previous next

Doc. 14.-battles at Chattanooga, Tenn.


Despatches to the war Department: from General Grant.
[received 6.40 P. M., Nov. 23, 1863.]

Chattanooga, Tenn., 3 P. M., Nov. 23, 1863.
Major-General H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief:
General Thomas's troops attacked the enemy's left at two P. M. to-day, carried first line of rifle-pits, running over the knoll one thousand two hundred yards in front of Wood's Fort and low ridge to the right of it, taking about two hundred prisoners, besides killed and wounded; our loss small. The troops moved under fire with all the precision of veterans on parade. Thomas's troops will intrench themselves, and hold their position until daylight, when Sherman will join the attack from the mouth of the Chickamauga, and a decisive battle will be fought.

U. S. Grant, Major-General.


From General Thomas.
[received in cipher, 8.45 A. M., Nov. 25.]

Chattanooga, Tenn., Nov. 24, 1863--12 M.
Major-General Halleck, General-in-Chief:
Yesterday, at half-past 12, Granger's and Palmer's corps, supported by Howard's, were advanced directly in front of our fortifications, drove in the enemy's pickets, and carried his first line of rifle-pits between Chattanooga and Citico Creeks. We captured nine commissioned officers and about one hundred and sixty enlisted men. Our loss, about one hundred and eleven.

To-day, Hooker, in command of Geary's division, Twelfth corps, Osterhaus's division, Fifteenth corps and two brigades Fourteenth corps carried north slope of Lookout Mountain, with small loss on our side and a loss to the enemy of five hundred or six hundred prisoners; killed and wounded not reported.

There has been continuous fighting from twelve o'clock until after night, but our troops gallantly repulsed every attempt to retake the position. Sherman crossed the Tennessee before daylight this morning, at the mouth of South-Chickamauga, with three divisions of the Fifteenth corps, one division Fourteenth corps, and carried the northern extremity of Missionary Ridge.

General Grant has ordered a general advance in the morning. Our success so far has been complete, and the behavior of the troops admirable.

Geo. H. Thomas, Major-General.


From General Grant.
[received 4 A. M., 25th.]

Chattanooga, Tenn., Nov. 24, 1863--6 P. M.
Major-General Halleck:
The fight to-day progressed favorably. Sherman carried the end of Missionary Ridge, and his right is now at the Tunnel and left at Chickamauga Creek Troops from Lookout Valley carried the point of the mountain, and now hold the eastern slope and point high up. I cannot yet tell the amount of casualties, but our loss is not heavy. Hooker reports two thousand prisoners taken, besides which a small number have fallen into our hands from Missionary Ridge.

U. S. Grant, Major-General.


From General Grant.
[received 10 P. M.]

Chattanooga, Tenn., Nov. 25, 1863--7 1/4 P. M.
Major-General H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief:
Although the battle lasted from early dawn [191] till dark this evening, I believe I am not premature in announcing a complete victory over Bragg. Lookout Mountain top, all the rifle-pits in Chattanooga Valley, and Missionary Ridge entire, have been carried and now held by us.

I have no idea of finding Bragg here to-morrow.

U. S. Grant, Major-General Commanding.


From General Thomas.

Chattanooga, Tenn., Nov. 25, 1863--12 Midnight.
To Major-General H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief:
The operations of to-day have been more successful than yesterday, having carried Missionary Ridge from near Rossville to the railroad tunnel, with a comparatively small loss on our side, capturing about forty pieces of artillery, a large quantity of small arms, camp and garrison equipage, besides the arms in the hands of the prisoners. We captured two thousand prisoners, of whom two hundred were officers of all grades, from colonels down.

We will pursue the enemy in the morning. The conduct of the officers and troops was every thing that could be expected. Missionary Ridge was carried simultaneously at six different points.

Geo. H. Thomas, Major-General.


From General Thomas.

Chattanooga, Tenn., Nov. 26, 1863--11 P. M.
Major-General Halleck, General-in-Chief:
General Davis, commanding division, Four-teenth corps, operating with General Sherman, gained possession of Chickamauga depot at half-past 12 to-day. My troops having pursued by the Rossville and Greysville road, came upon the enemy's cavalry at New-Bridge, posted on east side of creek. They retired on the approach of our troops. The column will be detained for a few hours to rebuild the bridge, but Hooker thinks he can reach Greysville, and perhaps Ringgold, to-night. Many stragglers have been picked up to-day, perhaps two thousand. Among the prisoners are many who were paroled at Vicksburgh.

George H. Thomas, Major-General.


From General Grant.

Chattanooga, Tenn., 1 A. M., Nov. 27, 1863.
Major-General Halleck, General-in-Chief:
I am just in from the front. The rout of the enemy is most complete. Abandoned wagons, caissons, and occasionally pieces of artillery, are everywhere to be found. I think Bragg's loss will fully reach sixty pieces of artillery. A large number of prisoners have fallen into our hands. The pursuit will continue to Red Clay in the morning, for which place I shall start in a few hours.

U. S. Grant, Major-General.


From General Thomas.

Chattanooga, Tenn., Nov. 27, 1863--12 P. M.
Major-General H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief:
General Palmer reports Johnson's division, Fourteenth corps, surprised A. P. Stewart's division last night, taking four guns, two caissons, and many prisoners. Hooker reports his arrival at Ringgold at nine A. M. to-day; found the road strewn with caissons, limbers, and ambulances. He commenced skirmishing with enemy at eleven A. M., in Railroad Pass or Gap, near Ringgold — about half Osterhaus's and third Geary's division engaged, and forced the enemy to abandon the position he had taken in the passes. Both divisions suffered severely, the enemy making obstinate resistance. On the morning of the twenty-fourth, I sent Colonel Long, commanding Second brigade, Second cavalry division, across South-Chickamauga to make raids on East-Tennessee and Georgia Railroad. He returned this evening, bringing two hundred and fifty prisoners, and reports he has destroyed the railroad from Tyner's Station to the Hiawassee, and ten miles south-west of Cleveland. He also destroyed eighty wagons and large quantity commissary stores and other supplies at Cleveland. The prisoners we have taken since the twenty-third now sum up more than five thousand.

Geo. H. Thomas, Major-General Commanding.


General Grant's report.

headquarters military division of the Mississippi, in field, Chattanooga, Tenn., Dec. 28, 1863.
Colonel J. C. Kelton, Assistant-Adjutant General, Washington, D. C.:
Colonel: In pursuance of General Orders No. 337, War Department, of date Washington, October sixteenth, 1863, delivered to me by the Secretary of War at Louisville, Kentucky, on the eighteenth of the same month, I assumed command of the “Military division of the Mississippi,” comprising the departments of the Ohio, the Cumberland, and the Tennessee, and telegraphed the order assuming command, together with the order of the War Department referred to, to Major-General A. E. Burnside, at Knoxville, and to Major-General W. S. Rosecrans, at Chattanooga.

My action in telegraphing these orders to Chattanooga in advance of my arrival there, was induced by information furnished me by the Secretary of War of the difficulties with which the army of the Cumberland had to contend in supplying itself over a long, mountainous, and almost impassable road from Stevenson, Alabama, to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and his fears that General Rosecrans would fall back to the north side of the Tennessee River. To guard further against the possibility of the Secretary's fears, I also telegraphed to Major-General Thomas, on the nineteenth of October, from Louisville, to hold Chattanooga at all hazards, that I would be there as soon as possible. To which he replied, on same date: “I will hold the town till we starve.”

Proceeding directly to Chattanooga, I arrived there on the twenty-third of October, and found that General Thomas had, immediately on being placed in command of the department of the Cumberland, ordered the concentration of Major-General [192] Hooker's command at Bridgeport, preparatory to securing the river and main wagon-road between that place and Brown's Ferry, immediately below Lookout Mountain. The next morning, after my arrival at Chattanooga, in company with Thomas and Brigadier-General W. F. Smith, Chief-Engineer, I made a reconnaissance of Brown's Ferry and the bills on the south side of the river and at the mouth of Lookout valley. After the reconnoissance, the plan agreed upon was for Hooker to cross at Bridgeport to the south side of the river, with all the force that could be spared from the railroad, and move on the main wagonroad by way of Whitesides to Wauhatchie in Lookout valley. Major-General J. M. Palmer was to proceed by the only practicable route north of the river, from his position opposite Chattanooga to a point on the north bank of the Tennessee River, and opposite Whitesides, then to cross to the south side to hold the road passed over by Hooker.

In the mean time, and before the enemy could be apprised of our intention, a force under the direction of Brigadier-General W. F. Smith, Chief-Engineer, was to be thrown across the river, at or near Brown's Ferry, to seize the range of hills at the mouth of Lookout valley, covering the Brown's Ferry road, and orders were given accordingly.

It was known that the enemy held the north end of Lookout valley with a brigade of troops, and the road leading around the foot of the mountain from their main camp in Chattanooga valley to Lookout valley. Holding these advantages, he would have had little difficulty in concentrating a sufficient force to have defeated or driven him back. To remedy this, the seizure of the range of hills at the mouth of Lookout valley, and covering the Brown's Ferry road, was deemed of the highest importance. This, by the use of pontoon-bridges at Chattanooga and Brown's Ferry, would secure to us, by the north bank of the river across Moccasin Point, a shorter line by which to reenforce our troops in Lookout valley than the narrow and tortuous road around the foot of Lookout Mountain afforded the enemy for reenforcing his.

The force detailed for this expedition consisted of four thousand men, under command of General Smith, Chief-Engineer, one thousand eight hundred of which, under Brigadier-General W. B. Hazen, in sixty pontoon boats, containing thirty armed men each, floated quietly from Chattanooga past the enemy's pickets, to the foot of Lookout Mountain, on the night of the twenty-seventh of October, landed on the south side of the river at Brown's Ferry, surprised the enemy's pickets stationed there, and seized the hills covering the ferry, without the loss of a man killed, and but four or five wounded. The remainder of the forces, together with the materials for a bridge, were moved by the north bank of the river across Moccasin Point to Brown's Ferry, without attracting the attention of the enemy; and before day dawned, the whole force was ferried to the south bank of the river, and the almost inaccessible heights rising from Lookout valley, at its outlet to the river, and below the mouth of Lookout Creek, were secured.

By ten o'clock A. M., an excellent pontoon-bridge was laid across the river at Brown's Ferry, thus securing to us the end of the desired road nearest the enemy's forces, and the shorter line over which to pass troops if a battle became inevitable. Positions were taken up by our troops from which they could not have been driven except by vastly superior forces, and then only with great loss to the enemy. Our artillery was placed in such position as to completely command the roads leading from the enemy's main camp in Chattanooga valley to Lookout valley.

On the twenty-eighth, Hooker emerged into Lookout valley at Wauhatchie, by the direct road from Bridgeport by way of Whitesides to Chattanooga, with the Eleventh army corps under Major-General Howard, and Geary's division of the Twelfth army corps, and proceeded to take up positions for the defence of the road from Whitesides, over which he had marched, and also the road leading from Brown's Ferry to Kelly's Ferry, throwing the left of Howard's corps forward to Brown's Ferry.

The division that started, under command of Palmer, for Whitesides, reached its destination, and took up the position intended in the original plan of this movement. These movements, so successfully executed, secured to us two comparatively good lines by which to obtain supplies from the terminus of the railroad at Bridgeport, namely, the main wagon-road by way of Whitesides, Wauhatchie, and Brown's Ferry, distant but twenty-eight miles, and the Kelly's Ferry and Brown's Ferry road, which, by the use of the river from Bridgeport to Kelly's Ferry, reduced the distance for wagoning to but eight miles.

Up to this period, our forces at Chattanooga were practically invested, the enemy's lines extending from the Tennessee River, above Chattanooga, to the river at and below the point of Lookout Mountain, below Chattanooga, with the south bank of the river picketed to near Bridgeport, his main force being fortified in Chattanooga valley, at the foot of and on Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain, and a brigade in Lookout valley. True, we held possession of the country north of the river, but it was from sixty to seventy miles, over the most impracticable roads to army supplies.

The artillery horses and mules had become so reduced by starvation that they could not have been relied upon for moving any thing. An attempt at retreat must have been with men alone and with only such supplies as they could carry. A retreat would have been almost certain annihilation, for the enemy, occupying positions within gunshot of, and overlooking, our very fortifications, would unquestionably have pursued retreating forces. Already more than ten thousand animals had perished in supplying halfrations [193] to the troops by the long and tedious route from Stevenson and Bridgeport to Chattanooga over Waldrous Ridge. They could not have been supplied another week.

The enemy was evidently fully apprised of our condition in Chattanooga, and of the necessity of our establishing a new and shorter line by which to obtain supplies, if we would maintain our position; and so fully was he impressed of the importance of keeping from us these lines — lost to him by surprise, and in a manner he little dreamed of — that, in order to regain possession of them, a night attack was made by a portion of Longstreet's forces on a portion of Hooker's troops (George's division of the Twelfth corps) the first night after Hooker's arrival in the valley. The attack failed, however, and Howard's corps, which was moving to the assistance of Geary, finding that it was not required by him, carried the remaining heights held by the enemy west of Lookout Creek. This gave us quiet possession of the lines of communication heretofore described south of the Tennessee River. Of these operations I cannot speak more particularly, the sub-reports having been sent to Washington without passing through my hands.

By the use of two steamboats--one of which had been left at Chattanooga by the enemy and fell into our hands, and one that had been built by us at Bridgeport and Kelly's Ferry — we were enabled to obtain supplies with but eight miles of wagoning. The capacity of the railroad and steamboats was not sufficient, however, to supply all the wants of the army, but actual suffering was prevented.

Ascertaining from scouts and deserters that Bragg was detaching Longstreet from the front and moving him in the direction of Knoxville, Tenn., evidently to attack Burnside, and feeling strongly the necessity of some move that would compel him to retain all his forces and recall those he had detached, directions were given for a movement against Missionary Ridge, with a view to carrying it and threatening the enemy's commu nications with Longstreet, of which I informed Burnside by telegraph on the seventh of November.

After a thorough reconnoissance of the ground, however, it was deemed utterly impracticable to make the move until Sherman could get up, because of the inadequacy of our forces and the condition of the animals then at Chattanooga; and I was forced to leave Burnside, for the present, to contend against superior forces of the enemy until the arrival of Sherman with his men and means of transportation. In the mean time, reconnoissances were made, and plans matured for operations. Despatches were sent to Sherman, informing him of the movement of Longstreet, and the necessity of his immediate presence at Chattanooga.

On the fourteenth of November, I telegraphed to Burnside as follows:

Your despatch and Dana's just received. Being there, you can tell better how to resist Longstreet's attack than I can direct. With your showing, you had better give up Kingston at the last moment, and save the most productive part of your possessions. Every arrangement is now made to throw Sherman's force across the river, just at and below the mouth of Chickamauga Creek, as soon as it arrives. Thomas will attack on his left at the same time; and, together, it is expected to carry Missionary Ridge, and from there rush a force on to the railroad between Cleveland and Dalton. Hooker will at the same time attack, and, if he can, carry Lookout Mountain. The enemy now seems to be looking for an attack on his left flank. This favors us. To further confirm this, Sherman's advance division will march direct from Whitesides to Trenton. The remainder of his force will pass over a new road just made from Whitesides to Kelly's Ferry, thus being concealed from the enemy, and leave him to suppose the whole force is going up Lookout valley.

Sherman's advance has only just reached Bridgeport. The rear will only reach there on the sixteenth. This will bring it to the nine-teenth as the earliest day for making the combined movement as desired. Inform me if you think you can sustain yourself till that time. I can hardly conceive of the enemy breaking through at Kingston, and pushing for Kentucky. If they should, however, a new problem would be left for solution. Thomas has ordered a division of cavalry to the vicinity of Sparta. I will ascertain if they have started, and inform you. It will be entirely out of the question to send for ten thousand men, not because they cannot be spared, but how could they be fed after they got one day east of here?


On the fifteenth--having received from the General-in-Chief a despatch of date the fourteenth, in reference to Burnside's position, the danger of his abandonment of East-Tennessee unless immediate relief was afforded, and the terrible misfortune such a result would be to our arms; and also despatches from Mr. C. A. Dana, Assistant Secretary of War; and Colonel Wilson of my staff, sent at the instance of General Burnside, informing me more fully of the condition of affairs as detailed to them by him — I telegraphed him as follows:

Chattanooga, November 15, 1863.
I do not know how to impress on you the necessity of holding on to East-Tennessee in strong enough terms. According to the despatches of Mr. Dana and Colonel Wilson, it would seem that you should, if pressed to do it, hold on to Knoxville and that portion of the valley you will necessarily possess holding to that point. Should Longstreet move his whole force across the Little Tennessee, an effort should be made to cut his pontoons on that stream even if it sacrificed half the cavalry of the Ohio army.

By holding on, and placing Longstreet between the Little Tennessee and Knoxville, he should [194] not be allowed to escape with an army capable of doing any thing this winter. I can hardly conceive the necessity of retreating from East-Tennessee. If I did at all, it would be after losing most of the army, and then necessity would suggest the route. I will not attempt to lay out a line of retreat. Kingston, looking at the map, I thought of more importance than any one point in East-Tennessee.

But my attention being called more closely to it, I can see that it might be passed by, and Knoxville and the rich valley about it possessed, ignoring that place entirely. I should not think it advisable to concentrate a force near Little Tennessee to resist the crossing, if it would be in danger of capture; but I would harass and embarrass progress in every way possible, reflecting on the fact that the army of the Ohio is not the only army to resist the onward progress of the enemy.


Previous reconnoissances made, first by Brigadier-General W. F. Smith, Chief-Engineer, and afterward by Thomas, Sherman, and myself, in company with him, of the country opposite Chattanooga and north of the Tennessee River, extending as far east as the mouth of the South-Chickamauga and the north end of Missionary Ridge, so far as the same could be made from the north bank of the river without exciting suspicions on the part of the enemy, showed good roads from Brown's Ferry up the river and back of the first range of hills opposite Chattanooga, and out of view of the enemy's positions. Troops crossing the bridge at Brown's Ferry could be seen, and their numbers estimated by the enemy; but not seeing any thing further of them as they passed up in rear of these hills, he would necessarily be at a loss to know whether they were moving to Knoxville, or held on the north side of the river for further operations at Chattanooga. It also showed that the north end of Missionary Ridge was imperfectly guarded, and that the banks of the river from the mouth of South-Chickamauga Creek, eastward to his main line in front of Chattanooga, was watched only by a small cavalry picket. This determined the plan of operations indicated in my despatch of the fourteenth to Burnside.

Upon further consideration — the great object being to mass all the forces possible against one given point, namely, Missionary Ridge, converging toward the north end of it — it was deemed best to change the original plan, so far as it contemplated Hooker's attack on Lookout Mountain, which would give us Howard's corps of his command to aid in this purpose; and on the eighteenth the following instructions were given Thomas:

All preparations should be made for attacking the enemy's position on Missionary Ridge by Saturday at daylight. Not being provided with a map giving names of roads, spurs of the mountain, and other places, such definite instructions cannot be given as might be desirable. However, the general plan, you understand, is for Sherman, with the force brought with him, strengthened by a division from your command, to effect a crossing of the Tennessee River, just below the mouth of the Chickamauga, his crossing to be protected by artillery from the heights of the north bank of the river, (to be located by your Chief of Artillery,) and to secure the heights from the northern extremity to about the railroad tunnel before the enemy can concentrate against him. You will cooperate with Sherman.

The troops in Chattanooga valley should all be concentrated on your left flank, leaving only the necessary force to defend fortifications on the right and centre, and a movable column of one division in readiness to move whenever ordered. This division should show itself as threateningly as possible on the most practicable line for making an attack up the valley. Your effort, then, will be to form a junction with Sherman, making your advance well toward the northern end of Missionary Ridge, and moving as near simultaneously with him as possible. The junction once formed, and the ridge carried, connections will be at once established between the two armies by roads on the south bank of the river. Further movements will then depend on those of the enemy. Lookout valley, I think, will be easily held by Geary's division, and what troops you may still have there belonging to the old army of the Cumberland.

Howard's corps can then be held in readiness to act either with you at Chattanooga or with Sherman. It should be marched on Friday night to a position on the north side of the river, not lower down than the first pontoon-bridge, and then held in readiness for such orders as may become necessary. All these troops will be provided with two days cooked rations, in haversacks, and one hundred rounds of ammunition, on the person of each infantry soldier. Special care should be taken by all officers to see that ammunition is not wasted or unnecessarily fired away. You will call on the engineer department for such preparations as you may deem necessary for carrying your infantry and artillery over the creek.


A copy of these instructions was furnished Sherman with the following communication:

Inclosed herewith I send you copy of instructions to Major-General Thomas, for, having been over the ground in person, and having heard the whole matter discussed, further instructions will not be necessary for you. It is particularly desirable that a force should be got through to the railroad between Cleveland and Dalton, and Longstreet thus cut off from communication with the South; but being confronted by a large force here, strongly located, it is not easy to tell how this is to be effected until the result of our first effort is known. I will add, however, what is not shown in my instructions to Thomas, that a brigade of cavalry has been ordered here, which, [195] if it arrives in time, will be thrown across the Tennessee above Chickamauga, and may be able to make the trip to Cleveland or thereabouts.


Sherman's forces were moved from Bridgeport by way of Whitesides--one division threatening the enemy's left front in the direction of Trenton — crossing at Brown's Ferry, up the north bank of the Tennessee to near the mouth of South-Chickamauga, where they were kept concealed from the enemy until they were ready to form a crossing. Pontoons for throwing a bridge across the river were built, and placed in North-Chickamauga, near its mouth, a few miles further up, without attracting the attention of the enemy. It was expected we would be able to effect the crossing on the twenty-first of November; but, owing to heavy rains, Sherman was unable to get up until the afternoon of the twenty-third, and then only with Generals Morgan L. Smith's, John E. Smith's, and Hugh Ewing's divisions of the Fifteenth corps, under command of Major-General Frank P. Blair, of his army.

The pontoon-bridge at Brown's Ferry having been broken by the drift consequent upon the rise in the river, and rafts sent down by the enemy, the other division — Osterhaus's — was retained on the south side, and was, on the night of the twenty-third, ordered, unless it could get across by eight o'clock the next morning, to report to Hooker, who was instructed, in this event, to attack Lookout Mountain, as contemplated in the original plan.

A deserter from the rebel army, who came into our lines on the night of the twenty-second November, reported Bragg falling back. The following letter, received from Bragg by flag of truce on the twentieth, tended to confirm this report:

headquarters army of the Tennessee, in the field, November 20, 1868.
Major-General U. S. Grant, Commanding United States Forces at Chattanooga:
General: As there may still be some non-combatants in Chattanooga, I deem it proper to notify you that prudence would dictate their early withdrawal.

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

Braxton Bragg, General Commanding.

Not being willing that he should get his army off in good order, Thomas was directed, early on the morning of the twenty-third, to ascertain the truth or falsity of this report, by driving in his pickets and making him develop his lines. This he did, with the troops stationed at Chattanooga and Howard's corps, (which had been brought into Chattanooga because of the apprehended danger to our potoon-bridges from the rise in the river and the enemy's rafts,) in the most gallant style, driving the enemy from his first line, and securing to us what is known as “Indian Hill,” or “Orchard Knoll,” and the low range of hills south of it. These points were fortified during the night, and artillery put in position on them. The report of this deserter was evidently not intended to deceive, but he had mistaken Bragg's Movements. It was afterward ascertained that one division of Buckner's corps had gone to join Longstreet, and a second division of the same corps had started, but was brought back in consequence of our attack.

On the night of the twenty-third of November, Sherman, with three divisions of his army, strengthened by Davis's division of Thomas's corps, which had been stationed along the north bank of the river, convenient to where the crossing was to be effected, was ready for operations. At an hour sufficiently early to secure the south bank of the river, just below the mouth of South-Chickamauga, by dawn of day, the pontoons in the North-Chickamauga were loaded with thirty armed men each, who floated quietly past the enemy's pickets, landed, and captured all but one of the guard, twenty in number, before the enemy was aware of the presence of a foe. The steamboat Dunbar, with a barge in tow, after having finished ferrying across the river the horses procured from Sherman, with which to move Thomas's artillery, was sent up from Chattanooga to aid in crossing artillery and troops; and by daylight of the morning of the twenty-fourth of November, eight thousand men were on the south side of the Tennessee, and fortified in rifle-trenches.

By twelve o'clock M., the pontoon-bridges across the Tennessee and the Chickamauga were laid, and the remainder of Sherman's forces crossed over, and at half past 3 P. M. the whole of the northern extremity of Missionary Ridge, to near the railroad tunnel, was in Sherman's possession. During the night he fortified the position thus secured, making it equal, if not superior, in strength to that held by the enemy.

By three o'clock of the same day, Colonel Long, with his brigade of cavalry, of Thomas's army, crossed to the south side of the Tennessee and to the north of Chickamauga Creek, and made a raid on the enemy's lines of communication. He burned Typer's Station, with many stores, cut the railroad at Cleveland, captured near a hundred wagons and over two hundred prisoners. His own loss was small.

Hooker carried out the part assigned him for this day equal to the most sanguine expectations. With Geary's division (Twelfth corps) and two brigades of Stanley's division (Fourth corps) of Thomas's army, and Osterhaus's division (Fifteenth corps) of Sherman's army, he scaled the western slope of Lookout Mountain, drove the enemy from his rifle-pits on the northern extremity and slope of the mountain, capturing many prisoners, without serious loss.

Thomas having done on the twenty-third, with his troops in Chattanooga, what was intended for the twenty-fourth, bettered and strengthened his advanced positions during the day, and pushed the Eleventh corps forward along the south bank of the Tennessee River, across Citico Creek, [196] one brigade of which, with Howard in person, reached Sherman just as he had completed the crossing of the river.

When Hooker emerged in sight of the northern extremity of Lookout Mountain, Carlin's brigade of the Fourteenth corps was ordered to cross Chattanooga Creek and form a junction with him. This was effected late in the evening, and after considerable fighting.

Thus, on the night of the twenty-fourth, our forces maintained an unbroken line, with open communications, from the north end of Lookout Mountain, through Chattanooga valley, to the north end of Missionary Ridge.

On the morning of the twenty-fifth, Hooker took possession of the mountain-top with a small force, and with the remainder of his command, in pursuance of orders, swept across Chattanooga valley, now abandoned by the enemy, to Rossville. In this march he was detained four hours building a bridge across Chattanooga Creek. From Rossville he ascended Missionary Ridge, and moved southward toward the centre of the now shortened line.

Sherman's attack upon the enemy's most northern and most vital point was vigorously kept up all day. The assaulting column advanced to the very rifle-pits of the enemy, and held this position firmly and without wavering. The right of the assaulting column being exposed to the danger of being turned, two brigades were sent to its support. These advanced in the most gallant manner over an open field on the mountain side to near the works of the enemy, and lay there partially covered from the fire for some time. The right of these two brigades rested near the head of a ravine or gorge in the mountain side, which the enemy took advantage of, and sent troops covered from view below them, and to their right rear. Being unexpectedly fired into from this direction, they fell back across the open field below them, and re-formed in good order in the edge of the timber. The column which attacked them were speedily driven to their intrenchments by the. assaulting column proper.

Early in the morning of the twenty-fifth, the remainder of Howard's corps reported to Sherman, and constituted a part of his forces during that day's battle, the pursuit, and subsequent advance for the relief of Knoxville.

Sherman's position not only threatened the right flank of the enemy, but, from his occupying a. line across the mountain and to the railroad bridge across Chickamauga Creek, his rear and stores at Chickamauga Station. This caused the enemy to move heavily against him. This movement of his being plainly seen from the position I occupied on Orchard Knoll, Baird's division of the Fourteenth corps was ordered to Sherman's support; but receiving a note from Sherman, informing me that he had all the force necessary, Baird was put in position on Thomas's left.

The appearance of Hooker's column was at this time anxiously looked for, and momentarily expected, moving north on the ridge, with his left in Chattanooga Valley, and his right east of the ridge. His approach was intended as the signal for storming the ridge in the centre with strong columns, but the time necessarily consumed in the construction of the bridge near Chattanooga Creek detained him to a later hour than was expected. Being satisfied from the latest information from him that he must, by this time, be on his way from Rossville, though not yet in sight, and discovering that the enemy, in his desperation to defeat or resist the progress of Sherman, was weakening his centre on Missionary Ridge, determined me to order the advance at once. Thomas was accordingly directed to move forward his troops constituting our centre — Baird's division, (Fourteenth corps,) Wood's and Sheridan's division, (Fourth corps,) and Johnson's division, (Fourteenth corps,) with a double line of skirmishers thrown out, followed in easy supporting distance by the whole force, and carry the rifle-pits at the foot of Missionary Ridge, and, when carried, to re-form his lines in the rifle-pits, with a view to carrying the top of the ridge.

These troops moved forward, drove the enemy from the rifle-pits at the base of the ridge like bees from a hive, stopped but a moment until the whole were in line, and commenced the ascent of the mountain from right to left almost simultaneously, following closely the retreating enemy without further orders. They encountered a fearful volley *of grape and canister from near thirty pieces of artillery and musketry from still well-filled rifle-pits on the summit of the ridge. Not a waver, however, was seen in all that long line of brave men. Their progress was steadily onward until the summit was in their possession. In this charge the casualties were remarkably few for the fire encountered. I can account for this only on the theory that the enemy's surprise at the audacity of such a charge caused confusion and purposeless aiming of their pieces.

The nearness of night, and the enemy still resisting the advance of Thomas's left, prevented a general pursuit that night, but Sheridan pushed forward to Mission Mills.

The resistance on Thomas's left being overcome, the enemy abandoned his position near the railroad-tunnel in front of Sherman, and by twelve o'clock at night was in full retreat; and the whole of his strong positions on Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga Valley, and Missionary Ridge were in our possession, together with a large number of prisoners, artillery, and small arms.

Thomas was directed to get Granger with his corps, and detachments enough firm other commands, including the force available at Kingston, to make twenty thousand men, in readiness to go to the relief of Knoxville upon the termination of the battle at Chattanooga--these troops to take with them four days rations, and a steamboat loaded with rations to follow up the liver.

On the evening of the twenty-fifth of November orders were given to both Thomas and Sherman to pursue the enemy early next morning, with [197] all their available force, except that under. Granger, intended for the relief of Knoxville.

On the morning of the twenty-sixth, Sherman advanced by way of Chickamauga Station, and Thomas's forces under Hooker and Palmer moved on the Rossville road toward Grapeville and Ringgold.

The advance of Thomas's forces reached Ringgold on the morning of the twenty-seventh, where they found the enemy in strong position in the gorge and on the crest of Taylor's Ridge, from which they dislodged him after a severe fight, in which we lost heavily in valuable officers and men, and continued the pursuit that day until near Tunnel Hill, a distance of twenty miles from Chattanooga.

Davis's division (Fourteenth corps) of Sherman's column reached Ringgold about noon of the same day. Howard's corps was sent by General Sherman to Red Clay to destroy the railroad between Dalton and Cleveland, and thus cut off Bragg's communication with Longstreet, which was successfully accomplished.

Had it not been for the imperative necessity of relieving Burnside, I would have pursued the broken, demoralized, and retreating enemy as long as supplies could have been found in the country. But my advices were, that Burnside's supplies could only last until the third of December. It was already getting late to afford the necessary relief. I determined, therefore, to pursue no further. Hooker was directed to hold the position he then occupied until the night of the thirtieth, but to go no further south at the expense of a fight. Sherman was directed to march to the railroad crossing of the Hiawassee, to protect Granger's flank until he was across that stream, and to prevent further reenforcements being sent by that route into East-Tennessee.

Returning from the front on the twenty-eighth, I found that Granger had not yet got off, nor would he have the number of men I directed. Besides, he moved with reluctance and complaint. I therefore determined, notwithstanding the fact that two divisions of Sherman's forces had marched from Memphis, and had gone into battle immediately on their arrival at Chattanooga, to send a him with his command; and orders in accordance therewith were sent him at Calhoun to assume command of the troops with Granger, in addition to those with him, and proceed with all possible despatch to the relief of Burnside.

General Elliot had been ordered by Thomas, on the twenty-sixth of November, to proceed from Alexandria, Tennessee, to Knoxville, with his cavalry division, to aid in the relief of that place.

The approach of Sherman caused Longstreet to raise the siege of Knoxville and retreat eastward on the night of the fourth of December. Sherman succeeded in throwing his cavalry into Knoxville on the night of the third.

Sherman arrived in person at Knoxville on the sixth, and after a conference with Burnside in reference to t “organizing a pursuing force large enough to overtake the enemy and beat him, or drive him out of the State,” Burnside was of the opinion that the corps of Granger, in conjunction with his own command, was sufficient for that purpose, and on the seventh addressed to Sherman the following communication:

Knoxville, Dec. 7, 1863.
To Major-General Sherman:
I desire to express to you and your command my most hearty thanks and gratitude, for your promptness in coming to our relief during the siege of Knoxville, and I am satisfied that your approach served to raise the siege. The emergency having passed, I do not deem, for the present, any other portion of your command but the corps of General Granger necessary for operations in this section; and, inasmuch as General Grant has weakened the forces immediately with him in order to relieve us, thereby rendering portions of General Thomas's less secure, I deem it advisable that all the troops now here, except those commanded by General Granger, should return at once to within supporting distance of the forces operating against General Bragg's army. In behalf of my command, I again desire to thank you and your command for the kindness you have done us.

A. E. Burnside, Major-General.

Leaving Granger's command at Knoxville, Sherman, with the remainder of the forces, returned by slow marches to Chattanooga.

I have not spoken more particularly of the result of the pursuit of the enemy, because the more detailed reports accompanying this do the subject justice. For the same reason I have not particularized the part taken by corps and division commanders.

To Brigadier-General W. F. Smith, Chief-Engineer, I feel under more than ordinary obligations for the masterly manner in which he discharged the duties of his position, and desire that his services may be fully appreciated by higher authorities.

The members of my staff discharged faithfully their respective duties, for which they have my warmest thanks.

Our losses in these battles were seven hundred and fifty-seven killed, four thousand five hundred and twenty-nine wounded, and three hundred and thirty missing--total, five thousand six hundred and sixteen.

The loss of the enemy in killed and wounded was probably less than ours, owing to the fact that he was protected by his intrenchments. while we were without cover. At Knoxville, however, his loss was many times greater than ours, making his entire losses at the two places equal to, if rot exceeding ours. We captured six thousand one hundred and forty-two prisoners, of whom two hundred and thirty-nine were commissioned officers; forty pieces of artillery, sixty-nine artillery carriages and caissons, and seven thousand stand of small arms.

The armies of the Cumberland and the Tennessee, for their energy and unsurpassed bravery in the three days battle of Chattanooga, [198] and the pursuit of the enemy; their patient endurance in marching to the relief of Knoxville; and the army of the Ohio for its masterly defence of Knoxville, and repeated repulses of Longstreet's assaults upon that place, are deserving of the gratitude of their country. I have the honor to be, Colonel, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

U. S. Grant, Major-General U. S. Army.


General Sherman's report.

headquarters Department and army of the Tennessee, Bridgeport, Ala., Dec. 19, 1863.
Brigadier-General John A. Rawlins, Chief of Staff to General Grant, Chattanooga, Tenn.:
General: For the first time, I am now at leisure to make an official record of the events with which the troops under my command have been connected during the eventful campaign which has just closed.

During the month of September last, the Fifteenth army corps, which I had the honor to command, lay in camps along the. Big Black, about twenty miles east of Vicksburgh, Miss.

It consisted of four divisions. The First, commanded by Brigadier-General B. J. Osterhaus, was composed of two brigades, led by Brigadier-General C. K. Woods and Colonel J. A. Williamson, of the Fourth Iowa. The Second, commanded by Brigadier-General Morgan L. Smith, was composed of two brigades, led by Generals Giles A. Smith and J. A. D. Lghtburn. The Third, commanded by Brigadier-General J. M. Tuttle, was composed of three brigades, led by Generals J. A. Momer and R. B. Buckland and Colonel J. J. Wood, of the Twelfth Iowa. The Fourth, commanded by Brigadier-General Hugh Ewing, was composed of three brigades, led by General J. M. Corse, Colonel Loomis, of the Twenty-sixth Illinois, and Colonel J. R. Cockrell, of the Seventieth Iowa.

On the twenty-second day of September, I received a telegraphic despatch from General Grant, then at Vicksburgh, commanding the department of the Tennessee, requiring me to detach one of my divisions to march to Vicksburgh, there to embark for Memphis, where it was to form part of an army to be sent to Chattanooga to reenforce General Rosecrans.

I designated the First division, and at four P. M. the same day it marched for Vicksburgh, and embarked the next day.

On the twenty-third of September, I was summoned to Vicksburgh by the General Commanding, who showed me several despatches from the General-in-Chief, which led him to suppose he would have to send me and my whole corps to Memphis and eastward, and I was instructed to prepare for such orders.

It was explained to me that in consequence of the low stage of water in the Mississippi, boats had arrived irregularly, and had brought despatches that seemed to conflict in meaning, and that John E. Smith's division, of McPherson's corps, had been ordered up to Memphis, and that I should take that division and leave one of my own in its stead to hold the line of the Big Black.

I detailed my Third division, General Tuttle, to remain and report to Major-General J. B. McPherson, commanding the Seventeenth corps, at Vicksburgh; and that of General John E. Smith, already started for Memphis, was styled the Third division, though it still belonged to the Seventeenth army corps.

This division is also composed of three brigades, commanded by General Mathias, Colonel G. B. Baum, of the Fifty-sixth Illinois, and Colonel J. J. Alexander, of the Fiftieth Indiana.

The Second and Fourth divisions were started for Vicksburgh the moment I was notified that boats were in readiness, and on the twenty-seventh September I embarked in person in the steamer Atlantic for Memphis, followed by a fleet of boats conveying these two divisions.

Our progress was slow, on account of the unprecedentedly low water in the Mississippi and the scarcity of coal and wood. We were compelled in places to gather fence-rails, and to land wagons and haul wood from the interior to the boats; but I reached Memphis during the night of the second of October, and the other boats came in on the third and fourth.

On arrival at Memphis I saw General Hurlbut, and read all the despatches and letters of instructions of General Halleck, and therein derived my instructions, which I construed to be as follows:

To conduct the Fifteenth army corps, and all other troops which could be spared from the line of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, to Athens, Ala., and thence report by letter for orders to General Rosecrans, commanding the army of the Cumberland at Chattanooga; to follow substantially the railroad eastwardly, repairing it as I moved; to look to my own lines for supplies, and in no event to depend on General Rosecrans for supplies, as the roads to his rear were already overtaxed to supply his present army.

I learned from General Hurlbut that Osterhaus's division was already out in front of Corinth, and that John E. Smith was still at Memphis, moving his troops and material out by rail as fast as its limited stock would carry them. General J. D. Webster was Superintendent of the railroad, and was enjoined to work night and day and expedite the movement as much as possible; but the capacity of the railroad was so small that I soon saw that I could move horses, mules, and wagons by the road under escort, and finally moved the entire Fourth division by land.

The enemy seemed to have had early notice of this movement, and he endeavored to thwart us from the start.

A considerable force assembled in a threatening attitude at Salem, south of Salisbury Station, and General Carr, who commanded at Corinth, felt compelled to turn back and use a part of my troops that had already reached Corinth to resist the threatened attack.

On Sunday, October eleventh, having put in [199] motion my whole force, I started myself for Corinth in a special train, with the battalion of the Thirteenth United States infantry for escort. We reached Collierville Station about noon, just in time to take part in the defence made of that station by Colonel D. C. Anthony, of the Sixty-sixth Indiana, against an attack made by General Chalmers with a force of about three thousand cavalry with eight pieces of artillery.

He was beaten off, the damage to the road repaired, and we resumed our journey next day, reaching Corinth at night.

I immediately ordered General Blair forward to Iuka with the First division, and as fast as I got troops up pushed them forward of Bear Creek, the bridge of which was completely destroyed, and an engineer regiment, under command of Colonel Flad, engaged in its repair.

Quite a considerable force of the enemy was in our front, near Tuscumbia, to resist our advance. It was commanded by General Stephen D. Lee, and composed of Roddy's and Furgeson's brigades, with irregular cavalry, amounting in the aggregate to about five thousand.

In person I moved from Corinth to Burnsville on the eighteenth, and to Iuka on the nineteenth of October.

Osterihau's division was in the advance, constantly skirmishing with the enemy. It was supported by Morgan L. Smith, both divisions under the general command of Major-General Blair.

John E. Smith's division covered the working party engaged in rebuilding the railroad.

Foreseeing difficulty in crossing the Tennessee, I had written to Admiral Porter at Cairo, asking him to watch the Tennessee and send up some gunboats the moment the stage of water admitted, and had also requested General Allen, at St. Louis, to despatch up to Eastport a steam-tug ferry-boat.

The Admiral, ever prompt and ready to assist us, had two gunboats up at Eastport under Captain Phelps, the very day after my arrival at Iuka, and Captain Phelps had a coal-barge decked over with which to cross horses and wagons before the arrival of the ferry-boat.

Sitll following literally the instructions of General Halleck, I pushed forward the repairs of the railroad, and ordered General Blair, with his two leading divisions, to drive the enemy beyond Tuscumbia. This he did successfully, after a pretty severe fight at Cane Creek, occupying Tuscumbia on the twenty-seventh of October.

In the mean time many important changes in command had occurred, which I must note here, to a proper understanding of the case.

General Grant had been called from Vicksburgh and sent to Chattanooga to command the three armies of the Ohio, Cumberland, and the Tennessee, and the department of the Termessee had been devolved on me, with instructions, however, to retain command of the army in the field.

At Iuka I made what appeared to me the best disposition of matters relating to this department, giving General McPherson full powers as to Mississippi, and General Hurlbut as to West-Tennessee, and assigned General Blair to the command of the Fifteenth army corps; and I summoned General Hurlbut from Memphis, and General Dodge from Corinth, and selected out of the Sixteenth corps a force of about eight thousand men, Which I directed General Dodge to organize with all expedition and with it to follow me eastward.

On the twenty-seventh October, when General Blair with two divisions was at Tuscumbia, I ordered General Ewing, with the Fourth division, to cross the Tennessee, by means of the gunboats and scow, as rapidly as possible, at Eastport, and push forward to Florence, which he did, and the same day a messenger from General Grant floated down the Tennessee over the Muscle Shoals, landed at Tuscumbia, and was sent to me at Iuka. He bore a short message from the General to this effect:

Drop all work on the Railroad east of Bear Creek; put your command toward Bridgeport till you meet orders.

Instantly the order was executed, and the order of march was reversed, and all columns directed to Eastport, the only place where I could cross the Tennessee.

At first I only had the gunboats and coalbarge, but the two transports and ferry-boat arrived on the thirty-first October, and the work of crossing was pushed with all the vigor possible.

In person I crossed, and passed to the head of the column in Florence on the first November, leaving the rear division to be conducted by General Blair, and marched to Rogersville and the Elk River. This was found to be impassable. To ferry would have consumed too much time, and to build a bridge still more, and there was no alternative but to turn up Elk River by way of Gilbertsboro, Elkton, etc., to the stone bridge at Fayetteville. There we crossed Elk, and proceeded to Winchester and Decherd.

At Fayetteville I received orders from General Grant to come to Bridgeport with the Fifteenth army corps, and leave General Dodge's command at Pulaski and along the railroad from Columbia to Decatur. I instructed General Blair to follow with the Second and First divisions by way of New-Market, Larkinsville, and Bellefonte, while I conducted the other two divisions by Decherd, the Fourth division crossing the mountains to Stevenson, and the Third by University Place and Sweiden's Cave.

In person I proceeded by Sweiden's Lane and Battle Creek, reaching Bridgeport at night of November thirteenth.

I immediately telegraphed to the Commanding-General my arrival and the position of my several divisions, and was summoned to Chattanooga.

I took the first boat during the night of the fourteenth for Kelly's, and rode into Chattanooga on the fifteenth.

I then learned the post assigned me in the [200] coming drama, was supplied with the necessary maps and information, and rode, during the sixteenth, in company with Generals Grant, Thomas, W. F. Smith, Brannan, and others, to the position on the west bank of the Tennessee, from which could be seen the camps of the enemy, compassing Chattanooga and the line of Missionary Hills with its terminus on Chickamauga Creek, the point that I was expected to take, hold, and fortify.

Pontoons with a full supply of balks and chesses had been prepared for the bridge over the Tennessee, and all things prearranged with a foresight that elicited my admiration. From the hills we looked down upon the amphitheatre of Chattanooga as on a map, and nothing remained but for me to put my troops in the desired position.

The plan contemplated that in addition to crossing the Tennessee and making a lodgment on the terminus of Missionary Ridge, I should demonstrate against Lookout Mountain near Trenton with a part of my command.

All on the Chattanooga were impatient for action, rendered almost acute by the natural apprehension felt for the safety of General Burnside in East-Tennessee.

My command had marched from Memphis, and I had pushed them as fast as the roads and distance would permit; but I saw enough of the condition of men and animals in Chattanooga to inspire me with renewed energy.

I immediately ordered my leading division (Ewing's) to march via Shell Mound to Trenton, demonstrate against Lookout Ridge, but to be prepared to turn quickly and follow me to Chattanooga, and in person I returned to Bridgeport, rowing a boat down the Tennessee from Kelly's, and immediately on arrival put in motion my division in the order they had arrived.

The bridge of boats at Bridgeport was frail, and, though used day and night, our passage was slow, and the roads thence to Chattanooga were dreadfully cut up and encumbered with the wagons of other troops stationed along the road.

I reached General Hooker's headquarters during a rain in the afternoon of the twentieth, and met General Grant's orders for the general attack for the next day. It was simply impossible for me to fill my post in time. Only one division, General John E. Smith's, was in position. General Ewing was still in Trenton, and the other two were toiling along the terrible road from Shell Mound to Chattanooga.

No troops ever were or could be in better condition than mine, or who labored harder to fulfil their part. On a proper representation, General Grant postponed the attack.

On the twenty-first, I got the Second division over Brown's Ferry Bridge, and General Ewing got up, but the bridge broke repeatedly, and delays occurred which no human sagacity could prevent.

All labored night and day, and General Ewing got over on the twenty-third, but my rear division was cut off by the broken bridge at Brown's Ferry, and could not join me, but I offered to go in action with my three divisions, supported by Brigadier-General Jeff. C. Davis, leaving one of my best divisions to act with General Hooker against Lookout Mountain. That division has not joined me yet, but I know and feel that it has served the country well, and that it has reflected honor on the Fifteenth army corps, and the army of the Tennessee.

I leave the record of its history to General Hooker, or whoever has had its services during the late memorable events, confident that all will do it merited honor.

At last, on the twenty-third of November, my Third division behind the hills opposite the mouths of Chickamauga, I despatched the brigade of the Second division, commanded by General Giles A. Smith, up under cover of the hills to North-Chickamauga, to man the boats designed for the pontoon-bridge, with orders at midnight to drop down silently to a point above the mouth of South-Chickamauga, then land the regiments, who were to move along the river quietly, and capture the enemy's river pickets. General Giles A. Smith then to drop rapidly below the mouth of Chickamauga, disembark the rest of his brigade, and despatch the boats across for fresh loads.

These orders were skilfully executed, and every picket but one captured.

The balance of General Morgan L. Smith's division was then rapidly ferried across; that of General John E. Smith followed, and by daylight of November twenty-fourth, two divisions of about eight thousand men were on the east bank of the Tennessee, and had thrown up a very respectable rifle-trench as a tete-du-pont.

As soon as the day dawned, some of the boats were taken from the use of ferrying, and a pontoon-bridge begun under the immediate direction of Captain Dresser, the whole planned and supervised by General W. F. Smith in person. A pontoon-bridge was also built at the same time over Chickamauga Creek, near its mouth, giving communication with the two regiments left on the north bank, and fulfilling a most important purpose at a later stage of the drama.

I will here bear my willing testimony to the completeness of this whole business. All the officers charged with the work were present, and manifested a skill which I cannot praise too highly. I have never beheld any work done so quietly, so well; and I doubt if the history of the war can show a bridge of that extent, (namely, one thousand three hundred and fifty feet,) laid down so noiselessly and well in so short a time, I attribute it to the genius and intelligence of General W. F. Smith.

The steamer Dunbar arrived up in the course of the morning, and relieved General Ewing's division of the labor of rowing across, but by noon the pontoon-bridge was down, and my [201] Third division were across with men, horses, artillery, and every thing. General Jeff. C. Davis was ready to take the Missionary Hills.

The movement had been carefully explained to all division commanders, and at one P. M. we marched from the river in three columns in echelon; the left, General Morgan L. Smith, the column of direction, following substantially Chickamauga Creek; the centre, General J. E. Smith, in columns, doubled on the centre at full brigade intervals to the right and rear; the right, General Ewing, in column at the same distance to the right and rear, prepared to deploy to the right, on the supposition that we would meet an enemy in that direction.

Each head of column was covered by a good line of skirmishers, with supports. A light drizzling rain prevailed, and the clouds hung low, cloaking our movements from the enemy's tower of observation on Lookout. We soon gained the foot-hills, our skirmishers kept up the face of the hill, followed by their supports, and at half-past 3 P. M. we gained with no loss the desired point.

A brigade of each division was pushed up rapidly to the top of the hill, and the enemy, for the first time, seemed to realize the movement, but too late, for we were in possession. He opened with artillery, but General Ewing soon got some of Captain Richardson's guns up that steep hill, and we gave back artillery, and the enemy's skirmishers made one or two ineffectual dashes at General Lightburn, who had swept around and got a further hill, which was the real continuation of the ridge.

From studying all the maps, I had inferred that Missionary Ridge was a continuous hill, but we found ourselves on two high points, with a deep depression between us and the one immediately over the tunnel, which was my chief objective point. The ground we had gained, however, was so important that I could leave nothing to chance, and ordered it to be fortified during the night. One brigade of each division was left on the hill, one of General Morgan L. Smith's closed the gap to Chickamauga Creek, two of General John E. Smith's were drawn back to the base in reserve, and General Ewing's right was extended down into the plain, thus crossing the ridge in a general line facing south-east.

The enemy felt our left flank about four P. M., and a pretty sharp engagement with artillery and muskets ensued, when he drew off, but it cost us dear, for General Giles A. Smith was severely wounded, and had to go to the rear, and the command of the brigade then devolved on Colonel Tupper, One Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois, who managed it with skill during the rest of the operations.

At the moment of my crossing the bridge, General Howard appeared, having come with three regiments from Chattanooga along the east bank of the Tennessee, connecting my new position with that of the main army in Chattanooga. He left the three regiments, which I attached temporarily to General Ewing's right, and he returned to his own corps at Chattanooga. As night closed, I ordered General Jeff. C. Davis to keep one of his brigades at the bridge, one close up to my position, and one intermediate. Thus we passed the night, heavy details being kept at work on the intrenchments on the hill.

During the night the sky cleared away bright, and a cold frost filled the air, and our camp-fires revealed to the enemy and to our friends in Chattanooga our position on Missionary Ridge.

About midnight I received at the hands of Major Rowley, of General Grant's staff, orders to attack the enemy at dawn of day, and notice that General Thomas would attack in force early in the day.

Accordingly, before day I was in the saddle, attended by all my staff, rode to the extreme left of our position, near Chickamauga, thence up the hill held by General Lightburn, and round to the extreme right of General Ewing.

Catching as accurate an idea of the ground as possible by the dim light of morning, I saw that our line of attack was in the direction of Missionary Ridge, with wings supporting on either flank; quite a valley lay between us and the next hill of the series, and this hill presented steep sides, the one to the west partially cleared, but the other covered with the native forest; the crest of the ridge was narrow and wooded.

The further point of the hill was held by the enemy with a breastwork of logs and fresh earth, filled with men and two guns. The enemy was also seen in great force on a still higher hill beyond the tunnel, from which he had a fair plunging fire on the hill in dispute.

The gorge between, through which several roads and the railroad tunnel pass, could not be seen from our position, but formed the natural place d'armes where the enemy covered his masses, to resist our contemplated movement of turning his right and endangering his communications with his depot at Chickamauga.

As soon as possible, the following dispositions were made:

The brigades of Colonels Cockrell and Alexander and General Lightburn were to hold our hill as the key point; General Corse, with as much of his brigade as could operate along the narrow ridge, was to attack from our right centre; General Lightburn was to despatch a good regiment from his position to cooperate with General Corse; and General Morgan L. Smith was to move alone the east base of Missionary Ridge, connecting with General Corse, and Colonel Loomis, in like manner, to move along the west base, supported by the two reserve brigades of General John E. Smith.

The sun had already risen before General Corse had completed his preparations and his bugle sounded the “forward.”

The Fortieth Illinois, supported by the Forty-sixth Ohio, on our right centre, with the Twentieth Ohio, Colonel Jones, moved down the face of our hill, and up that held by the enemy. The line advanced to within about eighty yards of the intrenched position, where General Corse [202] found a secondary crest, which he gained and held.

To this point he called his reserves, and asked for reenforcements, which were sent, but the space was narrow, and it was not well to crowd the men, as the enemy's artillery and musketry fire swept the approach to his position, giving him great advantage.

As soon as General Corse had made his preparations he assaulted, and a close, severe contest ensued, lasting more than an hour, giving and losing ground, but never the position first obtained, from which the enemy in vain attempted to drive him.

General Morgan L. Smith kept gaining ground on the left spur of Missionary Ridge, and Colonel Loomis got abreast of the tunnel and the railroad embankment on his side, drawing the enemy's fire, and to that extent relieving the assaulting party on the hill-crest.

Calander had four of his guns on General Ewing's hill, and Captain Wood his Napoleon battery on General Lightburn's; also, two guns of Dillon's battery were with Colonel Alexander's brigade.

The suddenness of the attack disconcerted the men, and, exposed as they were in the open field, they fell back in some disorder to the lower end of the field, and re-formed. These two brigades were in the nature of supports, and did not constitute a part of the real attack.

The movement, seen from Chattanooga, five miles off; gave rise to the report, which even General Meigs had repeated, that we were repulsed on the left. Not so. The real attacking columns of General Corse, Colonel Loomis, and General Smith were not repulsed. They engaged in a close struggle all day persistently, stubbornly, and well. When the two reserve brigades of General John E. Smith fell back as described, the enemy made a show of pursuit, but were caught in flank by the well-directed fire of our brigade on the wooded crest, and hastily sought his cover behind the hill.

Thus matters stood about three P. M.

The day was bright and clear, and the amphitheatre of Chattanooga lay in beauty at our fect. I had watched for the attack of General Thomas “early in the day.” Column after column of the enemy were streaming toward me, gun after gun poured its concentric shot on us from every hill and spur that gave a view of any part of the ground held by us.

All directed their fire as carefully as possible to clear the hill to our front without endangering our own men. The fight raged furiously about ten A. M., when General Corse received a severe wound and was carried off the field, and the command of the brigade, and of the assault at that key point, devolved on that tine young officer, Colonel Wolcott, of the Forty-sixth Ohio, who filled his post manfully. He continued the contest, pressing forward at all points. Colonel Loomis had made good progress to the right; and at about two P. M. General John E. Smith, judging the battle to be most severe on the hill, and being required to support General Ewing, ordered up Colonel Runion's and General Matthias's brigades across the fields to the summit that was being fought for. They moved up under a heavy fire of cannon and musketry, and joined to Colonel Wolcott, but the crest was so narrow that they necessarily occupied the west face of the hill. The enemy at the time being massed in great strength in the tunnel gorge, moved a large force, under cover of the ground and the thick bushes, and suddenly appeared on the right and rear of this command.

An occasional shot from Fort Wood and Orchard Knoll, and some musketry fire and artillery over about Lookout, was all that I could detect on our side; but about three P. M. I noticed the white line of musketry fire, in front of Orchard Knoll, extending further right and left, and on. We could only hear a faint echo of sound, but enough was seen to satisfy me that General Thomas was moving on the centre. I knew our attack had drawn vast masses of the enemy to our flank, and felt sure of the result. Some guns which had been firing at us all day were silent, or were turned in a different direction.

The advancing line of musketry fire from Orchard Knoll disappeared to us behind a spur of the hill, and could no longer be seen, and it was not until night closed that I knew that the troops in Chattanooga had swept across Missionary Ridge, and broken the enemy's centre.

Of course, the victory was won, and pursuit was the next step. I ordered General Morgan L. Smith to feel the tunnel, and it was found vacant, save by the dead and wounded of our own and enemy's, commingled.

The reserve of General Jeff. C. Davis was ordered to march at once, by the pontoon-bridge across the Chickamauga at its mouth, and push forward for the depot.

General Howard had reported to me, in the early part of the day, with the remainder of his army corps, (the Eleventh,) and had been posted to connect my left with Chickamauga Creek.

He was ordered to repair an old broken bridge about two miles up Chicklamauga, and to follow General D)avis at four A. M., and the Fifteenth army corps to march at daylight. But General Howard found to repair the bridge more of a task than at first supposed, and we were compelled all to cross Clickamauga on the new pontoon-bridge at its mouth.

By about eleven A. M., General Jeff. C. Davis's division appeared at the depot, just in time to see it in flames. He entered with one brigade, and found the enemy occupying two hills partially intrenched just beyond the dopot. These He soon drove away.

The depot presented a scene of desolation that war alone exhibits. Corn-meal and corn, in huge burning piles, broken wagons, abandoned caissons, two thirty-two pounder rifled guns, with carriages burned, pieces of pontoons, balks, chesses, etc., (destined, doubtless, for the famous invasion of Kentucky,) and all manner of things [203] burning and broken. Still the enemy kindly left us a good supply of forage for our horses, and meal, beans, etc., for our men.

Pausing but a short while, we passed on, the road lined with broken wagons and abandoned caissons, till night. Just as the head of the column emerged from a dark, miry swamp, we encountered the rear-guard of the retreating army. The fight was sharp, but the night closed in so dark that we could not move. General Grant came up to us there--General Davis still leading.

At daylight we resumed the march, and at Greysville, where a good bridge spanned the Chickamauga, we found the corps of General Palmer, on the south bank. He informed us that General Hooker was on a road still further south, and we could hear his guns near Ringgold.

As the roads were filled with all the troops they could accommodate, I then turned to the east to fulfil another part of the general plan, namely, to break up all communications between Bragg and Longstreet.

We had all sorts of rumors as to the latter, but it was manifest that we should interpose a proper force between these two armies.

I therefore directed General Howard to move to Parker's Gap, and thence send a competent force to Red Clay, or the Council Ground, and there destroy a large section of the railroad which connects with Dalton and Cleveland. This work was most successfully and completely performed that day.

The division of General Jeff. C. Davis was moved up close to Ringgold, to assist General Hooker, if needed, and the Fifteenth corps held at Greysville, for any thing that might turn up.

About noon, I had a message from General Hooker, saying that he had had a pretty hard fight at the mountain pass just beyond Ringgold, and he wanted me to come forward, and turn the position.

He was not aware, at the time, that Howard, by running through Parker's Gap toward Red Clay, had already turned it. So I rode forward to Ringgold, and found the enemy had already fallen back to Tunnel Hill. He was already out of the valley of Chickamauga, and on ground where the waters flow to the Coosa. He was out of Tennessee.

I found General Grant at Ringgold, and, after some explanations as to breaking up the railroad from Ringgold back to the State line, as soon as some cars loaded with wounded could be pushed back to Chickamauga Depot, I was ordered to: move slowly and leisurely back to Chattanooga.

On the following day, the Fifteenth corps destroyed absolutely and effectually the railroad, from a point half-way between Greysville and Ringgold, back to the State line; and General Grant, coming to Greysville, consented that, instead of returning to Chattanooga, I might send back my artillery, wagons, and impediments, and make a circuit by the north as far as the Hiawassee.

Accordingly, on the morning of November twenty-ninth, General Howard moved from Parker's Gap to Cleveland, General Davis by way of McDaniel's Gap, and General Blair, with two divisions of the Fifteenth army corps, by way of Julian's Gap — all meeting at Cleveland that night. Here another good break was made in the Cleveland and Dalton road. On the thirtieth, the army moved to Charleston, General Howard approaching so rapidly that the enemy evacuated in haste, leaving the bridge but partially damaged, and five car-loads of flour and provisions on the north bank of the Hiawassee.

This was to have been the limit of our journey. Officers and men had brought no luggage or provisions, and the weather was bitter cold. I had hardly entered the town of Charleston, when General Wilson arrived with a letter from General Grant, at Chattanooga, informing me that the latest authentic accounts from Knoxville were to the twenty-seventh, at which time General Burnside was completely invested, and had provisions only to include the third December; that General Granger had left Chattanooga for Knoxville by the railroad, with a steamboat following him in the river; but the General feared Granger could not reach Knoxville in time, and ordered me to take command of all troops moving to the relief of Knoxville, and hasten to Burnside.

Seven days before, we had left our camps on the other side of the Tennessee, with two days rations, without a change of clothing, stripped for the fight, with but a single blanket or coat per man — from myself to the private included; of course, we then had no provisions, save what we gathered by the road, and were ill supplied for such a march.

But we learned that twelve thousand of our fellow-soldiers were beleaguered in the mountain town of Knoxville, eighty-four miles distant, that they needed relief, and must have it in three days. This was enough, and it had to be done.

General Howard, that night, repaired and planked the railroad bridge, and at daylight the army passed the Hiawassee, and marched to Athens, fifteen miles. I had supposed rightfully that General Granger was about the mouth of the Hiawassee, and sent him notice of my orders that the General had sent me a copy of his written instructions, which were full and complete, and that he must push for Kingston, near which we would make a junction. By the time I reached Athens, I had time to study the geography, and sent him orders which found him at Decatur; that Kingston was out of our way; that he should send his boat to Kingston, but with his command strike across to Philadelphia, and report to me there. I had but a small force of cavalry, which was, at the time of my receipt of General Grant's orders, scouting over and about Benton and Columbus. I left my aid, Major McCoy, at Charleston, to communicate with the cavalry, and hurry it forward. It overtook me in the night at Athens.

On the second December, the army moved [204] rapidly north toward London, twenty-six miles distant.

About eleven A. M., the cavalry passed to the head of the column, and was ordered to push to Loudon, and, if possible, save the pontoon-bridge across the Tennessee, held by a brigade of the enemy, commanded by General Vaughn. The cavalry moved with such rapidity as to capture every picket; but the brigade of Vaughn had artillery in position, covered with earthworks, and displayed a force too respectable to be carried by a cavalry dash, and darkness closed in before General Howard's infantry got in.

The enemy abandoned that place in the night, destroying the pontoons, running three locomotives and forty-eight cars into the Tennessee, and abandoning a large quantity of provisions, four guns, and other material, which General Howard took at daylight.

But the bridge was gone, and we were forced to turn cast, and trust to General Burnside's bridge at Knoxville.

It was all-important that General Burnside should have notice of our coming, and but one day of the time remained.

Accordingly, at Philadelphia, during the night of December second, I sent my Aid, Captain Audenreid, forward to Colonel Long, commanding the brigade of cavalry, to explain to him how all-important it was that General Burnside should have notice within twenty-four hours of our approach, and ordering him to select the best material of his command to start at once, ford the Little Tennessee, and push into Knoxville at whatever cost of life and horseflesh.

Captain Audenreid was ordered to go along. The distance to be travelled was about forty miles, and the roads villainous. Before day they were off, and at daylight the Fifteenth corps was turned from Philadelphia to the Little Tennessee at Morgantown, where my maps represented the river as very shallow, but it found too deep for fording, and the water freezing cold — width two hundred and forty yards, depth from two to five feet. Horses could ford, but artillerymen could not. A bridge was indispensable. General Wilson, who accompanied me, undertook to superintend the bridge, and I am under many obligations to him, as I was without an engineer, having sent Captain Jenny back to Greysville to survey the field of battle. We had our pioneers, but only such tools as axes, picks, and spades; but General Wilson, working part with crib-work and part with trestles, made of the houses of the late town of Morgantown, progressed apace, and by dark of December fourth troops and animals passed on the bridge, and by daylight of the fifth the Fifteenth corps, General Blair, was over, and General Granger's corps and General Davis's division were ready to pass; but the diagonal bracings were imperfect for want of proper spikes, and the bridge broke, causing delay.

I had ordered General Blair to march out on the Marysville road five miles, there to await notice that General Granger was on a parallel road abreast of him, and in person I was at a house where the roads parted, when a messenger rode up bringing me a few words from General Burnside, dated December fourth.

Colonel Long had arrived at Knoxville with his cavalry, and all was well there. Longstreet still lay before the place, but there were symptoms of a speedy departure. I felt that I had accomplished the first great step in the problem for the relief of General Burnside's army, but still urged on the work.

As soon as the bridge was mended, all the troops moved forward. General Howard had marched from Loudon and had formed a pretty good ford for his wagons and horses at Davis, seven miles from Morgantown, and had made an ingenious bridge of the wagons left by Vaughn at Loudon, on which to pass his men. He marched by Unitia and Louisville. On the night of the fifth, all the heads of columns communicated at Marysville, where I met Major Van Buren, of General Burnside's staff, announcing that Longstreet had the night before retreated on the Rutledge, Rodgersville, and Bristol road, leading to Virginia; that General Burnside's cavalry was on his heels; that the General desired to see me in person as soon as I could come to Knoxville. I ordered all the troops to halt and rest, except the two divisions of General Granger, which were ordered to move forward to Little River, and General Granger to report in person to General Burnside for orders.

His force was originally designed to reenforce General Burnside, and it was eminently proper that it should join in the stern chase after Longstreet. On the morning of December sixth, I rode from Marysville into Knoxville and met General Burnside. General Granger arrived later in the day. We examined his lines of fortifications, which were a wonderful production for the short time allowed in the selection of was ground and construction of work. It seemed to me they were nearly impregnable. We examined the redoubt named Saunders, where, on the Sunday previous, three brigades of the enemy had assaulted and met a bloody repulse. Now all was peaceful and quiet, where, but a. few hours before, the deadly bullet sought its victim, all round about that hilly barren.

The General explained fully and frankly what he had done and what he had proposed to do. He asked of me nothing but General Granger's command, and suggested, in view of the large force I had brought from Chattanooga, that I should return with due expedition to the line of the Hiawassee, lest Bragg, reenforced, might take advantage of his absence to assume the offensive. I asked him to reduce it to writing, which he did, and I here introduce it as part of my report:

headquarters army of the Ohio, Knoxville, December 7, 1863.
Major-Gen W. T. Sherman, Commanding, etc.:
General: I desire to express to you and your command my most hearty thanks and gratitude for your promptness in coming to our relief [205] during the siege of Knoxville; and I am satisfied your approach served to raise the siege.

The emergency having passed, I do not deem for the present any other portion of your command but the corps of General Granger necessary for operations in this section; and inasmuch as General Grant has weakened the force immediately with him in order to relieve us, thereby rendering the position of General Thomas less secure, I deem it advisable that all the troops now here, save those commanded by General Granger, should return at once to within supporting distance of the forces in front of Bragg's army.

In behalf of my command, I desire again to thank you and your command for the kindness you have done us.

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

A. E. Burnside, Major-General Commanding.

Accordingly, having seen the forces of General Burnside move out of Knoxville in pursuit of Longstreet, and General Granger's move in, I put in motion my own command to return.

General Howard was ordered to move, via Davis's Ford and Sweetwater, to Athens, with a guard formed at Charleston, to hold and repair the bridge which the enemy had taken after our passage up. General Jeff. C. Davis moved to Columbus on the Iliawassee, via Madisonville, and the two divisions of the Fifteenth corps moved to Telire Plains, to cover a movement of cavalry across the mountain into Georgia to overtake a wagon train which had dodged us on our way up, and had escaped by way of Murphy. Subsequently, on a report from General Howard that the enemy still held Charleston, I directed General Ewing's division to Athens, and went in person to Telire with General Morgan L. Smith's division. By the ninth, all our troops were in position, and we held the rich country between the Little Tennessee and the Hiawassee. The cavalry under Colonel Long passed the mountains at Telire, and proceeded about seventeen miles beyond Murphy, when Colonel Long deeming his further pursuit of the wagon train useless, he returned on the twelfth to Telire.

I then ordered him and the division of General Morgan L. Smith to move to Charleston, to which I point I had previously ordered the corps of General Howard.

On the fourteenth of December, all of my command on the field lay along the Hiawassee. Having communicated to General Grant the actual state of affairs, I received orders to leave on the line of the Hawassee all the cavalry and come to Chattanooga with the balance of my command. I left the brigade of cavalry, commanded by Colonel Long, reenforced by the Fifth Ohio cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Heath, the only cavalry properly belonging to the Fifteenth army corps, at Charleston, and with the remainder moved by easy marches by Cleveland and Tymus depot into Chattanooga, when I received in person from General Grant, orders to transfer back to the appropriate commands the corps of General Howard and division commanded by General Jeff. C. Davis, and to conduct the Fifteenth army corps to its new field of operations.

It will thus appear that we have been constantly in motion since our departure from the Big Black until the present moment. I have been unable to receive from subordinate commanders the usual full detailed reports, and have therefore been compelled to make up this report from my own personal memory, but as soon as possible subordinate reports will be received and duly forwarded.

In reviewing the facts, I must do justice to my command for the patience, cheerfulness, and courage which officers and men have displayed throughout, in battle, on the march, and in camp. For long periods, without regular rations or supplies of any kind, they have marched through mud and over rocks, sometimes barefooted, without a murmur, without a moment's rest. After a march of over four hundred miles, without stop for three successive nights, we crossed the Tennessee, fought our part of the battle of Chattanooga, pursued the enemy out of Tennessee, and then turned more than one hundred miles north, and compelled Longstreet to raise the siege of Knoxville, which gave so much anxiety to the whole country.

It is hard to realize the importance of these events without recalling the memory of the general feeling which pervaded all minds at Chattanooga prior to our arrival. I cannot speak of the Fifteenth army corps without a seeming vanity, but as I am no longer its commander, I assert that there is no better body of soldiers in America than it, or who have done more or better service. I wish all to feel a just pride in its real honors. To General Howard and his command, to General Jeff C. Davis and his, I am more than usually indebted for the intelligence of commanders and fidelity of command. The brigade of Colonel Buschbrek, belonging to the Eleventh corps, which was the first to come out of Chattanooga to my flank, fought at the Tunnel Hill in connection with General Ewing's division, and displayed a courage almost amounting to rashness; following the enemy almost to the tunnel gorge, it lost many valuable lives, prominent among them Lieutenant-Colonel Taft, spoken of as a. most gallant soldier.

In General Howard throughout I found a polished and Christian gentleman, exhibiting the highest and most chivalrous traits of the soldier.

General Davis handled his division with artistic skill, more especially at the moment we encountered the enemy's rear-guard near Greysville at nightfall. I must award to this division the credit of the best order during our marches through East-Tennessee, when long marches and the necessity of foraging to the right and left gave some reasons for disordered ranks.

Inasmuch as exceptions might be taken to my explanation of the temporary confusion, during the battle of Chattanooga, in the two brigades of General Matthews and Colonel Baum, I will here state that accidents will happen in battle as elsewhere; [206] and at the point where they so manfully went to relieve the pressure in other parts of our assaulting line they exposed themselves unconsciously to an enemy vastly superior in force, and favored by the shape of the ground. Had that enemy come out on equal terms, these brigades would have shown their mettle, which has been tried more than once before, and stood the test of fire. They re-formed their ranks, and were ready to support General Ewing's division in a very few minutes, and the circumstance would have hardly called for a notice on my part, had riot others reported for my wing of the army at a distance of nearly five miles, from which could only be seen the troops in the open field when this affair occurred.

I now subjoin the best report of casualties I am able to compile from the records thus far received:

Fifteenth army corps.

 Killed.Wounded.Missing.Total.
First Division,8736466497
Second Division,10902102
Third Division,89288122499
Fourth Division,7253521628
    
Total loss in Fifteenth Army Corps,1726

Eleventh army corps.

 Killed.Wounded.Missing.Total.
Burkbank Brigade,3714581263

General Jeff C. Davis has sent in no report of casualties in his division, but his loss was small.

Among the killed were some of our most valuable officers — Colonels Putnam of the Ninety-third Illinois, O'Meara of the Ninetieth Illinois, Torrence of the Thirtieth Iowa, Lieutenant-Colonel Taft of the Eleventh corps, and Major Bushnell of the Thirteenth Illinois volunteers.

Among the wounded are Generals Giles A. Smith, J. M. Corse, and Matthews; Colonel Baum; Colonel Wangeline, Twelfth Missouri volunteers; Lieutenant-Colonel Patridge, Thirteenth Illinois volunteers; Major P. J. Welch, Fifty-sixth Illinois volunteers; and Major M. Allen, Tenth Iowa volunteers.

Among the missing is Lieutenant-Colonel Archer, Seventeenth Iowa.

My report is already so long, that I must for-bear mentioning acts of individual merit. These will be recorded in the reports of division commanders, which I will cheerfully indorse, but I must say that it is but justice that colonels of regiments who have so long and so well commanded brigades as in the following cases should be commissioned to the grade which they have filled with so much usefulness and credit to the public service, namely:

Colonels J. R. Cockerell, Seventieth Ohio volunteers; J. M. Loomis, Twenty-sixth Illinois; C. E. Wolcott, Forty-sixth Ohio; J. A. Williamson, Fourth Iowa; G. B. Baum, Fifty-sixth Illinois; J. J. Alexander, Fifty-ninth Indiana.

My personal staff, as usual, have served their country with fidelity and credit to themselves throughout these events, and have received my personal thanks.

Inclosed you will please find a map of that part of the battle-field of Chattanooga, fought over by the troops under my command, surveyed and drawn by Captain Jenny, of my staff. I have the honor to be,

W. T. Sherman, Major-General Commanding.


Report of Major-General Thomas.

headquarters Department of the Cumberland, Chattanooga, Dec. 1, 1863.
Brigadier-General L. Thomas, Adjutant-General U. S. A., Washington, D. C.:
General: The following operations of the army of the Cumberland, since October thirty-first, are respectfully submitted to the General-in-Chief:

As soon as communications with Bridgeport had been made secure, and the question of supplying the army at this point rendered certain, preparations were at once commenced for driving the enemy from his position in our immediate front — on Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge — and if possible to send a force to the relief of Knoxville. To enable me to dislodge the enemy from the threatening position he had assumed in our front, guns of a heavier calibre than those with the army were needed; also additional means for crossing the Tennessee River. Brigadier-General Brannan, Chief of Artillery, was directed to send for the necessary number of guns and ammunition, and, after consulting with Brigadier-General W. F. Smith, Chief-Engineer, to prepare the batteries for the guns on their arrival. While awaiting the arrival of the guns and ammunition, work was prosecuted on the fortifications around the town. In addition to his duties of superintending the work on the fortifications, General Smith pushed vigorously the construction of two pontoon-bridges, to be used in the execution of the movements which were determined upon as necessary to a successful dislodgment of the enemy.

Guerrillas having become somewhat troublesome to the north-east of McMinnville and east of the Caney Fork of the Cumberland, Brigadier-General Elliott, Chief of Cavalry, was ordered, November fourteenth, to establish his headquarters, with the First division of cavalry, at or near Alexandria, and employ the division in hunting and exterminating these marauders. Elliott reached Alexandria on the eighteenth, and on the twenty-seventh reports that his scouts met those of Burnside on Hint Ridge, cast of Sparta, and that Lieutenant-Colonel Brownlow, with detachments from the First East-Tennessee and Ninth Pennsylvania cavalry, attacked the rebel Colonel Murray on the twenty-sixth at Sparta, killing one, wounding two, and capturing ten of the enemy, including a lieutenant of Champ Ferguson's; he also captured a few horses and ammunition, and destroyed extensive salt-works used by the rebels. A company of scouts under Captain Brixir also encountered a party of guerrillas near Beersheba Springs, captured fifteen or twenty and dispersed the rest. Brigadier-General R. S. Granger reports from Nashville, November second, that “a mixed command, under Lieutenant-Colonel Scully, First Middle Tennessee [207] infantry, sent out from Nashville, attacked and defeated Hawkins and other guerrilla chiefs and pursued them to Centreville, Dickman County, where Hawkins made another stand, attacking our forces while crossing the river. Hawkins was again routed and pursued until his forces dispersed. Rebel loss from fifteen to twenty killed and sixty prisoners; our loss, one severely and several slightly wounded.” Again, on November fourth, that “Major Fitzgibbon, Fourteenth Michigan infantry, came upon the combined forces of Cooper, Kirk, Williams, and Scott, (guerrillas,) at Lawrenceburgh, thirty-five miles from Columbia, and after a severe hand-to-hand fight, defeated them, killing eight, wounding seven, and capturing twenty-four prisoners; among the latter are one captain and two lieutenants. Our loss, three men slightly wounded and eight horses killed. He reports the enemy four hundred strong, and his force one hundred and twenty.” November thirteenth, “Captain Cutter, with one company of mounted infantry and a portion of Whittemore's battery, (mounted,) belonging to the garrison of Clarksville, had a fight near Palmyra with Captain Grey's company of guerrillas, killing two, wounding five, and taking one prisoner; Cutter's loss, one lieutenant and one man wounded.” November sixteenth, “Scout organized by General Paine and sent out from Gallatin and La Vergne returned, and report having killed five and captured twenty-six guerrillas, with horses, sheep, cattle, and hogs in their possession, collected for the use of the rebel army.”

Brigadier-General Crook, commanding Second division of cavalry, was ordered, November seventeenth, to concentrate his division at or near Huntsville, Ala., and to patrol the north side of the Tennessee from Decatur to Bridgeport, and to hunt up bands of guerrillas reported to be swarming about in that region, arresting and robbing Union citizens. General Crook reports, on the twenty-first, that an expedition sent down the Tennessee had destroyed nine boats between Whitesburgh and Decatur, some of them sixty feet long. The expedition crossed the river and drove off the rebels, taking their boats. From the best information to be obtained, there were two small regiments of cavalry and one battery on the other side, doing picket-duty. Lee and Roddy reported as having gone to Mississippi.

Major-General Sherman, commanding army of the Tennessee, having been ordered, with the Fifteenth corps, to this point, to participate in the operations against the enemy, reached Bridgeport with two divisions on the----. He came to the front himself, and, having examined the ground, expressed himself confident of his ability to execute his share of the work. The plan of operations was then written out substantially as follows:

Sherman, with the Fifteenth corps, strengthened with one division from my command, was to effect a crossing of the Tennessee River, just below the mouth of the South-Chickamauga, on Saturday, November twenty-first, at daylight; his crossing to be protected by artillery planted on the heights on the north bank of the river. After crossing his force, he was to carry the heights of Missionary Ridge, from their northern extremity to about the railroad tunnel, before the enemy could concentrate a force against him. I was to cooperate with Sherman by concentrating my troops in Chattanooga Valley on my left flank, leaving only the necessary force to defend the fortifications on the right and centre, with a movable column of one division in readiness to move wherever ordered. This division was to show itself as threateningly as possible on the most practicable line for making an attack up the valley. I was then to effect a junction with Sherman, making my advance from the left, well toward the north end of Mission Ridge, and moving as nearly simultaneously with Sherman as possible. The junction once formed, and the ridge carried, communications would be at once established between the two armies by roads running on the south bank of the river; further movements to depend on those of the enemy. Lookout Valley was. to be held by Geary's division of the Twelfth corps, and the two brigades of the Fourth corps ordered to cooperate with him; the whole under command of Major-General Hooker. Howard's corps was to be held in readiness to act either with my troops at Chattanooga or with General Sherman, and was ordered to take up a position on Friday night on the north side of the Tennessee, near the pontoon-bridge, and then held in readiness for such orders as might become necessary. General Smith commenced at once to collect his pontoons and materials for bridges in the North-Chickamauga Creek preparatory to the crossing of Sherman's troops, proper precautions being taken that the enemy should not discover the movement. General Sherman then returned to Bridgeport to direct the movements of his troops.

Colonel Long, (Fourth Ohio cavalry,) commanding Second brigade, Second division cavalry, was ordered on the sixteenth. to report at Chattanooga on Saturday, the twenty-first, by noon, the intention being for him to follow up the left flank of Sherman's troops, and if not required by General Sherman, he was to cross the Chickamauga, make a raid upon the enemy's communications, and do as much damage as possible.

Owing to a heavy rain-storm, commencing on Friday (twentieth) and lasting all of the twenty-first, General Sherman was not enabled to get his troops in position in time to commence operations on Saturday morning, as he expected.

Learning that the enemy had discovered Sherman's movements across Lookout valley, it was thought best that General Howard should cross over into Chattanooga, thus attracting the attention of the enemy, with the intention of leading him to suppose that those troops he had observed moving were reinforcing Chattanooga, and thereby concealing the real movements of Sherman. Accordingly, Howard's corps was crossed into Chattanooga on Sunday, and took up a position [208] in full view of the enemy. In consequence of the bad condition of the roads, General Sherman's troops were occupied all of Sunday in getting into position. In the mean time, the river having risen, both pontoon-bridges were broken by rafts sent down the river by the enemy, cutting off Osterhaus's division from the balance of Sherman's troops. It was thought this would delay us another day; but during the night of the twenty-second, two deserters reported that Bragg had fallen back, and that there was only a strong picket-line in our front. Early on the morning of the twenty-third, I received a note from Major-General Grant directing me to ascertain by a demonstration the truth or falsity of this report.

Orders were accordingly given to General Granger, commanding the Fourth corps, to form his troops and to advance directly in front of Fort Wood, and thus develop the strength of the enemy. General Palmer, commanding the Fourteenth corps, was directed to support General Granger's right with Baird's division refused and in echelon; Johnson's division, Fourteenth corps, to be held in readiness under arms in the intrenchments, to reenforce at any point. Howard's corps was formed in mass behind the centre of Granger's corps. The two divisions of Granger's corps, Sheridan's and Wood's, were formed in front of Fort Wood--Sheridan on the right, Wood on the left, with his left nearly extending to Citico Creek. The formation being completed about two P. M., the troops were advanced steadily and with rapidity directly to the front, driving before them, first the rebel pickets, then their reserves, and falling upon their grand-guards stationed in their first line of rifle-pits, captured something over two hundred men, and secured themselves in their new position before the enemy had sufficiently recovered from his surprise to attempt to send reenforcements from his main camp. Orders were then given to General Granger to make his position secure by constructing temporary breastworks, and throwing out strong pickets to his front. Howard's corps was moved up on the left of Granger with the same instructions, and Bridge's battery (Ill.) was placed in position on Orchard Knob. The troops remained in that position for the night.

The Tennessee River having risen considerably from the effect of the previous heavy rain-storm, it was found difficult to rebuild the pontoonbridge at Brown's Ferry. Therefore, it was determined that General Hooker should take Osterhaus's division, which was still in Lookout valley, Geary's division, and Whitaker's and Grose's brigades of the First division, Fourth corps, under Brigadier-General Cruft, and make a strong demonstration on the northern slope of Lookout Mountain, for the purpose of attracting the enemy's attention in that direction, and thus withdrawing him from Sherman while crossing the river at the mouth of South-Chickamauga. General Hooker was instructed that in making this demonstration, if he discovered the position and strength of the enemy would justify him in attempting to carry the point of the mountain, to do so.

By four o'clock on the morning of the twenty-fourth, General Hooker reported his troops in position and ready to advance. Finding Lookout Creek so much swollen as to be impassable, he sent Geary's division, supported by Cruft's two brigades, to cross the creek at Wauhatchie and work down on the right bank, while he employed the remainder of his force in constructing temporary bridges across the creek on the main road. The enemy, being attracted by the force on the road, did not observe the movements of Geary until his column was directly on their left, and threatened their rear. Hooker's movements were facilitated by the heavy mist which overhung the mountain, enabling Geary to get into position without attracting attention.

Finding himself vigorously pushed by a strong column on his left and rear, the enemy began to fall back with rapidity; but his resistance was obstinate, and the entire point of the mountain was not carried until about two P. M., when General Hooker reported by telegraph that he had carried the mountain as far as the road from Chattanooga valley to the “White house.” Soon after, his main column coming up, his line was extended to the foot of the mountain, near the mouth of Chattanooga Creek. His right, being still strongly resisted by the enemy, was reenforced by Carlin's brigade, First division, Fourteenth corps, which arrived at the “White house” about five P. M., in time to take part in the contest still going on at that, point. Continuous and heavy skirmishing was kept up in Hooker's front until ten at night, after which there was an unusual quietness along our whole front.

With the aid of the steamer Dunbar, which had been put in condition and sent up the river at daylight of the twenty-fourth, General Sherman by eleven A. M. had crossed three divisions of the Fifteenth corps, and was ready to advance as soon as Davis's division of the Fourteenth corps commenced crossing. Colonel Long, (Fourth Ohio cavalry,) commanding Second brigade, Second division cavalry, was then ordered to move up at once, follow Sherman's advance closely, and to proceed to carry out his instructions of the day before, if not required by General Sherman to support his left flank. Howard's corps moved to the left about nine A. M., and communicated with Sherman about noon.

Instructions were sent to General Hooker to be ready to advance, on the morning of the twenty-fifth, from his position on the point of Lookout Mountain to the Summertown road, and endeavor to intercept the enemy's retreat, if He had not already withdrawn, which he was to ascertain by pushing a reconnoissance to the top of Lookout Mountain. The reconnoissance was made as directed, and having ascertained that the enemy had evacuated during the night, General Hooker was then directed to move on the Rossville road with the troops under his command, (except [209] Carlin's brigade, which was to rejoin its division,) carry the pass at Rossville, and operate upon the enemy's left and rear. Palmer's and Granger's troops were held in readiness to advance directly on the rifle-pits in their front as soon as Hooker could get into position at Rossville. In retiring on the night of the twenty-fourth, the enemy had destroyed the bridges over Chattanooga Creek on the road leading from Lookout Mountain to Rossville, and in consequence General Hooker was delayed until after two o'clock P. M., in effecting the crossing of the creek.

About noon, General Sherman becoming heavily engaged by the enemy, they having massed a strong force in his front, orders were given for General Baird to march his division within supporting distance of General Sherman. Moving his command promptly in the direction indicated, he was placed in position to the left of Wood's division of Granger's corps. Owing to the difficulties of the ground, his troops did not get in line with Granger's until about half-past 2 P. M. Orders were then given him, however, to move forward on Granger's left, and within supporting distance, against the enemy's rifle-pits on the slope and at the foot of Missionary Ridge. The whole line then advanced against the breastworks, and soon became warmly engaged with the enemy's skirmishers; these, giving way, retired upon their reserves, posted within their works.

Our troops advancing steadily in a continuous line, the enemy, seized with panic, abandoned the works at the foot of the hill, and retreated precipitately to the crest, whither they were closely followed by our troops, who, apparently inspired by the impulse of, victory, carried the hill simultaneously at six different points, and so closely upon the heels of the enemy, that many of them were taken prisoners in the trenches. We captured all their cannon and ammunition, before they could be removed or destroyed. After halting a few moments to reorganize the troops, who had become somewhat scattered in the assault of the hill, General Sherman pushed forward in pursuit, and drove those in his front, who escaped capture, across Chickamauga Creek. Generals Wood and Baird, being obstinately resisted by reenforcements from the enemy's extreme right, continued fighting until darkness set in, slowly but steadily driving the enemy before them. In moving upon Rossville, General Hooker encountered Stuart's division and other troops; finding his left flank threatened, Stuart attempted to escape by retreating toward Greysville, but some of his force, finding their retreat threatened in that quarter, retired in disorder toward their right along the crest of the ridge, where they were met by another portion of General Hooker's command, and were driven by these troops in the face of Johnson's division of Palmer's corps, by whom they were nearly all made prisoners.

It will be seen by the above report that the original plan of operations was somewhat modified to meet and take the best advantage of emergencies, which necessitated material modification of that plan. It is believed, however, that the original plan, had it been carried out, could not possibly have led to more successful results. The alacrity displayed by officers in executing their orders, the enthusiasm and spirit displayed by the men who did the work, cannot be too highly appreciated by the nation, for the defence of which they have on so many other memorable occasions nobly and patriotically exposed their lives in battle.

Howard's corps, (Eleventh,) having joined Sherman on the twenty-fourth, his operations from that date will be included in Sherman's report, as will also those of Brigadier-General J. C. Davis's division of the Fourteenth corps, who reported for duty to General Sherman on the twenty-first.

General Granger's command returned to Chattanooga, with instructions to prepare and hold themselves in readiness for orders to reenforce General Burnside at Knoxville. On the twenty-sixth, the enemy were pursued by Hooker's and Palmer's commands, surprising a portion of their rear-guard near Greysville, after nightfall, capturing three pieces of artillery and several hundred prisoners. The pursuit was continued on the twenty-seventh, capturing an additional piece of artillery at Greysville. Hooker's advance encountered the enemy, posted in the pass through Taylor's Ridge, who, after an obstinate resistance of an hour, were driven from the pass with considerable loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners. Our loss was also heavy.

A large quantity of forage and some additional caissons and ammunition were captured at Ringgold. On the twenty-eighth, Colonel Long (Fourth Ohio cavalry) returned to Chattanooga, from his expedition, and reported verbally that on the twenty-fourth he reached Tyner's Station, destroying the enemy's forage and rations at that place, also some cars, and doing considerable injury to the railroad. He then proceeded to Doltawah, where he captured and destroyed some trains loaded with forage; thence he proceeded to Cleveland, remaining there one day, destroyed their copper-rolling mill and a large depot of commissary and ordnance stores.

Being informed that a train of the enemy's wagons was near Charleston, on the Hiawassee, and was probably unable to cross the river on account of the break in their pontoon-bridge, after a few hours' rest he pushed forward with a hope of being able to destroy them, but found, on reaching Charleston, that the enemy had repaired their bridge, and had crossed their trains safely, and were prepared to defend the crossing with one or two pieces of artillery, supported by an infantry force, on the north bank. Hie then returned to Cleveland, and damaged the railroad for five or six miles in the direction of Dalton, and then returned to Chattanooga.

On the twenty-eighth, General Hooker was ordered by General Grant to remain at Ringgold until the thirtieth, and so employ his troops as [210] to cover the movements of General Sherman, who had received orders to march his force to the relief of Burnside, by way of Cleveland and London. Palmer's corps was detached from the force under General Hooker, and returned to Chattanooga.

I have the honor to annex hereto consolidated returns of prisoners, captured property, and casualties I am, General, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

George H. Thomas, Major-General U. S. A. Commanding.


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.]

Loss in Sheridan's and Wood's divisions 2544 men; in Stanley's, about 200.

G. Granger, Major-General.

report of rebel deserters and prisoners of war received and captured from October 20, 1863, to December 1, 1863.

 October.November.Aggregate.
Deserters,41532573
Prisoners,9854715569
 
Grand Total,13960036142


Ordnance officer's report.

ordnance office, headquarters Department of the Cumberland, Chattanooga, Tenn., Jan. 16, 1864.
Brigadier-General W. D. Whipple, Assistant Adjutant-General Department of the Cumberland:
sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a list of all ordnance and ordnance stores captured from the enemy, together with a list of expenditures and losses by our own troops in the recent battle of Chattanooga. Captured from the enemy:

cannon, field-guns, and howitzers.

Smooth Bores.--Six-pounder guns, 8; twelve-pounder guns, light, confederate pattern, 13; twelve-pounder guns, model 1857, Leeds and Company, New-Orleans, 6; twelve-pounder field howitzers, 3. Total smooth bores, 30.

Rifled Guns.--Three-inch, confederate pattern, 1; ten-pounder Parrott guns, model 1861, 4; six-pounder field, 2; six-pounder James, 1. Total rifled guns, 8. Twenty-four pound guns, 2. Total number of pieces captured, 40.

Artillery carriages, 28; caissons, 26; battery wagons, 4; travelling forge, 1. A good many parts of harness were captured, but no complete sets; 2336 rounds of artillery ammunition; 6175 stand of small arms, mostly Enfield; 28 cavalry sabres, 549 infantry accoutrements, 511 bayonet-scabbards, 1911 cartridge-pouches, 439 cartridge-boxes, 149 cartridge-box plates, 165 cartridge-box belts, 165 waist-belts, 149 waist-belt plates, and 55,000 rounds infantry ammunition.

Our own troops lost and expended 211 stand of small arms, 171 infantry accoutrements, 1977 rounds artillery ammunition, 1,560,125 rounds infantry ammunition.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. G. Bagler, Captain and Chief of Ordnance Department Cumberland.


Major-General Hoorer's report.

headquarters Eleventh and Twelfth corps, Lookout Valley, Tenn., Feb. 4, 1864.
Brigadier-General W. D. Whipple, A. A. G., Army of the Cumberland:
General: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command in the operations of the army which resulted in driving the rebel forces from their position in the vicinity of Chattanooga, and of its participation immediately afterward in their pursuit.

In order that these operations may be distinctly understood, that the troops concerned be known and receive the honor due them, it is necessary to premise by stating that the general attack was ordered to be made on the enemy's extreme right at daylight on the twenty-first of November, and that preparatory orders were sent through me on the eighteenth, for the Eleventh corps to cross to the north bank of the Tennessee River on the twentieth. At this time the Eleventh corps and a part of the Twelfth corps were encamped in Lookout Valley, opposite to [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 [212] entire picket of forty-two men posted to defend it, marched directly up the mountain till his right rested on the palisades, and headed down the valley. At the same time Gross's brigade advanced resolutely, with brisk skirmishing, drove the enemy from the bridge, and at once proceeded to put it in repair. The firing at this point alarmed the rebels, and immediately their columns were seen filing down the mountains from their camps, and moving into their rifle-pits and breastworks. At the same time numbers established themselves behind the embankment of the railroad, which enabled them, without exposure, to sweep with a fire of musketry the field over which our troops would be compelled to march for a distance of three or four hundred yards. These dispositions were distinctly visiible, and, as facilities for avoiding them were close at hand, Osterhaus was directed to send a brigade, under cover of the hills and trees, about eight hundred yards higher up the creek, and prepare a crossing at that point. This was Brigadier-General Wood's brigade. Soon after this, Cruft was ordered to leave a sufficient force at the bridge to engage the attention of the enemy, and for the balance of Gross's brigade to follow Wood's. Meanwhile a section of howitzers was planted to enfilade the position the enemy had taken, and Osterhaus established a section of twenty-pounder Parrotts to enfilade the route by which the enemy had left his camp. The battery on Bald Hill enfiladed the railroad and high-way leading to Chattanooga, and all the batteries and sections of batteries had a direct or enfilading fire, within easy range, on all the positions taken by the rebels. Besides, the twenty-pounder Plarrotts could be used with good effect on the rebel camp on the side of the mountain. With this disposition of the artillery, it was believed we would be able to prevent the enemy from despatching relief to oppose Geary, and also keep him from running away.

At eleven o'clock, Wood had completed his bridge; Geary appeared close by, his skirmishers smartly engaged, and all the guns opened. Wood's and Gross's then sprang across the river, joined Geary's left, and moved down the valley. A few of the enemy escaped from the artillery fire, and those who did ran upon our own infantry and were captured. The balance of the rebel forces were killed or taken prisoners, many of them remaining in the bottom of their pits for safety until forced out by our men.

Simultaneously with these operations the troops on the mountain rushed on in their advance, the right passing directly under the muzzles of the enemy's guns on the summit, climbing over ledges and boulders, up hill and down, furiously driving the enemy from his camp and from position after position. This lasted until twelve o'clock, when Geary's advance heroically rounded the peak of the mountain. Not knowing to what extent the enemy might be reenforced, and fearing, from the rough character of the field of operations, that our lines might be disordered, directions had been given for the troops to halt on reaching this high ground; but, fired by success, with a flying, panic-stricken force before them, they pressed impetuously forward. Cobham's brigade, occupying the high ground on the right, between the enemy's main line of defence on the plateau and the palisades, incessantly plied them with fire from above and behind, while Freeland's brigade was vigorously rolling them up on the flank, and both being closely supported by the brigades of Whitaker and Creighton. Our success was uninterrupted and irresistible. Before losing the advantages the ground presented us, (the enemy had been reenforced meantime,) after having secured the prisoners, two of Osterhaus's regiments had been sent forward on the Chattanooga road, and the balance of his and Cruft's divisions had joined Geary. All the rebel efforts to resist us only resulted in rendering our success more thorough. After two or three short but sharp conflicts the plateau was cleared. The enemy, with his reenforcements, driven from the walls and pits around Craven's house, (the last point at which he could make a stand in force,) all broken and destroyed, were hurled in great numbers over the rocks and precipices into the valley.

It was now near two o'clock, and our operations were arrested by the darkness. The clouds, which had hovered over and enveloped the summit of the mountain during the morning, and to some extent favored our movements, gradually settled into the valley and completely veiled it from our view. Indeed, from the moment we rounded the peak of the mountain, it was only from the roar of battle, and the occasional glimpse our comrades in the valley could catch of our lines and standards, that they knew of the strife in its progress, and when, from these evidences, our true condition was revealed to them, their painful anxiety yielded to transports of joy, which only soldiers can feel in the earliest movements of dawning victory. Deeming a descent into the valley imprudent, without more accurate information of its topography, and also of the position and strength of the enemy, our line was established on the east side of the mountain, the right resting on the palisades, and the left near the mouth of Chattanooga Creek, and this we strengthened by all the means at hand, working until four o'clock, when the commander of the department was informed that our position was impregnable.

During all of these operations the batteries on Moccasin Point, under Captain Naylor, had been busily at work from the north bank of the Tennessee River, and had contributed as much to our assistance as the irregularities of the ground and the state of the atmosphere would admit of. From our position we commanded the enemy's line of defence, stretching across Chattanooga valley, by an enfilading fire, and also, by a direct fire, many of his camps, some of which were in our immediate vicinity; also, direct communication had been opened with Chattanooga, and at a quarter-past five o'clock Brigadier-General Carlin, Fourteenth corps, reported to me, with his [213] brigade, and was assigned to duty on the right of the line, to relieve Geary's command, almost exhausted with the fatigue and excitement incident to their unparalleled march.

To prevent artillery being brought forward, the enemy had undermined the road and covered it with felled timber. This was repaired and placed in serviceable condition before morning. During the day and till after midnight, an irregular fire was kept up along our line, and had the appearance at one time of an effort to break it. This was on the right, and was at once vigorously and handsomely repelled. In this, Carlin's brigade rendered excellent service. His report is herewith forwarded.

Before daylight, anticipating the withdrawal of the rebel force from the summit of the mountain, parties from several regiments were despatched to scale it; but to the Eighth Kentucky must belong the distinction of having been foremost to reach the crest, and at sunrise to display our flag from the peak of Lookout, amid the wild and prolonged cheers of the men whose dauntless valor had borne it to that point.

During the night the enemy had quietly abandoned the mountain, leaving behind twenty thousand rations, the camp and garrison equipage of three brigades, and other materiel.

An impenetrable mist still covered the face of the valley. Prisoners reported that the enemy had abandoned it; but, deeming it imprudent to descend, a reconnoissance was ordered, and soon after nine o'clock a report came in that the rebels had retired, but that their pickets still held the right bank of Chattanooga Creek, in the direction of Rossville. Soon after the fog vanished, and nothing was to be seen in the valley but the deserted and burning camps of the enemy.

Among the fruits of the preceding operations may be enumerated the concentration of the army, the abandonment of the defences, upward of eight miles in extent; the recovery of all the advantages in a position the enemy had gained from our army on the bloody field of Chickamauga, giving to us the undisputed navigation of the river and the control of the railroad; the capture of between two and three thousand prisoners, five stands of colors, two pieces of artillery, upward of five thousand muskets, etc.

Of the troops opposed to us were four brigades of Walker's division, Hardee's corps; a portion of Stewart's division, of Breckinridge's corps; and on the top of the mountain were three brigades of Stevenson's division.

The pursuit — the fight on the Ridge

In conformity with orders, two regiments were despatched to hold the mountain, Carlin's brigade was directed to await orders on the Summertown road, and at ten o'clock my column, Osterhaus's (being nearest the road) leading, marched for Rossville.

On arriving at Chattanooga Creek, it was discovered that the enemy had destroyed the bridge, and, in consequence, our pursuit was delayed nearly three hours. As soon as the stringers were laid, Osterhaus managed to throw over the Twenty-seventh Missouri regiment, and soon after all of his infantry. The former deployed, pushed forward as skirmishers to the gorge in Missionary Ridge, and drew the fire of the artillery and infantry holding it, and also discovered that the enemy was attempting to cover a train of wagons, loading with stores at the Rossville House. As the position was one presenting many advantages for defence, the skirmishers were directed to keep the enemy engaged in front, while Wood's brigade was taking the ridge on the right and four regiments of Williamson's on the left. Two other regiments of this brigade were posted on the road leading to Chattanooga, to prevent surprise. In executing their duties, the troops were necessarily exposed to the enemy's artillery, but as soon as it was discovered that his flanks were being turned, and his retreat threatened, he hastily evacuated the gap, leaving behind large quantities of artillery and small arms, ammunition, wagons, ambulances, and a house full of commissary stores. Pursuit was made as far as consistent with my instructions to clear Missionary Ridge.

Meanwhile, the bridge had been completed, and all the troops over, or crossing. Osterhaus received instructions to move, with his division, parallel with the ridge, on the east; Cruft on the ridge, and Geary in the valley, to the west of it, within easy supporting distance. The batteries accompanied Geary, as it was not known that roads could be found for them with the other divisions, without delaying the movements of the column. General Cruft, with his staff, preceded his column in ascending the ridge, to supervise the formation of his lines, and was at once met by a line of the enemy's skirmishers, advancing. The Ninth and Thirty-sixth Indiana regiment sprang forward, ran into line under their fire, and, instantly charging, drove back the rebels, while the residue of the column formed their lines; Gross's brigade, with the Fifty-first Ohio and Thirty-fifth Indiana, of Whitaker's, in advance, the balance of the latter closely supporting the front line. It was, however, soon found that the ridge on top was too narrow to admit of this formation, and the division was thrown into four lines. By this time the divisions of Geary and Osterhaus were abreast of it, and all advanced at a charging pace.

The enemy had selected, for his advanced line of defence, the breastworks thrown up by our army on its return from Chickamauga; but such was the impetuosity of our advance, that his front line was routed before an opportunity was afforded him to prepare for a determined resistance. Many of the fugitives, to escape, ran down the east slope to the lines of Osterhaus; a few to the west, and were picked up by Geary. The bulk of them, however, sought refuge behind the second line, and they, in their turn, were soon routed, and the fight became almost a running one. Whenever the accidents of the ground enabled the rebels to make an advantageous [214] stand, Geary and Osterhaus — always in the right place — would pour a withering fire into their flanks, and again the race was renewed. This continued until near sunset, when those of the enemy who had not been killed or captured, gave way, and, in attempting to escape along the ridge, ran into the arms of Johnson's division of the Fourteenth corps, and were captured.

Our enemy, the prisoners stated, was Stewart's division. But few escaped. Osterhaus alone captured two thousand of them. This officer named the Fourth Iowa, Seventy-sixth Ohio, and Twenty-seventh Missouri regiments as having been especially distinguished in this engagement. Landgraber's battery of howitzers also rendered brilliant service on this field.

Here our business for the day ended, and the troops went into bivouac, with cheers and rejoicing, which were caught up by other troops in the vicinity, and carried along the ridge, until lost in the distance.

The pursuit continued — Ringgold — the enemy overtaken.

Soon after daylight, every effort was made, by reconnoissance and inquiry, to ascertain the whereabouts of the enemy; but to no purpose. The field was silent as the grave. Knowing the desperate extremities to which he must be reduced by our success, with his retreat seriously threatened by the only line left him with a hope of success, I felt satisfied the enemy must be in full retreat; and accordingly suggested to the commander of the department that my column march to Greysville, if possible, to intercept him. This was approved of, and, reenforced by Palmer's corps, all moved immediately in that direction, Palmer's corps in advance.

On arriving at the west fork of the Chickamauga River, it was found that the enemy had destroyed the bridge. To provide for this contingency, Major-General Butterfield, my Chief of Staff, had in the morning prudently requested that three pontoons, with their calks and chesses, might be despatched for my use, but as they had not come up, after a detention of several hours, a bridge was constructed for the infantry, the officers swimming their horses. It was not until after three o'clock that the regiments were able to commence crossing, leaving the artillery and ambulances to follow as soon as practicable; also a regiment of artillery as a guard, to complete the bridge, if possible, for the artillery, and also to assist in throwing over the pontoon-bridge as soon as it arrived. Partly in consequence of this delay, instructions were given for Palmer's command to continue on to Greysville, on reaching the La Fayette road, and for the balance of the command to proceed to Ringgold, (Cruft now leading,) as this would enable me to strike the railroad five or six miles to the south of where it was first intended. Palmer was to rejoin me in the morning.

Soon after dark, word was received from Palmer, through a member of his staff, that he had come up with the enemy, reported to be a battery and two or three thousand infantry. Instructions were sent him to attack them at once; and, while forming his lines to the left for that purpose, the remaining part of the column was massed, as it came up, to the right of the road, and held, awaiting the movements of Palmer. His enemy was discovered to be a battery of three pieces, with a small escort, and was the rear of the rebel army on the road from Greysville to Ringgold. Three pieces of artillery were captured, and subsequently an additional piece, with, I believe, a few prisoners. I have received no report, from this officer, of his operations while belonging to my command, although mine has been delayed six weeks in waiting. We were now fairly up with the enemy. This was at ten o'clock at night. Cruft's division advanced, and took possession of the crest of Chickamauga hills — the enemy's abandoned camp-fires still burning brightly on the side — and we all went into bivouac.

My artillery was not yet up; anal, in this connection, I desire that the especial attention of the Commander of the department may be called to that part of the report of General Osterhaus which relates to the conduct of the officers who had the pontoon-bridge in charge. I do not know the names of the officers referred to; was not furnished with a copy of their instructions, nor did they report to me. The pontoons were not brought forward to the point of crossing at all, and the calks and chess-planks only reached their destination between nine and ten o'clock P. M.--distance from Chattanooga ten miles, and the roads excellent. Then trestles had to be framed, and the bridge was not finished until six o'clock the following morning. The report of Lieutenant H. C. Wharton, of the engineers, and temporarily attached to my staff, who was left behind to hasten the completion of the bridge, is herewith transmitted.

No better commentary on this culpable negligence is needed than is furnished by the record of our operations in the vicinity of Ringgold. The town was distant five miles. At daylight the pursuit was renewed — Osterhaus in the advance, Geary following, and Cruft in the rear. Evidences of the precipitate flight of the enemy were everywhere apparent; caissons, wagons, ambulances, arms, and ammunition were abandoned in the hurry and confusion of retreat. After going about two miles, we came up with the camps he had occupied during the night, the fires still burning. A large number of prisoners were also taken before reaching the east fork of the Chickamauga River.

We found the ford, and also the bridge to the south of Ringgold, held by a body of rebel cavalry. These discharged their arms, and quickly gave way before a handful of our men, and were closely pursued into the town. I rode to the front on hearing the firing, where I found Oster haus out with his skirmishers, intensely alive to all that was passing, and pushing onward briskly. He informed me that four pieces of artillery had just left the rebel camp. weakly escorted, [215] and ran into the gorge, which he could have captured with a small force of cavalry. The gorge is to the east of Ringgold, and we were approaching it from the west. A little firing occurred between our skirmishers as they entered the town and small parties of the enemy's cavalry and infantry, the latter retiring in the direction of the gap. There is a break in Taylor's Ridge of sufficient width for the river to flow, and on its north bank room for an ordinary road and a railroad, when the ridge rises abruptly on both sides four or five hundred feet, and from thence, running nearly north and south, continues unbroken for many miles. Covering the entrance to it, is a small patch of trees and undergrowth. It was represented by citizens friendly to our cause, and confirmed by contrabands, that the enemy had passed through Ringgold sorely pressed, his animals exhausted, and his army hopelessly demoralized. In a small portion of it only had the officers been able to preserve regimental and company formations, many of the men having thrown away their arms. A still greater number were open and violent in their denunciations of the Confederacy. In order to gain time, it was the intention of the rear-guard to make use of the natural advantages the gorge presented to check the pursuit. The troops relied on for this were posted behind the mountain and the trees, and the latter were also used to mask a couple of pieces of artillery. Only a feeble line of skirmishers appeared in sight. The only way to ascertain the enemy's strength was to feel of him; and as our success, if prompt, would be crowned with a rich harvest of materiel, without waiting for my artillery, (not yet up, though after nine o'clock,) the skirmishers advanced. Wood deployed his brigade in rear of them, under cover of the embankment of the railroad, and a brisk musketry fire commenced between the skirmishers.

At the same time the enemy kept his artillery busily at work. Their skirmishers were driven in, and, as we had learned the position of their battery, the Thirteenth Illinois regiment, from the right of Wood's line, was thrown forward to seize some houses from which their gunners could be picked off by our men. These were heroically taken and held by that brave regiment. Apprehensive that he might lose his artillery, the enemy advanced with a superior force on our skirmishers, and they fell back behind Wood's line, when that excellent officer opened on the rebels and drove them into the gorge, they leaving, as they fled, their dead and wounded on the ground. Our skirmishers at once reoccupied their line, the Thirteenth Illinois all the time maintaining its position with resolution and obstinacy. While this was going on in front of the gorge, Osterhaus detached four regiments, under Colonel Williamson, half a mile to the left, to ascend the ridge and turn the enemy's right. Two of these, the Seventy-sixth Ohio, supported by the Fourth Iowa, were thrown forward, and, as the enemy appeared in great force, when they had nearly gained the crest, Geary ordered four of his regiments still further to the left, under Colonel Creighton, for the same object, where they also found an overwhelming force confronting them. Vigorous attacks were made by both of these columns, in which the troops exhibited extraordinary daring and devotion, but were compelled to yield to numerical superiority. The first took shelter in a depression in the side of the ridge, about fifty paces in rear of their most advanced position, and there remained. The other column was ordered to resume its position on the railroad. All the parties sent forward to ascertain the enemy's position and strength were small; but the attack had been made with so much vigor, and had succeeded so well in its object, that I deemed it unwise to call up the commands of Palmer and Cruft, and the remaining brigades of Geary, to deliver a general attack, without my artillery. I therefore gave instructions for no advance to be made, and for the firing to be discontinued, except in self-defence. These orders were conveyed and delivered to every officer in command on our advance line. Word was received from General Wood that appearances in his front were indic ative of a forward movement on the part of the enemy, when Ireland's brigade, of Geary's division, was sent to strengthen them. Calhoun's brigade, of the same division, took a well-sheltered position behind the knoll, midway between the depot and the opening to the gap. These officers were also ordered not to attack or fire unless it should become necessary. I may here state that the greatest difficulty I experienced with my new commands, and the one which caused me the most solicitude, was to check and curb their disposition to engage, regardless of circumstances, and, it appeared, almost of consequences. This had also been the case on Lookout Mountain and on Missionary Ridge. Despite my emphatic and repeated instructions to the contrary, a desultory fire was kept up on the right of the line until the artillery arrived; and you will see by the report of commanders, that, under cover of elevated ground between my position and our right, several small parties advanced to capture the enemy's battery and hlarass his flank at the gap. It is not with, displeasure I refer to these circumstances in evidence of the animation of the troops, neither is it with a feeling of resentment; for of that I was disarmed by an abiding sense of their glorious achievements. It has never been my fortune to serve with more zealous and devoted troops.

Between twelve and one o'clock, the artillery came up, not having been able to cross the west fork of the Chickamauga until eight o'clock on the morning of the twenty-seventh. Under my acting Chief of Artillery, Major Reynolds, in conjunction with Generals Geary and Osterhaus, one section of twelve-pounder howitzers was placed in position to bear on the enemy in front of our right and to enfilade the gap; another section of ten-pounder Parrotts was assigned to silence the enemy's battery; and one section, further to the left, to bear on some troops held [216] in mass in front of Geary's regiments. At the same time a regiment from Cruft's had been sent around by the bridge to cross the Chickamauga, and, if possible, to gain the heights of the ridge on the south side of the river, the possession of which would give us a plunging fire upon the enemy in the gorge. Two companies had nearly gained the summit when they were recalled. The artillery had opened with marked effect, the enemy's guns were hauled to the rear, his troops seen moving, and before one o'clock he was in full retreat. Williamson's brigade followed him over the mountain, while skirmishers from the Sixtieth and one Hundred and Second New-York regiments pursued him through the gap. Efforts were made to burn the railroad bridges; but rebels were driven from them, and the fires extinguished.

During the artillery firing the Major-General commanding the division of the Mississippi arrived, and gave directions for the pursuit to be discontinued. Later in the day, soon after three o'clock, I received instructions from him to have a reconnoissance made in the direction of Tunnel Hill — the enemy's line of retreat — for purposes of observation, and to convey to the enemy the impression that we were still after him. Gross's brigade was despatched on this service. About two miles out he ran upon a small force of rebel cavalry and infantry, and pursued them about a mile and a half, when he fell upon what he supposed to be a division of troops posted on the hills commanding the road. The brigade returned at eight o'clock, and went into bivouac. Colonel Gross's report in this connection closes by saying that “we found broken caissons, wagons, dead and dying men of the enemy strewn along the way to a horrible extent.”

As some misapprehension appears to exist with regard to our losses in this battle, it is proper to observe that the reports of my division commanders exhibit a loss of sixty-five killed and three hundred and seventy-seven wounded, about one half of the latter so severely that it was necessary to have them conveyed to the hospital for proper treatment. They also show of the enemy killed and left on the field one hundred and thirty. Of his wounded we had no means of ascertaining, as only those severely hurt remained behind, and they filled every house by the wayside as far as our troops penetrated. A few of our wounded men fell into the enemy's hands, but were soon retaken. We captured two hundred and thirty prisoners and two flags, to make no mention of the vast amount of property and materiel that fell into our hands. Adding to the number of prisoners and killed as above stated the lowest estimated proportion of wounded to killed usual in battle, would make the losses of the enemy at least three to our one.

From this time the operations of the right wing, as it was now called, became subordinate to those of the column marching to the relief of the garrison at Knoxville. Instructions reached me from the headquarters of the military division to remain at Ringgold during the twenty-ninth and thirtieth, unless it should be found practicable to advance toward Dalton without fighting a battle, the object of my remaining, as stated, being to protect Sherman's flank, with authority to attack or move on Dalton should the enemy move up the Dalton and Cleveland road. In retreating, the enemy had halted a portion of his force at Tunnel Hill, midway between Ringgold and Dalton, and, as he evinced no disposition to molest Sherman, my command rested at Ringgold. I was kept fully advised of the rebel movements, through the activity and daring of the Second Kentucky cavalry, which had joined me on the twenty-eighth. In obedience to verbal directions given me by the commander of the division, the railroad was thoroughly destroyed for two miles, including the bridges on each side of Ringgold, by Palmer's and Cruft's commands; also the depot, tannery, all the mills, and all materiel that could be used in the support of an army. We found on our arrival large quantities of forage and flour. What was not required by the wants of the service was either sent to the rear or burned. Our wounded were as promptly and as well cared for as circumstances would permit. Surgeon Moore, Medical Director of the army of the Tennessee, voluntarily left his chief to devote himself to their relief, and under his active, skilful, and humane auspices, and those of the medical directors with the divisions, they were comfortably removed to Chattanooga on the twenty-eighth. My sincere thanks are tendered to all the officers of the medical staff for their zealous and careful attentions to the wounded on this as well as on former fields. Especially are they due to Surgeon Ball, Medical Director of Geary's division, and to Surgeon Menzies, Medical Director of Cruft's division.

On the twenty-ninth, Major-General Palmer returned to Chattanooga with his command, having in charge such prisoners as remained in Ringgold. On the thirtieth, the enemy, being reassured by the cessation of our pursuit, sent a flag of truce to our advanced lines at Catoosa, by Major Calhoun Benham, requesting permission to bury his dead and care for his wounded abandoned on the field of his last disaster at Ringgold. Copies of this correspondence have heretofore been forwarded. Also on the thirtieth, under instructions from department headquarters, Gross's brigade, Cruft's division, marched for the old battle-field at Chickamauga to bury our dead; and on the first of December, the infantry and cavalry remaining left RinggoldGeary and Cruft to return to their old camps, and Osterhaus to encamp in Chattanooga valley.

The reports of the commanders exhibit a loss in the campaign, including all the engagements herein reported, in killed, wounded, and missing, of nine hundred and sixty. Inconsiderable in comparison with my apprehension, or the ends accomplished, nevertheless, there is cause for the deepest regret and sorrow. Among the fallen are some of the brightest names of the army. Creighton and [217] Crane, of the Seventh Ohio; Acton, of the Fortieth Ohio; Bushnell, of the Thirteenth Illinois; Elliott, of the One Hundred and Second New-York, and others whose names my limits will not allow me to enumerate, will be remembered and lamented as long as courage and patriotism are esteemed as virtues among men.

The reports of commanders also show the capture of six thousand five hundred and forty-seven prisoners, (not including those taken by Palmer at Greysville, of which no return has been received;) also seven pieces of artillery, nine battle-flags, not less than ten thousand stand of small arms, one wagon train, and a large amount of ammunition for artillery and infantry, forage, rations, camp and garrison equipage, caissons and limbers, ambulances, and other impediments. The reports relating to the capture of the flags are herewith transmitted.

In the foregoing it has been impossible to furnish more than a general outline of our operations, relying upon the reports of subordinate commanders to give particular and discriminating information concerning the services of divisions, brigades, regiments, and batteries. These reports are herewith respectfully transmitted. The attention of the Major-General commanding is especially invited to those of the division commanders. As to the distinguished services of those commanders I cannot speak in terms too high. They served me, day and night, present or absent, with all the well-directed earnestness and devotion they would have served themselves had they been charged with the responsibilities of the commander. The confidence inspired by their active and generous cooperation early inspired me to feel that complete success was inevitable.

My thanks are due to General Carlin and his brigade for their services on Lookout Mountain on the night of the twenty-fourth. They were posted in an exposed position, and when attacked repelled it with great spirit and success. I must also express my acknowledgments to Major-General Palmer and his command for services rendered while belonging to my column. Lieutenant Ayers, of the Signal corps, with his assistants, rendered me valuable aid in his branch of the service during our operations.

Major Reynolds, the Chief of Artillery of Geary's division, proved himself to be a skilful artillerist, and requires especial mention for his services. His batteries were always posted with judgment, and served with marked ability. The precision of his fire at Lookout and Ringgold elicited universal admiration.

To my staff more than ever am I indebted for the assistance rendered upon this occasion. Major-General Butterfield, Chief of Staff, always useful in counsel, was untiring and devoted on the field. Captain H. W. Perkins, Assistant Adjutant-General, Colonel James D. Fessenden, Major William H. Lawrence, Captain R. H. Hall, Lieutenants P. A. Oliver, and Samuel W. Taylor, aids-de-camp, bravely and intelligently performed all their duties.

Lieutenant H. C. Wharton, a promising young officer of engineers, reported to me from the staff of the Major-General commanding the department, and was unwearied in his assistance, both as an engineer and as an officer of my personal staff.

Major-General Howard has furnished me for transmittal his able report of the operations and services of the Eleventh corps from the time it passed my command, November twenty-second, to that of its return, December seventeenth. As it relates to events of which I had no personal knowledge, it only remains to comply with his wishes, with the request that the Major-General commanding the department will give it his especial attention. I may add that the zeal and devotedness displayed by this corps and its commander, in performing all the duties assigned them, and in cheerfully encountering its perils and privations, afford me great satisfaction.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Joseph Hooker, Major-General Commanding.

headquarters armies of the United States, in the field, Culpeper Court-house, Va., March 25, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded to Major. General H. W. Halleck, Washington, D. C.:
I know of no objection to the substituting of this for Major-General Hooker's original report of his operations in the battle of Chattanooga.

Attention is called to that part of the report giving, from the reports of the subordinate commanders, the number of prisoners and small arms captured, which is greater than the number really captured by the whole army.

U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General United States Army.


General Wm. F. Smith's report.

headquarters military division of the Mississippi, Nashville, Tenn., January 9, 1864.
Brigadier-General John A. Rawlins, Chief of Staff:
General: I have the honor to submit the following report of engineering operations done with reference to the battle of Chattanooga, November twenty-third, twenty-fourth, and twenty-fifth.

Frequent and careful reconnaissances had de-determined that Missionary Ridge, from the tunnel to the Chickamauga, was not occupied by the enemy, and that a passage of the river could be forced at the mouth of the Chickamauga. General Grant having determined to attempt the seizure of that portion of the ridge, the preparatory steps were first to put the works at Chattanooga into defensible condition, in order to allow a comparatively small force to hold that place, and thus to bring every available man into the field.

To do this, heavy details were made and kept constantly at work before the battle, so that on Saturday, November twenty-first, the works were all in a condition to defy assault. Second. Bridge material had to. be collected for the bridges and put in convenient position for use. [218]

There was in the department of the Cumberland one regular bridge-train, which was scattered from Bridgeport to Chattanooga; this, by the strenuous exertions of Lieutenant Geo. W. Dressen, Fourth artillery, was collected in the vicinity of Brown's Ferry, by Wednesday, November seventeenth. The two saw-mills in my charge were also run night and day, and a new bridge started, under the superintendence of Captain P. V. Fox, Michigan Engineers. The river at the point designated to throw the bridge, was, at the time of measurement, one thousand two hundred and ninety-six feet in width, and the current gentle, so that no trouble was anticipated in the mechanical part of the operation.

In order to afford facilities for the occupation of the north bank of the creek, and to allow a cavalry force to break the railroad between Knoxville and Dalton, the Chickamauga also required bridging at its mouth. This stream was about one hundred and eighty feet in width, with a sluggish current. The North-Chickamauga, which is a stream emptying into the Tennessee River on the right bank about eight miles above Chattanooga, offered such facilities for launching the boats, that it was determined to put them in the water there and float them down, loaded with soldiers, to the point of crossing, as an operation quicker and more quiet than that of launching them at the place of passage. By Friday night, November twenty-sixth, one hundred and sixteen boats were in the creek, furnished with oars and crews, the creek cleared of snags to its mouth, and all the citizens in the vicinity put under strict guard to prevent the information getting to the enemy.

The boats were taken to the creek over byroads through the woods, and not exposed to view of the rebels in any point of the distance. In the matter of selecting the roads, cleaning the creek, furnishing crews for the boats, and keeping the citizens under guard, I must acknowledge my obligations to Colonel Daniel McCook, commanding a brigade posted near the mouth of North-Chickamauga. The rest of the bridge-material, and boats, (about twenty-five,) packed behind the river ridge of hills, and within four hundred yards of the place of crossing, entirely concealed from the enemy. During this time the Tennessee River, swollen by rains in the upper country, brought down drift-wood in such quantities, and of such a character, that, on Friday night, or early Saturday morning, the pontoon-bridge at Chattanooga was carried away, and so much of the material lost that it was impossible to re-lay it. On Saturday night the flying ferry at Chattanooga was disabled, and the pontoon-bridge at Brown's Ferry was so injured that it was not re-laid till Tuesday, November twentieth. This left to us for communication only the steamer Dunbar, at Chattanooga, and a horse ferry-boat at Brown's Ferry. On Monday night, however, the flying ferry was repaired and again in operation. Fortunately, the troops had all been placed in position before the disasters, and the only effort was to lull the enemy into security under the idea that no attack could be made with our communication so cut. The fear was, that it would be imposible to throw a bridge across the river for General Sherman's command, or that, if thrown, it could be maintained as long as it was needed. On Monday, November twenty-third, General Thomas moved to the front to reconnoitre, and occupied Indian Hill, with his left on Citico Creek. Captain Merrill and Lieutenant Wharton, of the Engineer corps, were instructed to attend to the building of bridges across that stream. On Monday night, at twelve M., the boats with the designated brigade left the North-Chickamauga and quietly effected a landing on the left bank of the Tennessee, both above and below the mouth of the South-Chickamauga, and the business of ferrying over troops then began. The rise in the river had increased its width so that we had not been able to accumulate boats sufficient for the bridges across the Tennessee, therefore only one was commenced. Lieutenant Dressen, in charge of the regular pontoon-train, began the construction of this bridge about five o'clock A. M. on the twenty-fourth, taking from the ferry the boats of his train as fast as they were needed, and allowing the others to be used in crossing troops. Colonel George P. Buell, in command of the Pioneer brigade, soon after the boats had landed their first load, deployed his men on the right bank, and went to work vigorously to clean up the ground on the shore, and level it when necessary for the passage of troops to the boats, and also to prepare a steamboat landing.

At daylight he sent a party furnished with ropes and ringbolts to catch and make fast to shore the rafts in the Chickamauga Creek, which we learned from deserters had been made for the destruction of the bridge at Chattanooga. The duty was well performed, as all duty is by Colonel Buell, and five rafts were anchored to the shore. The rebels had intended to prepare the rafts each with a small pilot raft having a torpedo attached, containing about fifty pounds of powder, to blow up by percussion, as they went under the bridge.

The arrangements were not completed when they were interfered with by General Sherman's passage of the river. At daylight, eight thousand troops were across the river, and in line of battle. Soon after, work was continued on the bridge across the river from both ends, and Captain P. V. Fox, Michigan Engineers, began the bridge across the South-Chickamauga. According to previous arrangement, Brigadier-General I. H. Wilson brought up the steamer Dunbar to assist in the passage of the troops. About eight thousand infantry, and one battery of artillery, besides the horses of the generals and their staff, were crossed in that manner, under the energetic directions of General Wilson. At twenty minutes past twelve P. M., the bridge across the river was complete, the one across the creek having been finished a little before, and by three o'clock P. M., the brigade of cavalry under Colonel Long had crossed and was [219] on its march. The bridge across the river was thrown with less trouble than was anticipated, because it was found that most of the drift hugged the right bank, and to avoid the catching of the drift on the cables, anchors were dispensed with for several boats near the shore, and the structure kept in place by guy-lines to the trees on shore. Lieutenant Dressen deserves all praise for his intelligent energy in throwing a bridge of nearly one thousand four hundred feet in length over such a flood in such a short time. That same afternoon two pontoon-bridges were thrown across Chattanooga Creek, to connect the centre and right of General Thomas's command, the right by that time occupying the base of Lookout Mountain. On the twenty-fifth, an additional bridge was thrown across the Citico Creek at its mouth, and the unused bridge also brought down and thrown across the river at Chattanooga. On the twenty-sixth, Lieutenant Wharton and the Pioneer brigade, under Colonel George P. Buell, were ordered to accompany the pursuing column toward Ringgold, and Colonel Buell reports the completion of a bridge across the West-Chickamauga Creek by daylight of Friday morning. Lieutenant Downing, of the Engineer corps, had been ordered to reconstruct the bridge near Shallow Ford, across the South-Chickamauga. On Friday, at Ringgold, orders were given to Lieutenant Wharton to attend to the destruction of the railroad at that place, and whatever mills were in that vicinity. On Sunday, Captain Morrell was ordered to accompany the column under General Gordon Granger toward Knoxville. I beg to call the particular attention of General Grant to the accompanying report of Brigadier-General Wilson, with reference to the bridge constructed under his direction, across the Little Tennessee, for the passage of General Sherman's column over that stream; also that of Captain Poe, Chief Engineer army of the Ohio. The officers of the Engineer corps were zealous and efficient. I forward with the report a map large enough to show the strategic movements made before the battle, and also a map giving the battle-field. These maps are mostly due to the exertions of Captain West, U. S. Coast Survey, of my staff, and to the labors of Captains Darr and Down, of the same department, who had been ordered to report to me by Professor Bache, Superintendent S. S., and who all deserve the thanks of the General for labors done by them. The distances were determined before the battle for the use of artillery, and the heights of artillery positions occupied by us and the enemy. Very respectfully,

W. F. Smith, Brigadier-General, Chief Engineer Military Division of the Mississippi.


Report of Brigadier-General Whitaker.

shell Mound, Tenn., headquarters Second brigade, Third division, Fourth corps, army of the Cumberland, Dec. 6, 1863.
To Lieutenant Wright, A. A. G., First Division, Fourth Corps:
The following report of the part taken by my brigade in storming Lookout Mountain, and driving the enemy from before Chattanooga, is submitted:

On leaving Shell Mound, the One Hundred and Fifteenth Illinois, the Eighty-fourth Indiana, and the Fifth Indiana battery were detailed to defend the works erected at that place for the protection of our supply train. They were under the command of Colonel Moore of the One Hundred and Fifteenth Illinois. This duty was well performed.

Six regiments, (the Eighth Kentucky, Colonel Sydney M. Barnes; the Ninety-sixth Illinois, Colonel Thomas E. Champion; the Thirty-fifth Indiana, Colonel Mullen; the Fortieth Ohio, Colonel Taylor; Ninety-ninth Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel Cummings; Fifty-first Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel Wood,) under my command, left Shell Mound November twenty-third, at nine o'clock A. M. After a tiresome march over rough roads, I reported to General Cruft, division commander, at the base of Raccoon Mountain, near the mouth of Lookout Creek, having made twenty-three miles during the day.

For reasons unknown to me, the command of our brave and efficient division, General Cruft's, (two brigades,) was divided, and this brigade ordered by General Hooker to report at daylight on the morning of the twenty-fourth to Brigadier-General Geary, of General Hooker's command. This was done with celerity and despatch. The troops were massed under cover of the hills near Wauhatchie. They were deployed crossing Lookout Creek on the dam of a little mill, near which, by order, the knapsacks and blankets of my command were left under guard. The line of battle was as follows: Second brigade, of General Geary's division, in front on the right; Third brigade in the centre; and the First brigade on the extreme-left and near the base of the mountain. These brigades were small and the division did not muster many more men for the fight than did my brigade, which was formed, the Eighth Kentucky on the extreme right at the base of the rough projecting crags, forming the summit of Lookout; the Thirty-fifth Indiana next; then the Ninety-ninth Ohio, and the Fortieth Ohio on my extreme left; next to General Geary's right the Ninety-sixth Illinois and Fifty-first Ohio were placed, one hundred yards in rear of my right, on the upper bench, to make firmly my right flank. The lines of the entire storming party, though intended to be double, were, from the extent of the ground, to be assailed partially, if not entirely, in echelon; and my front had to be protected by skirmishers, which I had done. Owing to the formation of the mountain, my brigade occupying the position nearest the apex of the cone, had a shorter route in going around the mountain than those nearest its base, and ex necessitate in advancing would and did overtake and pass the front line. Thus formed, the brigade advanced rapidly and in good order over the steep, rocky, ravine-seamed, torrent-torn sides of the mountain for nearly three miles. It was laborious and extremely tiresome! The enemy was found sheltered by rocks trees, and timber cut to form abattis or obstructions, while [220] the summit of the mountain was covered with sharp-shooters concealed by the overhanging cliffs. Attacking them with vigor, we drove them before us. One of the enemy's camps being assailed by General Geary's command lower down the mountain, numbers of them fled toward the summit of the mountain and were captured by this brigade; they did not conceive it possible for a force to advance on the ground my brigade was then covering. Steadily but energetically and firmly advancing, my brigade reached the crest of Lookout's bold projecting slope. Its profile is delineated from beneath against the sky. In good order my bold command now became one line, swung round the crest, the right being the pivot, with the flags of the Fortieth Ohio on the left, and of the Eighth Kentucky on the right, floating free and triumphant.

Two vast armies looked upon us with beating hearts. We heard the soul-stirring vivas of our country's friends; responding, boldly we charged upon the rallying columns of the rebels. A portion of General Geary's division meeting overwhelming opposition from the rifle-pits in the orchard before reaching the White House, and having no cover, were falling back in considerable disorder; the enemy were also sending reenforcements from the summit of the mountain over a swag or depression in the cliff some three or four thousand yards to our rear on the west side of the mountain. The Eighth Kentucky, Colonel Barnes, was halted on the crest of the ridge with orders to deploy skirmishers to drive the enemy back, and to hold the crest at all hazards from an assault on the rear or flank. This was well done. The Ninety-sixth Illinois and the Fifty-first Ohio were ordered forward to assail the rifle-pits in the rear; while the Fortieth Ohio, Ninety-ninth Ohio, and Thirty-fifth Indiana assailed them on the flank. These dispositions were made at more than double-quick time, and my brigade had now passed the right of the front line.

Boldly the charge was made; the enemy resisted stubbornly; so that a hand-to-hand contest in portions of the intrenchment ensued. The force on my right, under Champion and Wood, swept down between the White House and summit. The other regiments pressed the enemy's flanks, and we drove the rebels with impetuosity along the side and down the mountain, between a quarter and half-mile beyond the White House, over breastworks, ravines, and rocks, and Lookout Mountain was ours. My command pursued them, and, with a portion of General Geary's division, formed and held the advance line — not only against the retiring foe, but against heavy reenforcements of the enemy — until we were partially relieved and reenforced by other troops. This took place near nightfall and after night. In this charge, the Fortieth Ohio, Colonel Taylor, took two pieces of cannon, which have been turned over to the ordnance officer.

A little after one o'clock P. M., the General in command of this brigade, with a portion of his staff had possession of the White House, whence messages were sent at two o'clock to General Cruft, division commander; General Granger, corps commander; and General Thomas, announcing our success.

Late in the evening, that brave officer, Colonel Grose, arrived with his troops on the crest in the rear of my command, where he took position. The skirmish firing of the enemy along the front was very spirited, occasionally varied by an effort to charge our lines. I directed him to throw forward his regiments to the right to the support of the Ninety-sixth Illinois and Fifty-first Ohio, to enable Colonel Champion to take the Summertown road in order to capture the artillery and rebel forces on the mountain. This he declined to do, and exhibited to me a written order from General Hooker, as follows:


Headquarters General Hooker, November 24, 1863.
Brigadier-General Cruft, Commanding Division:
Major-General Hooker directs that as soon as the enemy are started our forces pursue to the crest of Lookout slope only, where the lines will be formed. Pursueno further than the rest until further orders. The bridges are to be made perfect after the troops have passed.

Daniel Butterfield, Major-General and Chief of Staff.

This, he said, he was to obey. This order I did not see or know of until after my command had driven the enemy beyond the crest of Lookout slope, near three quarters of a mile. I was subsequently supported ably, and a portion of my command relieved from skirmish duty on the front line during the night by Colonel Grose. The enemy threw grenades or shell over the cliff, and the fire of their sharp-shooters was so galling that we must inevitably have lost many men but for a dense cloud that enveloped the mountain-top about noon, and enshrouded friend and foe in its vapory folds. Weary with the forced march of the previous day, and with the fight that had been prolonged all day into the night, wet with the cold drizzling rain that fell on the mountain, yet my command were vigilant and active to maintain the position so fearlessly and boldly won.

Early on the morning of the twenty-fifth, I called for volunteers from the Eighth Kentucky infantry to scale the cliffs that overhang the crest of the ridge or point and take Lookout Rock. It was not known what force was on its top. Captain Wilson, of company C, Eighth Kentucky infantry; Sergeant H. H. Davis and private William Wilt, of company A; Sergeant Joseph Wagers and James B. Wood, of company B, and private Joseph Bradley, of company I, promptly volunteered for this purpose. It was a bold undertaking. Scaling the cliff, they took possession and unfurled our country's flag where so lately treason had defiantly flaunted her symbol of ruin.

This flag was the gift of the loyal women of Estill County, Kentucky. It has been most [221] honorably borne. These men were quickly followed by the Eighth Kentucky infantry, led by Colonel Barnes, who was reenforced late in the day by the Ninety-sixth Illinois, Colonel Champion leading. They were directed to hold the mountain at all hazards. Considerable stores and munitions of war, with the tents of a large encampment, fell into our hands. For particulars, I refer to the report of Colonel Barnes, who took them in charge. The number of prisoners taken by this command on Lookout is about six hundred, (600.) They were sent to the prison-pound at the rear.

I refer to the report of the Provost-Marshal of this brigade for particulars. About eleven o'clock of this day, the Fortieth Ohio, Ninety-ninth Ohio, Fifty-first Ohio, and Thirty-fifth Indiana, under my command, advanced by orders in the direction of Rossville, to assault the left of the enemy on Missionary Ridge. At a signal from our centre near Chattanooga, we advanced--Colonel Grose's splendid brigade having the advance, my command supporting him. General Cruft was in command to-day of the division. The enemy were driven with great impetuosity and loss. To prevent Colonel Grose's command from being flanked on the left, two of my regiments — the Thirty-fifth Indiana, Colonel Mullen, and the Fifty-first Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel Wood--were ordered to the front line on the left of the Third brigade. They advanced in fine order, and continued fighting gallantly and effectually in the front line until the enemy were driven from the ridge. That night we slept on Missionary Ridge. The next morning, the twenty-sixth, we marched in pursuit of the routed, swiftly-flying foe. Our progress was impeded by destroyed bridges and swollen streams. That night we bivouacked on the ridge beyond Pea Vine, which divides the waters of East and West-Chickamauga.

At day-dawn, the twenty-seventh, the pursuit was continued, and the rear of the enemy overtaken at Ringgold; here the battle of Ringgold (most gallantly maintained by General Osterhaus and General Geary) was fought; my command was held in reserve by order from General Hooker. Later in the day on Monday, I detailed the Ninety-ninth Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel Cummings, to reconnoitre the peak of Taylor's Ridge, to the right of the gorge through which the railroad passes. This was being rapidly done when the enemy were routed and fled.

My command destroyed over a mile of railroad, beginning at the depot in Ringgold. The ties were burned and the iron bent. The weather became excessively cold, freezing the ground and little ponds hard. The men were without blankets and overcoats, but not a murmur of dissatisfaction came from them; officers and men were inspired by a loyal enthusiasm that enabled them to beat the enemies of our Government and endure the little hardships of exposure unrepining.

I specially commend Colonel Sid. M. Barnes, Colonel Thomas E. Champion, Colonel Taylor, Colonel Mullen, Lieutenant-Colonel Cummings, and Lieutenant-Colonel Wood for bravery and the skilful manner in which they handled their regiments. I also call attention to Major Dufficy and Major John S. Clark, for gallant conduct. I have not a word of censure for any officer of my command, but am highly gratified to have it in my power to say they all discharged their duty promptly and efficiently. The enlisted men were quick to obey and execute every order, however hazardous to carry out, and in addition to those already mentioned I add the names of John Mosly, Sergeant-Major of the Eighth Kentucky;----Duncan, Color-Sergeant of the Ninety-ninth Ohio; the Sergeant of the Fortieth Ohio, Jacob Buttle, of company G, and Clark Thornton, of company D, of the same regiment; John Powers, Sergeant-Major of the Thirty-fifth Indiana, as worthy of special observation.

To my staff I call the attention of the General in command. We had to dismount and go on foot in storming Lookout. The transportation of orders over its rugged sides in the face of the enemy was one of great danger and labor, but the energy of my intrepid Acting Adjutant-General, Captain J. Rowan Boone; of my untiring aids, Lieutenants Phipps, Peck, and Riley; of my Provost-Marshal, Lieutenant Pepoom; and of Brigade Inspector, Captain North, enabled me to overcome it all, and, through their assistance, I was enabled to handle my brigade in the manner I desired. Not an order was sent that was not swiftly carried and as swiftly executed. I deem it due Warren C. Gallehue, of the Eighty-fourth Indiana, and William Spears, of the Fortieth Ohio, and Joseph Long, orderlies of my staff, to recommend them for promotion for gallantry.

Quartermaster's Lieutenant Igot, though Brigade Quartermaster, offered his services for the expedition, and discharged his thankless fatiguing duty regardless of mud, and was active in obtaining supplies for my men and forage for the animals through the cold freezing nights. The surgeons of the brigade, under control of Dr. Beach, discharged their duties well. Father Coony, Chaplain to the Thirty-fifth Indiana, a most exemplary man, was with us to cheer us, and wait upon the wounded and dying according to the rites of his Church. He came under my personal notice in the fiercest of the fight. The strength of my command in storming Lookout was one hundred and ten commissioned officers and one thousand three hundred and fifty-five enlisted men, making an aggregate of one thousand four hundred and sixty-five actively engaged.

My loss in killed is one officer and sixteen enlisted men. Wounded, six officers and fifty-two enlisted men. Two were missing, making an aggregate loss of eighty-two men. See tabular statement herewith appended.

Our country, his family, and his friends have to mourn the loss of Major Acton, of the Fortieth Ohio. He was among the best officers in the service. It is a source of great satisfaction to [222] have been instrumental in accomplishing such magnificent and important results with so little loss, and I can only attribute it to the care of that Providence who spread the mantle of his protection over us; and the bold impetuosity of my brave men that bore down, and gave the enemy no time to rally their broken columns.

To the officers and men of General Geary's war-worn division, the heroes around whose brows cluster the unfading laurels of Gettysburgh, we of the Cumberland extend a soldier's greeting and congratulation; they were our companions in storming Lookout, and the best testimonial we can give them of our appreciation of their bravery and endurance, is that we thought their valor and conduct worthy of our most energetic emulation.

Walker C. Whitaker, Brigadier-General Commanding.


Brigadier-General Hazen's report.

headquarters Second brigade, Third division, Fourth corps, in camp, near Knoxville, Tenn., December 10, 1868.
A. A. G., Third Division, Fourth corps, Present:
In obedience to orders, I have the honor to report as follows of the operations of my brigade, commencing with moving from camp at Chattanooga, November twenty-third, resulting in the rout of the enemy on Mission Ridge, and ending with our arrival at this point December seventh:

At twelve M., November twenty-third, I received orders to form my brigade near Fort Wood, and hold it in readiness to move in the direction of Mission Ridge (south-easterly) with the remainder of the division on a reconnoissance. The position assigned me was on the right of the front line. The brigade was formed in five battalions, as follows:

First Battalion: Colonel Aquilla Wiley, Forty-first Ohio volunteer infantry, commanding, was composed of the following regiments, namely, Forty-first Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel R. L. Kimberly, and Ninety-third Ohio, Major Wm. Birch.

Second Battalion: Colonel W. W. Berry, Fifth Kentucky volunteer infantry, commanding; of the Fifth Kentucky volunteer infantry, Lieutenant-Cololonel J. L. Trainor, and Sixth Kentucky volunteer infantry, Major R. T. Whitaker.

Third Battalion: Lieutenant-Colonel E. B. Langdon, First Ohio volunteer infantry, commanding; of the First Ohio volunteer infantry, Major J. A. Stafford, and Twenty-third Kentucky volunteer infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel James C. Foy.

Fourth Battalion: Lieutenant-Colonel James Pickands, One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Ohio volunteer infantry, commanding; of the One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Ohio volunteer infantry, Major J. B. Hampson, and Sixth Indiana, Major C. D. Campbell.

Fifth Battalion: Sixth Ohio volunteer infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel A. C. Christopher, commanding. In all, two thousand two hundred and fifty-six effective officers and men.

The first and third battalions were deployed in the front line, and the fourth and fifth were formed in double column in the second line.

The second battalion was on picket, and in position to be used as skirmishers. The entire battalion was deployed as such, and at the sound of the bugle, at two P. M., the entire brigade moved forward in exact order, and in two minutes the skirmish line was sharply engaged with that of the enemy, which gave ground after firing their pieces, and no considerable opposition was felt after till we reached their first line of rifle-pits, about one half-mile to the rear of their picket-line, where the pickets and their reserves endeavored to check our advance; but, pushing the first battalion, that being immediately in front of their principal force, the work, situated on a rocky hill, was carried in the most handsome manner, capturing nearly the entire regiment holding it, the Twenty-eighth Alabama infantry, with their colors.

It was not accomplished, however, without serious cost to the Forty-first and Ninety-third Ohio. Major Birch, leading the latter, fell here; also, eleven of his men killed and forty-eight wounded. The Forty-first Ohio lost eleven men killed and fifty-two wounded.

Colonel Wiley and Lieutenant-Colonel Kimberly, of the same regiment, each had horses killed under them, and Colonel Berry, commanding the skirmishers, was struck twice.

This position was actually carried at the point of the bayonet, the enemy being captured behind their work by the men leaping over it.

During the last half mile of this advance my right was entirely exposed, and suffered severely from an enfilading fire of the enemy.

The night of the twenty-third was employed in strengthening our position by works, and the twenty-fourth was passed without engaging the enemy.

At about eleven A. M., on the twenty-fifth, I was ordered to advance my skirmish-line sufficiently to develop the enemy's strength behind his main line of breastworks at the foot of Mission Ridge, about one half-mile in our front. This was handsomely done under the immediate command of Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher, Sixth Ohio infantry. In this advance, Major S. C. Erwine, Sixth Ohio infantry, was killed by a shell, and eight or ten others killed and wounded. At about three o'clock P. M., this day, I received orders to move forward with the remainder of the division and take possession of the enemy's works at the foot of Mission Ridge, taking cover behind them, and there to await further orders.

The One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Ohio was on picket and used as skirmishers. The other formations of battalions were similar to that on the twenty-third instant; the Sixth Kentucky reporting to Colonel Christopher, and acting with the fifth battalion, and the Sixth Indiana, acting with the second; both lines were deployed; the third and fifth battalions forming the first, and the first and second the second line.

At the signal the brigade moved forward, and, [223] simultaneously, a fire from at least fifty pieces of artillery, from the crest of Mission Ridge, was poured upon us. We moved in good order, at a rapid step, under this appalling fire, to the enemy's works, which were situated about three hundred yards below, and toward Chattanooga, from the crest of the ridge, the enemy fleeing from these works at our approach. The command, on reaching the enemy's works at the foot of the hill, covered itself, as ordered, on the reverse side as best it could, but very imperfectly, being so near and so much below the crest of the ridge.

The musketry fire from the crest was now telling severely upon us, and the crest presenting its concavity toward us, we were completely enfiladed by artillery from both flanks.

The position was a singular one, and can only be well understood by those who occupied it.

The command had executed its orders, and to remain there till new ones could be sent would be destruction: to fall back would not only be so, but would entail disgrace.

On commencing the advance, the thought of storming Mission Ridge had not entered the mind of any one, but now the necessity was apparent to every soldier of the command. Giving the men about five minutes to breathe, and receiving no orders, I gave the word forward, which was eagerly obeyed.

The forces of General Willich, on my left, had commenced the movement somewhat in my advance, and those of Major-General Sheridan, on my right, were a considerable distance in my rear. There were in my front the troops of General Breckinridge, forming the left of the enemy's centre.

Not much regard to lines could be observed, but the strong men, commanders, and color-bearers took the lead, in each case forming the apex of a triangular column of men. These advanced slowly, but confidently; no amount of fire from the crest checking them.

Lieutenant-Colonel Langdon, of the First Ohio, gaining a position where the conformation of the hill gave cover, till within three yards of the crest, formed several hundred men there, checking the head for that purpose; then giving the command, the column broke over the crest, the enemy fleeing. These were the first men of the entire army on the hill, and my command moving up with a shout, their entire front was handsomely carried.

The troops on my immediate left were still held in check, and those on my right not more than half-way up the hill, and were being successfully held back. Hurrying my men to the right and left along the crest, I was enabled to take the enemy in flank and reverse, and, by vigorously using the artillery captured there, I soon relieved my neighbors and carried the crest within a few hundred yards of Bragg's headquarters; he himself escaping by flight, being at one time near my right, encouraging the troops that had checked Sheridan's left.

The heroism of the entire command in this engagement merits the highest praise of the country.

Colonel Aquila Wiley, Forty-first Ohio, commanding First battalion, was shot through the leg, making amputation necessary.

The loss to the service of this officer cannot be properly estimated. He was always prompt and thorough, and possessed capacity and knowledge of his duties that never left him at fault. I know no officer of equal efficiency in the volunteer service, and none whose past services entitle them to better reward. The services and losses of his battalion, composed of the Forty-first and Ninety-third Ohio infantry, also stand conspicuous.

Lieutenant-Colonel Langdon, First Ohio infantry, commanding Third battalion, was shot through the face just as he had reached the crest of the hill, and, after lying prostrate from the wound, again moved forward cheering his men.

The services of this officer, in first gaining the crest, should be rewarded by promotion to the grade of brigadier-general. He has previously commanded a brigade with efficiency.

Colonel Berry, Fifth Kentucky infantry, was again wounded, just as he had reached the crest at the head of his battalion, being the third received in these operations. He, however, did not leave the field. A like promotion, in his case, would be not only fitting but beneficial to the service.

On the fall of Colonel Wiley, Lieutenant-Colonel Kimberly, Forty-first Ohio, assumed command of the First battalion, and, through the remainder of the engagement, fought it with his usual rare ability.

Lieutenant-Colonels Christopher, Sixth Ohio infantry, and Pickands, One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Ohio, commanding battalions, rendered valuable and meritorious service.

I have also to mention Corporal G. A. Kramer, company I, Forty-first Ohio, for his gallantry, in turning upon the enemy the first gun on the ridge, which he discharged by firing his musket over the vent. The same man, alone, ordered and received the surrender of twenty men with the colors of the Twenty-eighth Alabama on the twenty-third instant.

Sergeant D. L. Sutphin, company D, Ninety-third Ohio. on reaching the crest, captured a stand of colors in the hands of its bearer.

Corporal Angelbeck, company I, Forty-first Ohio, seeing a caisson filled with ammunition already on fire with two wounded horses attached to it, cut them loose and ran the burning carriage down the hill before it exploded.

The colors of the First Ohio, the first on the hill, were carried, while ascending it, at different times, by the following men and officers:

Corporal John Emery, company I, wounded.

Corporal Wm. McLaughlin, company I, killed.

Captain Nicholas Trapp, wounded.

Corporal Thos. Bawler, company A, wounded.

Corporal Frederick Zimmerman.

Major Stafford.

The foregoing are but a few of the many instances [224] of heroism displayed on this occasion deserving especial mention:

Major William Birch, Ninety-third Ohio, and Major S. C. Erwine, Sixth Ohio infantry, who fell while leading their men, were soldiers of rare efficiency, and their loss will be severely felt by the service and lamented by their friends.

My entire staff, as has always been the case in the numerous battles in which they have been engaged, conducted themselves with the greatest bravery and usefulness. In summing up the operations of the twenty-third and twenty-fifth, I have to report the capture of three hundred and eighty-two prisoners, besides a large number of wounded, of two stands of colors, of eighteen pieces of artillery, with their appendages, six hundred and fifty stand of small arms, a considerable quantity of clothing, camp, and garrison equipage, and eleven loaded wagons. Forty-nine of the enemy, including one colonel, were buried by my parties.

Attention is called to reports of battalion commanders accompanying this paper.

My entire casualties are as follows:

 officers.men.missing. 
 Kill.Wounded.Kill.Wounded.Of.Men.Total.
Forty-first Ohio,151765  88
Fifth Kentucky,26846  62
First Ohio,141064  79
Sixth Ohio,12526 589
One Hundred and Twenty-Fourth Ohio.13518 229
Twenty-third Kentucky, 2934  45
Sixth Indiana, 31860  76
Ninety-third Ohio,141964  88
Sixth Kentucky, 1 22  23
 
Total,78086309 7529

On the morning of the twenty-eighth, we took up the march for this place, which was reached the evening of the seventh instant.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. B. Hazen, Brigadier-General.

headquarters Second brigade, Third division, Fourth corps, Chattanooga, Nov. 28, 1863.
soldiers: Your General congratulates you upon the immortal deeds of the twenty-fifth. The enemy had fortified a position deemed impregnable by nature. You assaulted it; your colors were first on the heights. You hurled the enemy, terror-stricken by the heroic daring of your attack, from his stronghold, and eighteen pieces of artillery, two stands of colors, with numerous prisoners and small arms, are your trophies. Where can the enemy stand before your invincible ranks?

For your noble dead, a nation will weep; but let us, who knew them as worthy to stand with the noblest, remember that in a thousand battles a prouder death could not have fallen to their lot.

W. B. Hazen, Brigadier-General.


Colonel Berry's report.

headquarters Fifth regiment Kentucky Volunteer infantry, Knoxville, December 8, 1863.
Captain: I respectfully submit the following report of the operations of my command from the twenty-third of November to the seventh instant, inclusive.

Being on picket in front of Chattanooga at two P. M., November twenty-third, I received orders to deploy my entire command, consisting of the Fifth and Sixth Kentucky volunteer infantry, as skirmishers. This done, the “Forward” was sounded, and the line advanced with great regularity. The enemy's pickets fell back rapidly on their reserves, which were strongly posted behind rifle-pits, on the crests of a series of knobs, some of which were timbered, others bare. At but one point along the line was the opposition strong enough to check the skirmishline, and this was but momentary, as the Ninety-third and Forty-first Ohio regiments came up in fine order, and the whole line went over the works, capturing the principal portion of the enemy's forces in them — flags, guns, accoutrements, and all. In this affair, Captain J. P. Hurley, one of my best officers, fell mortally wounded. He died next day. The service could not have met with a heavier loss in the death of a single individual. Major Whitaker, Sixth Kentucky, held his portion of the line fully up to the works. We held the position thus taken till the afternoon of the twenty-fifth, when I received orders to consolidate the Fifth Kentucky regiment with the Sixth Indiana volunteers, and be prepared to advance on the enemy at once. The position assigned me in the brigade was on the left of the second line. There was to be an interval of four hundred yards between the lines. At the proper time I advanced, and reached the enemy's second line of works a few moments after the first line of battle had occupied them. This was the extent of my orders. But hearing Lieutenant-Colonel Langdon, commanding that portion of the first line in my front, order it forward, I advanced simultaneously. In a little while, the lines became mingled, the strong men of each regiment outstripping the weaker in climbing the steep acclivity, and thus the heights of Mission Ridge were carried, and eighteen pieces of artillery captured, with, I believe, the entire force of the enemy in our front. Again I have to regret the loss of a capital officer, Captain Wilson, killed half-way up the ridge. Young, earnest, and brave, his country and comrades will never forget the sacrifice there made.

The guns captured were immediately turned upon the enemy in General Sheridan's front. The rebel cannoneers good-naturedly assisted in this artillery practice, which to us was novel business. Lieutenant-Colonel Treanor, Fifth Kentuky, and Major Campbell, Sixth Indiana, merit the highest commendation for the energy and coolness with which they organized a body of men from all the regiments, and threatened to cut off the enemy to our right, thus relieving General Sheridan from a most determined opposition. The officers and men of my command cannot be awarded too great honor for their heroic conduct in this, the most fiery ordeal of the war. The whole thing was more a matter of individuals than of organization, and consequently [225] the glory is more personal than in any battle I know of. My loss was heavy, but were the dead only living, I should esteem the triumph cheaply purchased. The temporary absence, on account of wounds received in this battle, of Captain Huston, Lieutenants Zoller and Thomas, is a source of considerable embarrassment, as they are most valuable officers. My color-bearer, Corporal Murphy, was killed within a few feet of the summit, in advance of the entire brigade. I had no braver man in my command. Adjutant Johnston and Surgeon Miller have my thanks for the services rendered me, and I especially commend Sergeants Wolf and McDermont for their handsome behavior. You are respectfully referred to Major Campbell's report for those honorably mentioned in Sixth regiment Indiana volunteers.

We remained on Mission Ridge till the evening of the twenty-sixth, when we moved to Chattanooga, to prepare to set out for Knoxville, which point we reached, after ten days marching, on the afternoon of the seventh instant.

Inclosed you will please find lists of the killed and wounded of the Sixth Indiana and Fifth and Sixth Kentucky infantry.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

William W. Berry, Colonel Fifth Kentucky Volunteers. Captain Crowell, Assistant Adjutant-General Second Brigade, Third Division, Fourth Army Corps.


Lieutenant-Colonel Kimberley's report.

headquarters Forty-First infantry, Ohio Vols., in camp near Knoxville, Tenn., Dec. 8, 1863.
Captain: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the battalion under my command, which includes the Forty-first and Ninety-third regiments infantry, Ohio volunteers, from the time of breaking camp at Chattanooga, November twenty-third, 1863, to the present date.

At the commencement of the operations, Colonel Aquila Wiley, Forty-first infantry, Ohio volunteers, was in command of the battalion; but the wounding of that officer, on the evening of the twenty-fifth, devolves upon me the duty of reporting the operations before I assumed command.

At noon of November twenty-third, the battalion prepared to move from its camp near Fort Wood, Chattanooga, upon a reconnoissance toward Missionary Ridge, and at two o'clock of that day marched in line of battle with the brigade upon the enemy's rifle-pits, a mile in advance of the Ridge. The position assigned this battalion was upon the right of the first line, its front being covered by the Fifth Kentucky infantry as skirmishers. The advance for eight hundred yards from Fort Wood was over open ground; beyond this was a forest, in the skirts of which the enemy's pickets were met, but gave way readily before the skirmishers. As the line advanced in support of the skirmishers, Colonel Wiley, seeing his right uncovered, sent two companies of the Forty-first regiment, under Major Williston, to act as flankers. Passing over a gentle crest, which had been occupied by the rebel pickets, and into the dense undergrowth of oak in the valley beyond, the enemy's resistance became suddenly obstinate. The skirmishers could advance no further, but the main line went steadily forward for two hundred yards without firing, though receiving a rapid musketry fire. A good line of rifle-pits on a considerable crest, a hundred yards to the front, was now distinctly visible, and in these pits the rebel pickets had been rallied. Colonel Wiley sent notice of this fact to his brigade commander, and received immediately an order to take the rifle-pits and hold the crest. Before the messenger bearing the order reached him, Cofonel Wiley had opened fire and led his battalion forward to within fifty paces of the rifle-pits. Here he met a severe fire from the front and right flank. At the latter point, the enemy's line of works bent toward his front, and enabled him to pour upon Colonel Wiley's line an enfilading fire. Near a fourth of the men were struck down here in advancing twenty-five or thirty paces, and the battalion was for a moment staggered by the withering musketry. It soon rallied, however, under the personal efforts of Colonel Wiley and his subordinates, and pressed forward over the rifle-pits. As soon as these were reached, the enemy's resistance ceased, and the men who occupied the pits generally surrendered, and were sent to the rear. A slight parapet for the defence of the position was at once constructed. The line to our right was also abandoned, almost immediately, and the battalion was left in quiet possession of the works, subject only to a cannonade of an hour from the enemy's batteries on Missionary Ridge.

During the twenty-fourth and until afternoon of the twenty-fifth, the battalion remained in the position above described. At two P. M., of the twenty-fifth, the brigade was formed to carry the enemy's works at the foot of Missionary Ridge. Colonel Wiley's battalion was assigned a position on the right of the second line. The battalions of this line were deployed, having to pass for three fourths of a mile under fire of the enemy's batteries on the Ridge, before coining upon the works at the foot. Scarcely was the line in motion before the enemy commenced a furious cannonade from the Ridge, which was continued uninterruptedly until his batteries fell into our hands. The works at the foot of the Ridge were carried by the skirmish-line, and the battalion moved up and covered itself behind them as well as was possible. While lying here, Colonel Wiley, who had incautiously exposed himself, was struck by a canister-shot, which shattered his leg. A few moments afterward, I heard the order from the brigade commander to assault the enemy's line at the summit of the Ridge, and the command of the battalion having devolved upon me, I at once ordered the men forward. Owing to the noise of the cannonade, and the fact that the men were lying flat upon their faces for cover, it was impossible to make [226] this command heard along the entire line. After advancing briskly about fifty paces, perceiving my men were not yet all up, I checked the movement for a moment to close up the line. The enemy's canister was thrown too thickly, however, to permit an instant's halt here, and at my command the men promptly commenced the ascent of the Ridge. This was very steep, and covered with stumps, logs, etc. The advance was made steadily, though of course slowly, and the nature of the ground prevented any attempt at the preservation of lines. When about two thirds of the ascent had been accomplished, I saw that the face of the hill where my battalion was moving was concave, and exposed to fire from the rifle-pits at the top, while a battery to the right enfiladed the line. To the left, fifty paces, the face of the hill was convex, and a part of the left battalion was moving up well covered, To take advantage of this, I closed to the left most of my men, and with the rest, who were now within thirty paces of the enemy's rifle-pits, opened a fire upon the battery to the right, which was throwing canister very rapidly. The fire of my men was very effective, the rebel gunners firing but two shots after we opened upon them, when they deserted their pieces and ran. Half a dozen men of the Forty-first regiment, who were farthest to the right, at once seized the battery, and, turning it upon the enemy, added materially to the panic which had now seized them. The party to my left, before alluded to as moving up the convex face of the hill, had entered the enemy's rifle-pits, and the portion of my battalion to the right of this was fast forming in them, when, going forward to look down the opposite slope, I discovered the enemy rallying just under the crest. Sending the colors of my regiment forward to the crest, the men were ordered to advance, when they dashed upon the enemy without waiting for command, and drove him entirely from the position. To the right, the enemy still held out, and my battalion, with others of the brigade, advanced along the ridge several hundred yards, when it was halted, and prepared to defend the place should the enemy attempt to retake it. No further fighting occurred, and the evening was spent in collecting the artillery which had been captured.

On the night of the twenty-sixth, the battalion returned to camp at Chattanooga, and on the twenty-eighth marched with the brigade for Knoxville, reaching its present camp on the seventh instant.

No praise is extravagant when applied to the officers and men whose bravery and zeal carried the enemy's works, under such heavy loss, on the twenty-third, and climbed the apparently impregnable heights of Missionary Ridge on the twenty-fifth.

I have particularly to thank Major Williston, Forty-first infantry, Ohio volunteers, and Captain Bowman, Ninety-third Ohio volunteer infantry, for efficient and gallant services, and, without exception, the subordinate officers of both regiments for gallantry in action and faithful performance of duty at all times. Corporal G. A. Kramer, company I, Forty-first infantry, Ohio volunteers, deserves especial mention for turning the first gun on the enemy when the Ridge was carried, and for capturing the flag of the Twenty-eighth Alabama regiment. On the twenty-third, Sergeant D. L. Sutphin, Ninety-third Ohio volunteer infantry, took a rebel flag on the Ridge, making two taken by the battalion. It would be presumption in me to speak in commendation of Colonel Wiley, or to say more than that the loss to himself is less than the loss to the service. Major William Birch, Ninety-third Ohio volunteer infantry, a brave and faithful soldier, fell on the twenty-third, while leading his men to the assault.

The loss of the honored dead demands their country's mourning; but the manner of their death will be mentioned with just pride always.

The following is a statement of the casualties:

Ninety-Third Ohio.

date.killed.wounded.missing.total.
 Off.Men.Off.Men.Off.Men. 
November 23, 12342  57
November 25, 3219  24
 
Aggregate, 15561  81

Number engaged November twenty-third--commissioned officers, 9; enlisted, 194. Total, 203.

Number engaged, November twenty-fifth--commissioned officers, 6; enlisted, 126. Total, 132.

Forty-First Ohio.

date.killed.wounded.missing.total.
 Off.Men.Off.Men.Off.Men. 
November 23, 10347  60
November 25,17218  28
 
Aggregate,117565  88

Number engaged, November twenty-third--commissioned officers, 14; enlisted, 230. Total, 244.

Number engaged, November twenty-fifth--commissioned officers, 11; enlisted, 175. Total, 186.

Aggregate engaged, November twenty-third--commissioned, 23; enlisted, 424. Total, 447.

Aggregate engaged, November twenty-fifth--commissioned, 17; enlisted, 301. Total, 318.

Aggregate casualties, November twenty-third--killed, commissioned,--; enlisted, 22: wounded, commissioned, 6; enlisted, 89. Aggregate casualties, November twenty-fifth--killed, commissioned, 1; enlisted, 10: wounded, commissioned, 4; enlisted, 37. Total killed, 33; total wounded, 136.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. L. Kimberly, Lieutenant-Colonel Forty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry. To Captain John Crowell, Assistant Adjutant-General Second Brigade, Third Division, Fourth Army Corps.


[227]

Major Stafford's report.

headquarters First regiment Ohio Volunteer infantry, camp near Knoxville, Dec. 8, 1863.
Captain John Crowell, Jr., A. A. G. Second Brigade, Third Division, Fourth Army Corps:
I have the honor to report the part taken by the First regiment Ohio volunteers in the engagements of the twenty-third, twenty-fourth, and twenty-fifth of November, near Chattanooga, Tennessee.

On the afternoon of the twenty-third, the regiment was consolidated with the Twenty-third Kentucky, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Langdon, of the First Ohio, and took its position, forming double column closed in mass, on the right and in rear of the front line. In this manner the regiment advanced until the line in front became hotly engaged with the enemy. At this moment I was ordered by Colonel Langdon to take two companies from the battalion and move to the right-oblique, for the purpose of protecting the flank. I did so, taking company B, First Ohio, and one company of the Twenty-third Kentucky, and pressed forward, taking possession of the enemy's line of breastworks on the right, being opposed only by a slim line of skirmishers. A few moments after we had occupied the enemy's works, they appeared upon our extreme right, advancing for the purpose, no doubt, of turning our flank. I deployed a line of skirmishers to cover the flank. At this moment Colonel Langdon came up with the balance of his command, drove the enemy back, and held the position. In this skirmish the regiment behaved nobly, losing one man killed and three wounded.

On the night of the twenty-third, the regiment was occupied in strengthening its position and doing picket-duty. Nothing worthy of note happened on the twenty-fourth. On the morning of the twenty-fifth, two companies of the regiment being on the skirmish-line were ordered to advance along with the balance of the skirmishers of the brigade. They advanced to within about three hundred yards of the enemy's works, under a sharp fire from their infantry and artillery. Soon after the two companies from the First rejoined their regiment, lines were then formed preparatory to an advance on the enemy's works. The First took position on the right in the front line deployed, the first line being under command of Colonel Langdon. About two o'clock the line advanced under a heavy fire from the enemy's artillery and infantry. Their first line of works was carried by storm, and, after a few minutes' rest, the men pressed steadily forward up Missionary Ridge. About two thirds the way up, Colonel Langdon fell severely wounded whilst bravely leading his men forward. The brave Captain Trapp fell about the same time, badly wounded. Still the men moved steadily on, under a terrible fire, to the crest of the hill, driving the enemy out of their works, taking a great number of prisoners and two pieces of artillery. The crest of the hill gained, our position became very critical, Hazen's brigade being at that time the only one on the ridge, the enemy sweeping the ridge at every fire from his cannon on our right. Our men became considerably scattered in their advance up the ridge, and it was with a great deal of difficulty that a very great number of any one regiment could be gotten together. Hastily collecting about twenty men from my own regiment, the balance having inclined to the left and fighting nobly, and a few from other regiments, I moved to the right on the crest at a double-quick, driving the enemy away and capturing their first two pieces of artillery on our right. They retiring over the crest to the left and opening a flanking fire upon us again, I ordered a charge, and the enemy were driven from their new position. They now opened four pieces of artillery upon us about one hundred yards farther to the right, and also formed a line of infantry across the crest, for the purpose, no doubt, of driving us from the ridge. I now had fifteen men under Captain Hooker and about fifteen more from different regiments; they all seemed determined not to give a single inch, though they were opposed by four pieces of artillery and nearly a whole regiment of infantry. I gave the command “Forward,” and all started at doublequick. It seemed incredible, nevertheless it is true, that our thirty men went at them with a right good will. The enemy broke and retreated in every direction, leaving their four pieces of artillery and a great number of prisoners in our hands. This last battery was captured immediately in front of General Sheridan's left regiment, they being about one half the way up the ridge. We followed the enemy up, and drove them from several pieces of artillery and caissons that they were trying to get off with. We also captured one cannon and caisson and one wagon on the opposite crest of the hill. I then returned and rejoined my battalion, now under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Foy, Twenty-third Kentucky.

The regiment behaved most nobly, both officers and men. They all took example from our noble Colonel, who fell before the action was over. They vied with each other in deeds of heroism. I would respectfully recommend to your favorable consideration Captains Trapp, Hooker, Jones, and Patterson; Lieutenants Leonard, Thomas, Varian, Groves, Ward, Kuhlman, and Young; also Doctor Barr. They are efficient officers, and deserve the highest encomiums for their noble conduct. Lieutenant Wollenhaupt, who was killed while gallantly urging his men forward, was a good officer and beloved by all. His loss is severely felt in the regiment.

The loss in the regiment was heavy--one officer and eleven men killed, four officers and sixty-two men wounded, making the loss in the regiment since the twenty-third as follows: Officers — killed, one; wounded, four: men — killed, eleven; wounded, sixty-five. Total, eighty-one.

Upon the march from Chattanooga to this place nothing worthy of note occurred.

Respectfully submitted.

J. A. Stafford, Major Commanding First Ohio Volunteer Infantry.


[228]

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 [229] 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 [230] 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,) [231] 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 [232] 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 [233] 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 mass
Of living valor rolling on the foe!

The 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 [234] 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.


Events of Thursday, November twenty-sixth.

Chattanooga, Nov. 27.
Early yesterday morning, I mounted my horse, and rode out to Mission Ridge. The joy of victory still lighted up the countenances of those I met, and officers and soldiers of the different corps were congratulating each other upon the brilliant success of the previous day.

But it was not all triumph now. A mournful procession of ambulances and men on foot with stretchers, bore back toward Chattanooga the bleeding forms of the wounded, as well as the remains of those who had heard their last call to [235] battle, and would never carry sword or musket more. All through the woods between Bald Knob and Mission Ridge, and over the open ground at the foot of the latter, sad sights drew tears, even from eyes unaccustomed to weeping.

At one place a father was walking beside the stretcher on which was borne the torn and mangled yet still breathing body of his son.

At the foot of a tree, a strong man was bending, heart-broken, over the lifeless form of his brother.

A fragment of a shell had driven the barrel of a musket, in a soldier's hand, with such force against his face, that the head was nearly severed in twain.

A rebel officer was lying prone on his face in one of the rifle-pits, still grasping in his hand the sword, which, I afterward learned, he had bravely flourished in the very faces of our men, as they burst with resistless valor over the rebel works. I thought as I looked at him, that, as a tribute to his courage, he should be buried as he lay, under the works he had so well defended, with his sword still in his hand.

On the ridge the corpses lay strewed around more thickly, and all along the line occupied by Wood and Baird and Sheridan, the eye could not gaze in any direction without beholding the stiff, cold forms of the dead.

The expression upon the faces of our own men who had fallen here, was most touching and remarkable, for not all the pains of dissolution had been able to drive from their features the smile of victory, or the placid look of contentment which always rests upon the countenance of him who feels his work well done. Could those near and dear to the brave men who fell at Chattanooga, have gazed upon their faces the next morning, I am sure it would have mitigated, for all time to come, their emotions of grief. For it was plain as the sun at noonday, that these men had died, not only without mental agony, but that their last earthly feeling was one of calm contentment or triumphant joy. True this was death — but it was death without its hideousness — death robbed of all its terrors — death whose grandeur made it preferable to life.

On the summit of the ridge the captured artillery was huddled together in groups, and here, in spite of all my stoicism, I saw another spectacle, of a different nature, which affected me to tears. Numbers of soldiers were standing around the pieces, peering into their huge throats with intense curiosity, passing their hands over every portion even of the carriage-wheels, patting the guns as a child pats the head of a dog, and smiling in each other's faces! As I gazed upon those men, it seemed to me as if I were carried back to another age, and saw before me the sacrifices, the strength, the spirit, and the glories of the American Revolution. God bless the soldiers whose deepest and most solemn joy springs from the overthrow of their country's enemies!

I endeavored, with all my power, to ascertain what regiment had first planted its flag upon the crest of the Ridge. It was impossible to do so, and I predict now, that it will never be known. A dozen different regiments lay claim to the honor; and each one has, no doubt, witnesses among the spectators, who honestly testify to the validity of its claim; for it was impossible for any one man to mark all parts of the line at once, and each naturally supposed that the flag he first saw on the crest, was actually the first placed there.

As I was riding out to the Ridge, a group of soldiers were standing near the road. As I passed, they remarked to each other, “There goes a correspondent,” and then called out to me: “Don't forget to speak well of the First Ohio boys!”

I will not; although their actions the day before spoke for them more loudly than can the pen of the historian. But this is what I shall say:

The First Ohio and Twenty-third Kentucky had been consolidated before the battle, under command of Colonel Langdon, of the former. Did I not know, from the causes I have mentioned, how easily one or a hundred spectators could have been deceived in the matter, I should assert, with the utmost positiveness, that the flag of these consolidated regiments was the first that floated over Mission Ridge.

But whatever difference of opinion there may be with regard to the particular regiment to which this honor should be assigned, the illustrious rivals can well afford to be generous to each other; for all agree that five minutes did not elapse from the time our first soldier stood upon the top of the ridge, until a line of Union banners was floating all along the crest.

Let all, in these honorable rivalries, imitate the noble example of the Seventy-sixth Ohio and Thirty-eighth Indiana. These regiments were over to the right on Wednesday, the former on the extreme right of Osterhaus's division, the latter on the right of Johnson's. As Osterhaus swept round upon the left flank of the enemy — Johnson at the same time attacking them in front — the lines met, and nearly five hundred rebels, inclosed between the Seventy-sixth Ohio and the Thirty-eighth Indiana, threw down their arms. Nobody could decide to which regiment they surrendered, and a contest commenced which should crown both with immortal honor; for each claimed the prisoners, not for itself, but for the other.

General Sherman's men did not make quite the same progress on the left as the other portions of our army; but let no one decide, on that account, that they did not fight as bravely. Their bold attack upon Tunnel Hill drew upon them the concentrated might of half the rebel army, and, although some of them gave way in confusion, it was simply because they were assailed by overwhelming numbers. This was particularly the case with General John E. Smith's division.

But they need not even this explanation at my hands. That the courage of the men and the ability of the officers who bore the American [236] flag in triumph at Raymond, at Jackson, at Champion Hill, and at Vicksburgh, is no longer a matter of question.

Tunnel Hill had been abandoned by the rebels in the night; and when I left the summit of the Ridge about noon, the right and left wings of our army were advancing, while the centre still held its position. No enemy was visible, but columns of smoke rising from various points told that the enemy was burning the bridges over the Chickamauga, and such of his stores as he could not carry away. Sherman was throwing a shell, occasionally, into some old rebel camps, which came in sight as he advanced. “No use beating those bushes,” said old Willich, after closely inspecting these camps through his field-glass; “the bird has flown.”

Estimates of the losses in the last great contest have already been given by telegram. I shall not repeat them here.

In the entire three days operations, I think our own loss will reach six hundred killed, three thousand wounded, and four hundred prisoners. It cannot, certainly, exceed this; it may fall considerably below.

The rebel loss will not fall short of five hundred killed, two thousand five hundred wounded, five thousand prisoners, seven thousand stands of small arms, twenty stands of colors, and forty pieces of artillery.



Richmond “despatch” account.

army of Tennessee, Mission Ridge, Nov. 23, nine P. M.
General Grant has made an important move upon the military chess-board to-day, and one that is likely to exert an important influence upon military operations in this quarter. At an early hour this morning, when the fog had lifted from the valley below, it was discovered that the Federal Commander was massing a heavy force on his left, and opposite to our right. As the morning advanced, this force grew denser and larger, until it covered all the slopes this side of Cemetery Fort, which is near the river above, and the last work the enemy has on his left. At twelve M., these masses deployed into two lines of battle, with heavy reserves. This movement completed, the guns of the fort opened at two P. M., when the heavy lines of the Federals advanced rapidly against our pickets, and drove them in, after a sharp resistance on their part. By three o'clock, the enemy had gained Indian Hill, an eminence which stands about midway between Cemetery Fort and Mission Ridge, being between his left wing and our right. He advanced upon no other part of our lines, and rested after gaining possession of the hill.

In the mean time, Major Robertson brought up a few guns of his reserve artillery, and, with other batteries posted on Mission Ridge to the right, opened upon the enemy, with what effect is not known. We only know that he maintained his new position, notwithstanding our fire. No report has been received of our casualties beyond a surmise in official quarters, that they will reach from one to two hundred in killed and wounded. Only our pickets were engaged, the enemy not coming within range of our line of battle.

When this movement was going on, it was observed that the enemy threw a considerable column. up the river further to our right, as if he intended to overlap our line, and compel us to stretch it out to a length that would render it very long and very weak. Can it be that he means to threaten our depot of supplies at Chickamauga Station, and at the same time to draw us away from Lookout Mountain? The idea that Grant desires to advance his lines in order to get more room and a further supply of firewood, as has been suggested, will not bear the test of reason. A movement on so large a scale looks to ulterior objects, and is intended to initiate operations upon a broad and comprehensive scale.

The first result of such a movement will be to compel General Bragg to weaken his forces on Lookout Mountain, (his left,) to reinforce his right, which is comparatively weak. Indeed, orders to this effect have already been given, and are now being executed. It will never do to let the enemy turn our right, and get possession of our depot at Chickamauga.

General Bragg, therefore, must choose between Lookout and Chickamauga. The demonstration to-day was intended, doubtless, to force him to make his election between the two. If he decide to hold Chickamauga, then he must yield the mountain, and throw his army between the enemy's encroaching left wing and the railroad. If he gives the preference to Lookout, then the railroad and his depot of supplies must go.

The natural effect of the affair to-day, as has already been intimated, will be to force General Bragg to weaken his left, in order to strengthen his right wing, now threatened by a formidable and largely superior force. This, I doubt not, was one of the objects of the demonstration. I look, therefore, for an assault upon Lookout tomorrow, when it will be less able to resist an attack than it was to-day. Our artillery on the mountain will be of no assistance after the enemy shall have reached the foot of the mountain, it being impossible to depress the guns sufficiently. The importance of the mountain ceased with the loss of Lookout Valley. The possession of the valley reduces the wagon transportation of the enemy to two or three miles at farthest, and gives him the use of the river besides. The voluntary abandonment of the mountain, therefore, should occasion no regret, since its longer retention is not only of slight importance, but will be attended with much difficulty, on account of the great length of our line.


Mission Ridge, November 24, midnight.
Well, the enemy has assaulted Lookout Mountain to-day, sure enough, as was intimated in my letter of last night he probably would do. Having accomplished a part of the object of his demonstration yesterday, to wit, the transfer of a portion of our forces on the mountain to the extreme [237] right, he attacked the mountain with a confidence which the sequel will show was not misplaced. The great rise in the Tennessee had carried away his pontoon-bridges the night before, but his positions were so well taken, and had been so strongly fortified, that he did not hesitate to make the assault. He opened at eleven o'clock with his batteries in Lookout valley. directing his fire against our lines along the western side and northern face of the mountain. Our own batteries on the mountain could take no part in the engagement, owing to a dense fog which enveloped Lookout Point and the crest above. At half-past 12 o'clock, the infantry became engaged, and the battle was then fully joined.

Very few details have been received — too few, indeed, for me to attempt to enter into particulars. The impression prevails in well-informed circles that the affair has not been well conducted by the confederate officers in command on the mountain. Our forces had been much weakened the night before by the withdrawal of Walker's division, which was sent to the right, leaving only Stevenson's and Cheatham's divisions behind, both under command of General Stevenson. General Cheatham arrived on the ground late in the afternoon, having just returned to the army. Up to the time of his return, his division was under the command of General Jackson, the senior Brigadier in the division. It was thought that these two divisions would have been sufficient to hold the position against a largely superior force; but not so. The confederates were steadily pushed back from the moment the infantry opened fire until late in the evening, when General Breckinridge went to the assistance of Stevenson with a brigade. The Federals, who had driven the confederates slowly around the north face of the mountain to Craven's house, and thence around almost to the road which leads to the top, were, in their turn, forced back after night some four or five hundred yards. The fight continued until ten P. M., and even now I can hear an occasional shot while I write.

The troops and guns on the mountain were brought down safely, only a few commissary stores being left behind. We lost a considerable number of prisoners, nevertheless, early in the day, and on the western slope of the mountain, the enemy, it is alleged, having got in the rear of Walthall's brigade, under cover of the prevailing fog. One account says that Walthall lost from five hundred to six hundred prisoners, including nearly the whole of one regiment, the Thirty-fourth Mississippi. It is not improbable that our loss has been exaggerated somewhat.

Orders have been given to evacuate the mountain, and for the whole army to retire across the Chickamauga, in the direction of the station of that name. The loss of Lookout valley and Brown's Ferry removed all doubt as to the ability of General Grant to subsist his army at Chattanooga this winter, and rendered the longer possession of Lookout Mountain of comparatively little importance, and, now that the mountain has passed into his hands, there is no reason left why we should longer remain in the mud and water around Chattanooga, Besides, General Grant has been throwing a heavy force up the river, and crossing it over in the boats we neglected to burn, all this afternoon. A portion of this force consists of heavy cavalry, which have been landed above the mouth of the Chickamauga.

Some infantry had also been landed on the east side of that stream — the remainder, and much more numerous body, on the west side — all up the Tennessee and some distance above our right wing. This movement greatly endangers the depot and railroad, and furnishes an additional reason for withdrawing across the Chickamauga. Another danger, and a still more serious one, is the probability that Grant will turn our right and get between the main army and Longstreet at Knoxville. It is now well ascertained that Sheridan has not gone to the relief of Burnside, as was fully believed a few days ago; but the whole Federal army is here marshalling for our destruction. Perhaps Grant has concluded that he could best succor Burnside by forcing Bragg to retire.

I have just heard that our communications with Knoxville have been cut, probably by the Federal cavalry that crossed the river above this afternoon, and that the depot buildings at Joyner's Station, on the Chattanooga and East-Tennessee road, have been burnt.


November 25--2 A. M.
Finding that he could not withdraw his army in time, General Bragg has given orders to mass his whole available force on the right. A battle may be expected to-day. The situation is critical.


Chickamauga, November 25--Midnight.
The confederates have sustained to-day the most ignominious defeat of the whole war — a defeat for which there is but little excuse or palliation. For the first time during our struggle for national independence, our defeat is chargeable to the troops themselves, and not to the blunders or incompetency of their leaders. It is difficult to realize how a defeat so complete could have occurred on ground so favorable, notwithstanding the great disparity in the forces of the two hostile armies. The ground was more in our favor than it was at Fredericksburgh, where General Longstreet is said to have estimated that Lee's army was equal to three hundred thousand men. And yet we gained the battle of Fredericksburgh, and lost that of Missionary Ridge.

But let us take up the painful narrative at the beginning, and see how this great misfortune, if not this grievous disgrace, has befallen the confederate arms.

Lookout Mountain was evacuated last night, it being no longer important to us after the loss of Lookout or Will's valley, and no longer tenable against such an overwhelming force as General Grant had concentrated around Chattanooga. [238] General Bragg abandoned, also, the whole of Chattanooga valley, and the trenches and breastworks running along the foot of Missionary Ridge and across the valley to the base of Lookout, and moved his troops up to the top of the ridge. It was found necessary to extend his right well up toward the Chickamauga, near its mouth, in consequence of the heavy forces which the enemy had thrown up the river in that direction. The Tennessee and Missionary Ridge approach nearer to each other as one goes up, or rather down, the valley, the width of which, at some points, does not exceed one fourth of a mile. Across this valley, now almost an open plain, varying from a fourth of a mile to two miles in width, the Federals advanced to the assault, their ranks exposed to an artillery fire from the ridge, while in the plain, and to the infantry fire when they attempted the ascent of the hill or mountain.

The only objection that can be urged against our line was its length and weakness, the latter being the result of the former, and the former the result of circumstances beyond our control, it being necessary for us to guard the passes in the ridge, and to conform to the length of the line presented by the enemy. The ridge varies in height from four to six hundred feet, and is crossed by several roads leading out from Chattanooga. The western side, next to the enemy, was steep and rugged, and, in some places, almost bare, the timber having been cut away for firewood. Our pickets occupied the breastworks below, while the infantry and artillery were distributed along the crest of the ridge from McFarlan's Gap almost to the mouth of the Chickamauga, a distance of six miles or more. In addition to the natural strength of the position, we had thrown up breastworks along the ridge wherever the ascent was easy.

The Federal army was marshalled under Grant, Thomas, Hooker, and Sherman, and did not number less than eighty-five thousand veteran troops. The confederate army, under Bragg, Hardee, and Breckinridge, did not number half so many. Longstreet's Virginia divisions, and other troops, had been sent to East-Tennessee. Had these been present, with their steady leader at the head of them, we should have won a victory quite as complete as our defeat has been. As it was, we ought to have won the day, and should have done so if our men had done as well as usual. Possibly a mistake was committed when Longstreet was sent away, and possibly it would have been better not to have accepted battle to-day, but to have retired last night. General Bragg thought, however, that there was not time, after the loss of Lookout, to get his army safely over the Chickamauga last night, and that it would be better, occupying so strong a position, to fight it out. But what could he expect from a battle where the odds were so much against him? Not only did Grant have three to one in numbers, but the geographical configuration of the ground, in manaeuvring an army, was as favorable as he could desire. Nature had provided an ample protection for his flanks and rear, and rendered his front almost impregnable. He possessed the additional advantage of being able to manoeuvre his army upon the chord of a semi-circle, while Bragg could move only upon the arc.

But let us proceed with the battle, the strangest, most singular, and unsatisfactory conflict in which our arms have been engaged.

Grant deployed his immense masses in two heavy lines of battle, and sometimes in three, supported by large reserve forces. The spectacle was magnificent as viewed from the crest of Missionary Ridge. He advanced first against our right wing, about ten o'clock, where he encountered that superb soldier, Lieutenant-General Hardee, who commanded on the right, while Major-General Breckinridge commanded on the left. Hardee's command embraced Cleburne's, Walker's, (commanded by General Gist, General Walker being absent,) Cheatham's, and Stevenson's divisions. Breckinridge's embraced his old division, commanded by Brigadier-General Lewis, Stewart's, part of Buckner's and Hindman's, commanded by Patton Anderson. The enemy's first assault upon Hardee was repulsed with great slaughter, as was his second, though made with double lines, supported with heavy reserves. The wave of battle, like the wave of the sea when it dashes against a rock-bound coast, beat and hissed, and struggled in vain; for the brave men who guarded our right were resolved never to yield one foot to the hated invaders. The odds against which they contended were fearful; for while the enemy advanced in two and even three massive lines, their own army consisted of only one long and weak line, without supports.

Yet they not only repulsed every attack, but captured seven flags, about three hundred prisoners, and remained masters of the ground until night, when they were ordered to retire, carrying off all their guns, losing no prisoners, and but a small percentage of killed and wounded. The whole command behaved well, and especially that model soldier, Major-General Cleburne, a true son of the Emerald Isle, and his heroic division. General Hardee saved the army from a disastrous rout, and added fresh laurels to his brow.

The attack on the left wing was not made until about noon. Here as on the right, the enemy was repulsed, but he was obstinate and fought with great ardor and confidence, returning to the charge again and again in the handsomest style, until one of our brigades, near the centre, said to be Reynolds's, gave way, and the Federal flag was planted on Missionary Ridge. The enemy was not slow in availing himself of the great advantages of his new position. In a few minutes he turned upon our flanks and poured into them a terrible enfilading fire, which soon threw the confederates on his right and left into confusion. Under this confusion the gap in our lines grew wider and wider and wider, and the wider it grew the faster the multitudinous foe rushed into the yawning chasm. The confusion extended until it finally assumed the form of a panic. Seeing [239] the enemy in possession of a portion of the heights, the men hastily concluded that the day was gone, and that they had best save themselves.

Just at this time the alarm was increased by an artillery battery, which rushed down the hill to the river for a fresh supply of ammunition; the men, however, supposed they were flying from the field, and that all was lost. Nearly the whole left wing eventually became involved and gave way, a portion of it retiring under orders, but the greater part in unmitigated rout.

General Bragg did all he could to rally the fugitives and re-form the broken line. He exposed himself in the most unguarded manner, and at one time it looked as if he certainly would be killed. His staff-officers were also conspicuous in their efforts to restore our line. They and their chief were the last to leave the ridge.

The day was lost. Hardee still maintained his ground; but no success of the right wing could restore the left to its original position. All men — even the bravest — are subject to error and confusion; but to-day, some of the confederates did not fight with their accustomed courage. Possibly the contrast between the heavy masses of the Federals, as they rolled across the valley and up the mountain ridge, and their own long and attenuated line, was not of a character to encourage them.

Our casualties are small — very small — too small, indeed, to be recorded along with so complete and humiliating a defeat. Included among our losses are some of our best guns — perhaps as many as thirty or forty. The infantry supports, in some instances, fled so precipitately that there was no time left to remove the guns. There were but few roads down the mountain by which they could retreat, and this occasioned further loss. All the artillery behaved well. The men in Cobb's battery stood their ground after their supports had fled, and though they lost their guns, they fought them to the last; and when they could use them no longer, on account of the steepness of the descent, they hurled hand-grenades at the foe as he crawled up the mountain beneath the muzzles of the guns.

The enemy's loss must have exceeded ours ten to one. Our dead and some of the wounded were left on the field.

But it is late and bitter cold, and I must close. We cross the Chickamauga to-night, and then proceed to Dalton. I write under the greatest possible disadvantages.

Sallust.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Chattanooga (Tennessee, United States) (158)
Knoxville (Tennessee, United States) (48)
Missionary Ridge, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (43)
Lookout Mountain, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (40)
Mission Ridge (West Virginia, United States) (35)
Ringgold, Ga. (Georgia, United States) (34)
Lookout Valley (Wisconsin, United States) (29)
Tennessee River (United States) (19)
Bridgeport, Tennessee (Tennessee, United States) (17)
Rossville (Georgia, United States) (15)
Greysville (Ohio, United States) (15)
Tennessee (Tennessee, United States) (14)
Chattanooga Valley (United States) (14)
East Chickamauga Creek (Georgia, United States) (13)
Chattanooga Creek (United States) (13)
Dalton, Ga. (Georgia, United States) (11)
Cleveland, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (11)
Vicksburg (Mississippi, United States) (10)
Tunnel Hill (Georgia, United States) (10)
Charleston, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (9)
Stevenson (Alabama, United States) (7)
Kingston (Tennessee, United States) (7)
Tunstall (Virginia, United States) (6)
Trenton, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (6)
Moccasin Point (Mississippi, United States) (6)
Tuscumbia (Alabama, United States) (5)
Shell Mound (Indiana, United States) (5)
Iuka (Mississippi, United States) (5)
Citico Creek (Tennessee, United States) (5)
Washington (United States) (4)
Taylor's Ridge (West Virginia, United States) (4)
Eastport (Mississippi, United States) (4)
Bridgeport (Connecticut, United States) (4)
United States (United States) (3)
Stringer's Ridge (Tennessee, United States) (3)
Morgantown (West Virginia, United States) (3)
Marysville, Union County, Ohio (Ohio, United States) (3)
Louisville (Kentucky, United States) (3)
Loudon, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (3)
Edgefield (Tennessee, United States) (3)
Decatur (Tennessee, United States) (3)
Chickamauga Station (Tennessee, United States) (3)
Tyner's Station (Tennessee, United States) (2)
Rogersville, Ala. (Alabama, United States) (2)
Newsome Springs (Alabama, United States) (2)
Mississippi (Mississippi, United States) (2)
London, Madison County, Ohio (Ohio, United States) (2)
Kentucky (Kentucky, United States) (2)
Hiwassee Island (Tennessee, United States) (2)
Florence, Ala. (Alabama, United States) (2)
Fayetteville (North Carolina, United States) (2)
Decherd (Tennessee, United States) (2)
Cumberland (Maryland, United States) (2)
Columbia, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (2)
Calhoun, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (2)
Austerlitz (Ohio, United States) (2)
Winchester, Va. (Virginia, United States) (1)
Wheeling, W. Va. (West Virginia, United States) (1)
Sweetwater (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Stone River (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Scotia (1)
Salem (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Russian River (Alaska, United States) (1)
Raymond (Mississippi, United States) (1)
Raccoon Mountains (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Pulaski, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Providence, R. I. (Rhode Island, United States) (1)
Perryville (Kentucky, United States) (1)
Orchard Knob (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Ohio (Ohio, United States) (1)
New York (New York, United States) (1)
New Salisbury (Ohio, United States) (1)
New Orleans (Louisiana, United States) (1)
New Market (Maryland, United States) (1)
New Bridge (Pennsylvania, United States) (1)
Mound City (Illinois, United States) (1)
McMinnville (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Madisonville (Kentucky, United States) (1)
Lookout Rock (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Lookout Ridge (Wyoming, United States) (1)
Little River (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Leeds, Me. (Maine, United States) (1)
Lawrenceburg (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Lavergne (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Larkinsville (Alabama, United States) (1)
La Fayette (Georgia, United States) (1)
Keith (Georgia, United States) (1)
Jackson (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Illinois (Illinois, United States) (1)
Huntsville (North Carolina, United States) (1)
Huntsville (Alabama, United States) (1)
Gettysburgh (Pennsylvania, United States) (1)
Georgia (Georgia, United States) (1)
Gallatin, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Fredericksburgh (Ohio, United States) (1)
Estill (Kentucky, United States) (1)
Enfield (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Elkton (Maryland, United States) (1)
Decatur (Illinois, United States) (1)
Columbus, Tennessee (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Columbus, Ky. (Kentucky, United States) (1)
Cleveland (Ohio, United States) (1)
Champion's Hill (Mississippi, United States) (1)
Centreville (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Cane Creek (Alabama, United States) (1)
Calhoun, Ga. (Georgia, United States) (1)
Cairo, Ill. (Illinois, United States) (1)
Burnsville (Mississippi, United States) (1)
Bridgeport, Ala. (Alabama, United States) (1)
Benton (Mississippi, United States) (1)
Bellefonte (Alabama, United States) (1)
Beersheba Springs (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Battle Creek (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Athens, Ala. (Alabama, United States) (1)
America (Indiana, United States) (1)
Alexandria (Tennessee, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
W. T. Sherman (77)
Joseph Hooker (64)
Samuel Howard (54)
U. S. Grant (50)
Jonathan W. Geary (49)
George H. Thomas (41)
A. E. Burnside (36)
B. J. Osterhaus (34)
Gordon Granger (33)
James Sheridan (25)
Cruft (23)
J. M. Palmer (22)
A. B. Longstreet (22)
Hugh Ewing (22)
J. J. Wood (21)
C. P. Bragg (19)
James B. Wood (17)
Isaac Sherman (16)
Morgan L. Smith (15)
John E. Smith (15)
R. S. Granger (15)
S. Baird (14)
Jefferson C. Davis (13)
Andrew Johnson (12)
J. M. Corse (12)
Eli Long (11)
H. W. Halleck (11)
Braxton Bragg (11)
Frank P. Blair (11)
William F. Smith (10)
E. B. Langdon (10)
Willich (9)
Whitesides (9)
G. H. Thomas (9)
Patrick Carlin (9)
W. B. Hazen (8)
Hardee (8)
J. M. Loomis (7)
C. W. Gross (7)
Robert J. Breckinridge (7)
Cofonel Wiley (6)
Walker C. Whitaker (6)
Giles A. Smith (6)
W. Grose (6)
I. H. Wilson (5)
Byron Wilson (5)
J. A. Williamson (5)
Aquila Wiley (5)
R. T. Whitaker (5)
H. C. Wharton (5)
W. S. Rosecrans (5)
Joseph J. Reynolds (5)
Lightburn (5)
W. P. Walker (4)
Samuel W. Taylor (4)
William Stanley (4)
J. A. Stafford (4)
B. F. Scribner (4)
Carl Schurz (4)
R. L. Kimberly (4)
Steven A. Hurlbut (4)
Jeff C. Davis (4)
Cleveland (4)
A. C. Christopher (4)
Thomas E. Champion (4)
George P. Buell (4)
William Birch (4)
G. B. Baum (4)
Sydney M. Barnes (4)
J. J. Alexander (4)
T. J. Wood (3)
C. E. Wolcott (3)
Vaughn (3)
Nicholas Trapp (3)
G. W. Thomas (3)
Frederick Stewart (3)
Charles Stevenson (3)
Steinwehr (3)
W. F. Smith (3)
Ridge (3)
P. N. Murphy (3)
Mullen (3)
J. B. McPherson (3)
Matthies (3)
Lewis Jones (3)
Hawkins (3)
Thomas H. Elliott (3)
George W. Dressen (3)
Isaac J. Dodge (3)
Jefferson Davis (3)
C. A. Dana (3)
A. C. Cummings (3)
John Crowell (3)
Creighton (3)
Cheatham (3)
C. D. Campbell (3)
Daniel Butterfield (3)
Buckner (3)
W. W. Berry (3)
Williston (2)
Rebecca Williams (2)
Aquilla Wiley (2)
William D. Whipple (2)
Esquire West (2)
Walthall (2)
J. M. Tuttle (2)
J. B. Turchin (2)
Taft (2)
D. L. Sutphin (2)
G. H. Stuart (2)
Roddy (2)
John A. Rawlins (2)
James Pickands (2)
S. L. Phelps (2)
John M. Palmer (2)
Naylor (2)
J. F. Moore (2)
Meigs (2)
Daniel McCook (2)
Charles Matthews (2)
Stephen D. Lee (2)
G. A. Kramer (2)
John B. Kelly (2)
Joe Johnston (2)
Jenny (2)
Nathan Hunter (2)
Hindman (2)
James C. Foy (2)
P. V. Fox (2)
S. C. Erwine (2)
Cutter (2)
Crook (2)
J. R. Cockrell (2)
Cleburne (2)
Bushnell (2)
Brannan (2)
William W. Berry (2)
Sam Beatty (2)
Audenreid (2)
Acton (2)
Zoller (1)
Frederick Zimmerman (1)
J. R. Young (1)
George P. Wright (1)
C. K. Woods (1)
Wollenhaupt (1)
Wolf (1)
William Wilt (1)
John Wilson (1)
Will (1)
Whittemore (1)
P. J. Welch (1)
J. D. Webster (1)
Washington (1)
James Ward (1)
Wangeline (1)
Joseph Wagers (1)
Pea Vine (1)
Varian (1)
Tupper (1)
Treanor (1)
Lieutenant-Cololonel J. L. Trainor (1)
Torrence (1)
Clark Thornton (1)
L. Thomas (1)
A. P. Stewart (1)
Stein (1)
William Spears (1)
Orland Smith (1)
H. W. Slocum (1)
Major-Gen W. T. Sherman (1)
Scully (1)
John C. Scott (1)
Saunders (1)
Runion (1)
Rowley (1)
Robertson (1)
Riley (1)
R. V. Richardson (1)
Ranne (1)
Colonels Putnam (1)
David D. Porter (1)
Poe (1)
Phipps (1)
H. W. Perkins (1)
Pepoom (1)
John J. Peck (1)
Nathan Patterson (1)
Patridge (1)
Paine (1)
Osterihau (1)
P. A. Oliver (1)
O'Meara (1)
North (1)
Napoleon (1)
Murray (1)
W. W. Munn (1)
John Mosly (1)
Morrell (1)
John Morgan (1)
J. A. Momer (1)
Mills (1)
H. O. Miller (1)
Merrill (1)
Menzies (1)
William McLaughlin (1)
McDermont (1)
J. A. C. McCoy (1)
Matthias (1)
Mathias (1)
J. A. D. Lghtburn (1)
Isaac H. Lewis (1)
Leonard (1)
S. P. Lee (1)
William Hudson Lawrence (1)
Landgraber (1)
Kuhlman (1)
Kirk (1)
Kimberley (1)
J. C. Kelton (1)
Horace James (1)
Mudwall Jackson (1)
Igot (1)
Huston (1)
J. P. Hurley (1)
Hoorer (1)
Heath (1)
J. B. Hampson (1)
R. H. Hall (1)
Groves (1)
Grey (1)
Gist (1)
George (1)
Warren C. Gallehue (1)
Furgeson (1)
William S. Furay (1)
Freeland (1)
Respectfully Forwarded (1)
Flad (1)
Fitzgibbon (1)
James D. Fessenden (1)
Champ Ferguson (1)
John Emery (1)
Elliot (1)
Peter Duncan (1)
Dufficy (1)
Dresser (1)
Downing (1)
Down (1)
Doc (1)
Nicholas Dillon (1)
Jeff Davis (1)
H. H. Davis (1)
Darr (1)
Dalton (1)
Crane (1)
S. Cooper (1)
Coony (1)
J. R. Cockerell (1)
Cobham (1)
Howell Cobb (1)
John S. Clark (1)
Church (1)
James A. Chalmers (1)
William M. Carr (1)
Jacob Buttle (1)
Buschbrek (1)
Buren (1)
William Burch (1)
R. B. Buckland (1)
Parson Brownlow (1)
Brixir (1)
W. J. Bridges (1)
Bridge (1)
Joseph Bradley (1)
Bowman (1)
J. Rowan Boone (1)
Frank Blair (1)
Calhoun Benham (1)
Samuel Beatty (1)
John Beatty (1)
Beach (1)
Thomas Bawler (1)
Barr (1)
Sidney M. Barnes (1)
Ball (1)
T. G. Bagler (1)
George M. Bache (1)
Ayers (1)
Archer (1)
D. C. Anthony (1)
Angelbeck (1)
Patton Anderson (1)
Americans (1)
M. Allen (1)
Charles Allen (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
November 23rd (18)
23rd (14)
November 25th (12)
25th (11)
24th (10)
28th (7)
November 24th (6)
26th (6)
November 21st (4)
30th (4)
21st (4)
7th (4)
December 8th, 1863 AD (3)
November 24th, 1863 AD (3)
November 23rd, 1863 AD (3)
December 4th (3)
November 26th (3)
October 27th (3)
27th (3)
20th (3)
18th (3)
December 7th, 1863 AD (2)
December 1st, 1863 AD (2)
November 27th, 1863 AD (2)
November 25th, 1863 AD (2)
December 3rd (2)
December 2nd (2)
November 22nd (2)
November 17th (2)
November 14th (2)
November 13th (2)
November 2nd (2)
October 31st (2)
October 19th (2)
22nd (2)
16th (2)
15th (2)
1977 AD (1)
1911 AD (1)
December 10th, 1868 AD (1)
November 20th, 1868 AD (1)
March 25th, 1864 AD (1)
February 4th, 1864 AD (1)
January 16th, 1864 AD (1)
January 9th, 1864 AD (1)
December 28th, 1863 AD (1)
December 19th, 1863 AD (1)
December 6th, 1863 AD (1)
November 28th, 1863 AD (1)
November 26th, 1863 AD (1)
November 15th, 1863 AD (1)
November, 1863 AD (1)
October 20th, 1863 AD (1)
October 16th, 1863 AD (1)
1861 AD (1)
1857 AD (1)
January 16th, 1854 AD (1)
1286 AD (1)
1001 AD (1)
December 17th (1)
December 14th (1)
December 7th (1)
December 6th (1)
December 1st (1)
November 29th (1)
November 27th (1)
November 20th (1)
November 16th (1)
November 7th (1)
November 4th (1)
November 1st (1)
November (1)
October 23rd (1)
October 11th (1)
October 2nd (1)
October (1)
September 27th (1)
September 23rd (1)
September 22nd (1)
September (1)
29th (1)
6th (1)
5th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: