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[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

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