel — Hunter, honest, patriotic, conscientious, bold. There was Meigs, too, smooth, plausible, discreet, and wise. There was the keen, talented, energetic, capable Wood. Willich, brave, unselfish, and true — an old veteran, animated by the hopes and ardor of youth. Gordon Granger, brave, able, sensible, rough. Reynolds, in whom courtesy and courage, gallantry and prudence, firmness and moderation, wisdom and enthusiasm, are all combined. Thomas, cold, stern, earnest, unbending, dignified, erect. And there too was the king among his compeers, the “giant among giants,” a man whose placid countenance, which apparently no care could disturb, was lighted up by a piercing eye, whose gaze nothing could escape — a mild, quiet, unassuming man — the solid, sound, subtle, persevering, comprehensive Grant. Such was the stage — such were the actors. The battle began upon the extreme left, Sherman, about ten A. M., making an attack upon Tunnel Hill, a point in Mission Ridge just south of the one we had occupied the night before, and separated from it by a small ravine. General Corse's brigade and Colonel Jones's, supported by Colonel Loomis's brigade to the rear and right, advanced to the assault, fought gallantly for a time, fully developed the enemy's position, and then fell back to their intrenchments. An hour after, the attack was resumed, General Matthies and General Giles A. Smith's brigades, of John E. Smith's division, reenforced afterward by Ranne's brigade, stepped gallantly from behind their works, and marched as if on parade up the hill, on the side of which was a large cleared field, until, despite a plunging fire from the enemy's artillery upon the crest, they entered the timbered portion near the summit; were met by showers of stones and rifle-balls, as well as by a storm of grape; but still refused to retire, and lay down within a hundred yards of the muzzles of the rebel cannon! General Howard's troops also became engaged here, and though at times somewhat roughly handled, behaved in a manner highly honorable to themselves and the noble men who led them. General Baird's division of the Fourteenth corps, was at this time marching by the flank, in front of Fort Wood, for the purpose of taking position between General Wood's division and Howard's left. This movement of his, plainly perceived by the enemy, fully impressed them with the conviction that our grand assault was to be made upon their right, and instantly a massive column of their forces began to move northward along the crest of the ridge. It was a splendid spectacle, as regiment after regiment, brigade after brigade, filed off toward our left; and it was well for Sherman's brave men that they could not see these battalions, for they impressed each beholder with an idea of almost resistless power. Suddenly the storm burst upon Matthies's brigade and the left of Howard. The fierce flames from thirty pieces of artillery leaped athwart and across the ravine which separated the two hills, and a flash of lightning from ten thousand muskets blinded the eyes of our men. They rose from the ground and retured the fire; they even endeavored to advance, but, against such overwhelming odds, to persevere in either was annihilation; General Matthies was wounded and disabled; a score of officers were shot down; files of our soldiers were swept away at each discharge; and at last, unable longer to endure this useless slaughter, they broke and fled down the hill. For a moment the heart of the beholder was filled with anguish as he saw them hastening in wild confusion back across the field over which they had so gallantly advanced; but he felt reassured when he saw that the moment they had got beyond the fire of musketry, and while still in full range of the enemy's cannon, they re-formed their ranks and were ready for another combat! But their work for the day was over. And now came the great crisis of the battle. The men who held in their hands the destinies of the army, had marked from their position on Bald Knob the movement of the rebel legions toward the left, and in an instant perceived their advantage. In the face of three such leaders as Baird, Wood, and Sheridan, Bragg was repeating the old fatal error which lost the allied armies Austerlitz, and the Union Chickamauga — he was weakening his centre and making a flank movement in the presence of his enemy. In an instant Granger and Palmer hurled Wood and Sheridan down the slope of the ridge upon which they had been posted, and Baird across the lower ground to the left. Through the woods concealing the rebel rifle-pits they charged, and burst like a torrent into and over the same, scattering the terrified rebels who occupied them like thistle-down or chaff. Here, according to original orders, our lines should have halted; but the men were no longer controllable. Baird had carried the rifle-pits in front of his position, and the shout of triumph rousing the blood to a very frenzy of enthusiasm, rang all along the line. Cheering each other forward, the three divisions began to climb the ridge,
A fiery massThe whole Ridge blazed with artillery. Direct, plunging, and cross fire, from a hundred pieces of cannon, was hurled upon that glorious band of heroes scaling the ridge, and when they were  half-way up, a storm of musket-balls was flung into their very faces. In reply to the rebel cannon upon the Ridge, Fort Wood, Fort Negley, and all our batteries that could be placed in position, opened their sublime music. The storm of war was now abroad with supernatural power, and as each successive volley burst from the cloud of smoke which overspread the contending hosts, it seemed that ten thousand mighty echoes wakened from their slumbers, went groaning and growling around the mountains, as if resolved to shake them from their bases, then rolled away down the valleys, growing fainter and fainter, until extinguished by echoes of succeeding volleys, as the distant roar of the cataract is drowned in the nearer thunders of the cloud. And still the Union troops pressed on, scaling unwaveringly the sides of Mission Ridge. The blood of their comrades renders their footsteps slippery; the toil of the ascent almost takes away their breath; the rebel musketry and artillery mow down their thinned ranks — but still they press on! Not once do they even seem to waver. The color-bearers press ahead, and plant their flags far in advance of the troops; and at last, O moment of supremest triumph! they reach the crest, and rush like an avalanche upon the astonished foe. Whole regiments throw down their arms and surrender, the rebel artillerists are bayoneted by their guns, and the cannon which had a moment before been thundering on the Union ranks, are now turned about, pouring death and terror into the midst of the mass of Miserable fugitives who are rushing down the eastern slope of the ridge. Almost simultaneously with this immortal charge, Hooker threw his forces through a gap in the ridge upon the Rossville road, and hurled them upon the left flank of the enemy, while Johnson charged this portion of their line in front. Already demoralized by the spectacle upon their right, they offered but a feeble resistance, were captured by hundreds, or ran away like frightened sheep. One fierce effort was made by the rebel leaders to retrieve the day. The left wing of General J. B. Turchin's brigade of Baird's division, had taken possession of a small work constructed by the enemy on that portion of Mission Ridge nearly opposite Fort Wood. Before he could arrange his regiments inside, the rebels, gathering up all the yet unrouted fragments of such force as they had upon the centre, charged Turchin with a determined fury excelling any thing they had displayed upon that part of the field during the day. But the heroic old Russian who had for two long years overthrown both rebels and their sympathizers, in every field where he had met them, was not to be conquered now, while flushed with his crowning victory. His left wing stood firm as a rock against the overwhelming numbers assailing it. The remainder of the brigade was hurried to the rescue upon the double-quick; the rebel fortifications, manned by Union soldiers, blazed like a volcano in the face of the foe. In vain the enemy's officers bravely stepped in front of their men, waved their swords, and urged them to the charge. With their comrades falling by scores around them, they could not be induced to advance one foot nearer that citadel of death; and at length, seeing the day irretrievably lost, they wavered, staggered, yielded slowly, and drew off sullenly in the direction of Tunnel Hill. With the exception of this last position, the whole of Mission Ridge was now in our hands. It was near sundown when General T. J. Wood, whose conduct all through the three days battle, marked him as one of the ablest leaders of the national armies, rode along the lines of his superb division. Loud shouts of enthusiasm everywhere greeted his appearance, until at last his feelings, no longer controllable, broke forth in a speech! “Brave men!” said he, “you were ordered to go forward and take the rebel rifle-pits at the foot of these hills; you did so; and then, by the Eternal! without orders, you pushed forward and took all the enemy's works on top! Here is a fine chance for having you all court-martialled! and I myself will appear as the principal witness against you, unless you promise me one thing.” “What is it? What is it?” laughingly inquired his men. “It is,” resumed the General, “that as you are now in possession of these works, you will continue, against all opposition of Bragg, Johnston, Jeff Davis, and the devil, steadfastly to hold them!” At the conclusion of this speech, the enthusiasm of the soldiers knew no bounds; they left the ranks and crowded around their General: “We promise! We promise!” they cried, and amid such exclamations as “Of course we'll hold them!” “Let any one try to take them from us!” “Bully for you!” “Three cheers for old Wood!” the gallant officer rode off the field. As the reports from the different portions of the army came in, it is impossible to conceive the joy that filled the hearts of all. Shout answered shout from every hill-top; cheer echoed cheer; until at last, the whole basin of Chattanooga, with the surrounding mountains, seemed filled with one mighty throb of exultation; and the sun went down, gilding with his last beams the scene of as grand a triumph as had ever yet blessed the Union arms.
Of living valor rolling on the foe!