This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 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
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.