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[427] much of it, and withdrew at about half-past 3 P. M., just as General Morgan's men were seen marching along the summit of the ridge, toward the rebel works. Seeing themselves thus outflanked by General Morgan upon their right, and seriously threatened by Colonel Hambright upon the left, the rebels abandoned their position and fled precipitately, without firing a gun from the time Morgan first appeared. Thus, with but trifling loss, this strong and important position fell into our hands.

Not a moment was lost in following up the enemy, General Morgan taking the advance, and Colonel McCook, with his splendid brigade, belonging to the same division, following closely behind.

We were now traversing country over which Union troops had never trod before; and consequently we found the citizens in the most appalling state of confusion and dismay, expecting all and singly to have their throats cut immediately upon our arrival. The men had fled to the hills, and the women and children, as soon as the head of our column appeared, uttered piercing shrieks as if they were on the point of being murdered, or falling down upon their knees begged piteously for their lives. When they found they were in no danger whatever from our soldiers, their surprise and joy exceeded, if possible, their previous fear.

A little before five o'clock our forces came to an awful gorge cleft in an inaccessible and lofty range of mountains, called Rocky Face. On the left side of this gorge ran the railroad; on the right the common road, with a monstrous pine-covered rock rising between. Never had I beheld so formidable a position for defence; and my experience was in this respect the same as that of every officer in the army. Reaching out into the gorge from the perfectly impassable mountains on either side, spur after spur could be seen, rising one above the other as you looked toward Dalton, and forming a series of fortifications as perfect in design as the hand of men ever traced, while vastly superior in magnitude to aught that he ever constructed.

From the first of these spurs upon the right, the enemy poured forth a volley of musketry. Our brave boys, rushing forward, carried the spur; but from a higher one beyond, six pieces of artillery commenced hurling death among them, and they were compelled to withdraw.

The enemy continued a fierce artillery fire until night, when General Morgan's brigade moving into the left of the gorge, and Colonel Daniel McCook's into the right, they held the mouth of it until morning.

As I rode back toward the town, the heavens were lighted up with the lurid fires of Cleburne's old camp, (upon the east side of Tunnel Hill Range,) which our troops had set on fire. In the town I learned that General Wheeler himself was in command of the rebel cavalry which had all along been opposing us.

Simultaneously with the advance of the column from Chattanooga, General Crufts moved down from the vicinity of Cleveland, joined afterward by Matthias's brigade, of the Fifteenth army corps, commanded at present by Colonel Dickerman, of the One Hundred and Third Illinois.

Colonel Long, with some seven hundred cavalry, preceded General Crufts. This column skirmished as successfully with the enemy as the other, and on the twenty-third, Colonel Long penetrated to within four miles of Dalton.

Another sunny, warm, pleasant, smoky morning dawned upon us on the twenty-fifth, and all portions of our forces being prepared to act in concert, it was determined to make a bold move, which might test whether or not the enemy's strong position on the Tunnel Hill road could not be turned.

Accordingly, General Baird took up the line of march very early in the morning, and crossing Tunnel Hill, joined General Crufts in the valley between the range and Rocky Face. Passing through a gap in Rocky Face, about three miles beyond Tunnel Hill Ridge, the entire force passed along the Cleveland road toward Dalton, the enemy opposing them only by feeble skirmishing, and everywhere flying before them.

It soon became evident, however, that they had passed beyond another range still further to the east than Rocky Face, and that a force of the enemy occupying the valley between the two might easily pass to the rear and cut off their retreat. To prevent this, they retired along the line of their march until they had reached the head of Rocky Face Valley, down which they marched in order of battle, General Baird upon the right and General Crufts upon the left. The rebels gave way as before, until they reached a point where the Cleveland road, running toward Dalton, descends into this valley. Just across this road and on the left side of the valley, was a high point in the bounding ridge, and this the enemy manifested a disposition to hold at hazard of a fight. Colonel Grose's brigade advancing along the slope of the ridge, immediately prepared to carry the hill. The enemy's outposts were driven in with rapidity, and the gallant brigade, moving steadily forward with loud cheers, and never once wavering under the fierce fire kept up by the rebels, hurled the latter from the hill in confusion, and planted the Stars and Stripes upon the summit.

This was about half-past 11 A. M. Captain Simonson, Chief of Artillery on General Crufts's staff, ran his old battery, the Fifth Indiana, to the top of the hill, and treated the rebels to constant doses of shot and shell the remainder of the day. Very heavy skirmishing was kept up until one P. M. by the opposing infantry, but no advance was attempted upon either side.

Myself and the gentleman whom I accompanied during the greater portion of this trip, had remained on the west side of Rocky Face, until assured, by one who knew, that the principal fight of the day was certain to take place upon the other side. A change of base was immediately determined upon. We struck across Tunnel Hill Range in the direction indicated by the

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