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[115]

‘On the heights of Chattanooga’—a landmark in Grant's rise to fame The view from Lookout Mountain, showing the very ground over which the Federal soldiers scrambled in their charge, illustrates Porter's reference to the battle of November 23-25, 1863. Grant's own account thus describes the concluding charge: ‘Discovering that the enemy in his desperation to defeat or resist the progress of Sherman was weakening his center on Missionary Ridge, determined me to order the advance at once. Thomas was accordingly directed to move forward his troops, constituting our center, Baird's division (Fourteenth Corps), Wood's and Sheridan's divisions (Fourth Corps), and Johnston'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 on 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.’ Three months later Grant became the first lieutenant-general since Washington.

 

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