Doc. 36.-the battle of Chickamauga.
General T. J. Wood's report.
headquarters First division Twenty-First army corps, Chattanooga, Tenn., September 29, 1863.Sir: At early dawn of the morning of Sunday, the sixteenth August, I received an order to move with my division from Hillsboroa, Middle Tennessee, by the most practicable and expeditious route across the Cumberland Mountain to Sherman in the Sequatchy Valley. Wednesday evening, the nineteenth, was the time fixed for the division to arrive at the destination assigned to it. The Second brigade (Wagner's) had for a month previously occupied Pelham, near the foot of the mountains, and General Wagner had been ordered to repair the road up the mountains known as the Park road. As the order of movement left to my discretion the route by which my division should cross the mountains, I determined to make the ascent by the Park road, thence to Tracy City, thence by Johnson's to Purdon's, where I would fall into the road leading from McMinnville, by Altam Cut, to Thurman. Immediately on receiving the order I despatched instructions to General Wagner to commence the ascent of the mountains, and to insure his being out of the way of the other two brigades, I directed he should continue the work of getting up his train during the night of the sixteenth. This was done, and early on the morning of the seventeenth, the road being free, the First and Third brigades, with their baggage trains and the ammunition and supply trains of the division, began to ascend the mountains. The work was continued unintermittedly through the day and entire night of the seventeenth, and by ten o'clock of the eighteenth the whole was up. Wagner's brigade had advanced to Tracy City Monday morning, the seventeenth, with orders to move forward as far as the Thurman, or Anderson road, on Tuesday, the eighteenth. I allowed the First and Third brigades, Buell's and Harker's, to rest until one P. M., on the eighteenth, and then moved to Tracy City. Wagner was ordered to advance on the Thurman road to Thurman, Wednesday morning, select a good encampment, and await my arrival there with the other Second brigades and the heavy trains. The distance from Tracy City to Thurman is twenty-eight miles, which had to be accomplished in one day, with the First and Third brigades, their batteries, and the trains to be at the rendezvous assigned me at the designated time. At four o'clock A. M., on the nineteenth, the march was commenced, and a little after nightfall the brigades encamped at Thurman. The order for the general movement directed me to take with me two days subsistence for the men, and ten days grain for the animals. I descended into the Sequatchy Valley with twenty-five days subsistence for the men, and sixteen days grain for the animals. I do not mention this fact in a spirit of egotism, but simply to show what can be accomplished by intelligence, good judgment, energy, and a willingness to make some sacrifice of personal comfort by commanders. Every experienced and educated soldier knows that one of the greatest drawbacks on the mobility and activity, and consequently on the offensive power of an army, is to be found in the immense baggage and supply trains that usually accompany its movements: hence, whatever lessens the number of vehicles required for the transport of baggage, by so much increases the efficiency of the army. I transported all the supplies I took into Sequatchy Valley in the wagons originally assigned to my division for the transportation of regimental and staff baggage. I was then prepared with my division for a campaign of twenty-five days on hull rations, or fifty days on half rations. The additional forage required beyond what I brought with me could have been found in the country. In conformity with the order for the general movement I despatched Wagner's brigade early on Thursday morning, the twentieth, to the easttern slope of Naldron's ridge, to make something of a show of force, and at the same time closely observe, and, if opportunity permitted, to threaten the enemy. With the other two brigades, First and Third, I remained encamped at Thurman till the early morning of the first of September; I then moved, in conformity to orders, to Jasper, lower down in the valley. Late in the afternoon of the second I received an order to send one of my brigades to Shellmound, to cross the Tennessee River. The First brigade was immediately put in motion under this order, and, under the skilful management of Colonel Buell, was thrown across the river rapidly and without accident during the night. Early on the morning of the third, I moved with the Third brigade and the ammunition and ambulance trains to the crossing, and with the energetic and judicious assistance of Colonel Harker, had everything passed rapidly across without accident. I remained encamped at Shellmound until Saturday afternoon, the fifth, awaiting orders, the delay being occasioned by the necessity of waiting for the supply trains, which had been sent across the river at Bridgeport. During the afternoon of the fifth I received an order to move with the two brigades of my division with me, via Whiteside and the river road, to the junction of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad with the Trenton Railroad, for the purpose of observing and threatening the enemy posted on the spur of Lookout Mountain. I advanced as far as Whiteside Saturday afternoon and evening. Early Sunday morning I continued to advance, Harker's brigade leading. Soon very light parties of the enemy were encountered, but they rapidly fell back before my steady onward movement, though the country through which my line of march led me is most favorable to a prolonged and obstinate resistance by a small force. Crossing Raccoon Mountain, I descended into