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Doc. 38.-the battle of Mission Ridge.

General T. J. Wood's report.

headquarters Third division Fourth army corps, in the field in East Tennessee, December 29, 1863.
Sir: As early as the fifteenth of November, ultimo, it was generally known among the higher commanders of the troops assembled in Chattanooga, that a movement was in contemplation to cause the investment, which had then continued nearly sixty days, to be raised.

The investing force, commanded by General Braxton Bragg, of the rebel army, comprised eight divisions of infantry arranged in four corps, under the lead of some of the ablest officers in the enemy's service. Reliable information, obtained at the time the movements for raising the investment were in contemplation, showed that the rebel divisions averaged not less than six thousand infantry each. This estimate would give forty-eight thousand infantry as about the investing force. Including the artillery and cavalry, it would be a moderate estimate to place the whole investing force at over fifty thousand men. The rebel divisions usually comprise four brigades, with a field battery attached to each brigade. This rate would give one hundred and eighty-two field guns as the artillery equipment of the beleaguering army.

But a very imperfect understanding of the defensive power of the rebel army would be obtained by considering its numbers and equipments only. It occupied a position so strong naturally, and so intrenched by art, as to duplicate the defensive power of its numbers. Lookout Mountain and Mission Ridge are so related to each other and Chattanooga that the army which holds them commands the outlets from the town on east, south, and south-west. The natural strength and command of the position occupied by the insurgents had been much improved by intrenchments.

During the week commencing on the fifteenth and ending on the twenty-second of November, the subordinate commanders of the Army of the Cumberland were summoned twice to department headquarters to have the plan of operations explained to them and to receive their instructions. The original plan of operations was briefly this: the force of Major-General Sherman was to cross the Tennessee River at the mouth of the North Chickamauga Creek, ascend the north-eastern flank of Mission Ridge, (which here juts against [336] the river,) sweep the ridge, and take the enemy's intrenchments, both at its base and on its crest, in flank and rear. Two divisions of the Fourth army corps, General Sheridan's and my own, were to cross Citico Creek near its mouth, just above Chattanooga, move up the peninsula enclosed between the creek and the Tennessee River, form a junction with the right flank of General Sherman's force, swing to the right, and sweep along the lower slope and the base of Mission Ridge. The remaining force in Chattanooga was to make a demonstration against the enemy's works directly in front of Chattanooga, while at the same time looking out for the safety of the town against a counter attack. The force in Lookout Valley (General Hooker) was to threaten Lookout Mountain.

It was conceeded that a direct front attack of the enemy's works on Mission Ridge could not be made with a reasonable prospect of success; or if such an attack should be successful, it could only be made at a great and unnecessary cost of life.

In pursuance of this plan, orders were issued on Friday the twentieth to be prepared to move at daylight the following morning. It was directed that the men should have one hundred rounds of ammunition on their persons, and two days cooked rations in their haversacks.

A heavy fall of rain Friday afternoon and night, with other causes of delay, prevented General Sherman's command from reaching in time the point at which he was to pass the river; consequently the movement intended to be made at daylight Saturday morning was postponed.

On Sunday, the twenty-second, the orders of the preceding Friday were renewed.

The failure of General Sherman's command to be Sunday night at the rendezvous assigned it caused a further postponement of the movement of the troops destined to cooperate immediately with it.

To a just understanding of the subsequent movements of my division, it should be remarked that during the whole of Sunday, the twenty-second, much movement, some of it singular and mysterious, was observed in the rebel army. Officers in command of the grand guards and out-posts were instructed to observe the greatest vigilance Sunday night, to send out patrols frequently as near as possible to the enemy's picket lines, and to report promptly all information of interest.

At twelve M., on Monday, the twenty-third, I received the following orders:

headquarters Department of the Cumberland, Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 23, 1863.
Major-Gen. Granger, commanding Fourth A. C.:
The General commanding department directs that you throw one division of the Fourth corps forward, in the direction of Orchard Knob, (and hold a second division in supporting distance,) to discern the position of the enemy, if he still remain in the vicinity of his old camps.

Howard's and Baird's commands will be ready to cooperate if needed.

J. J. Reynolds, Major-General, Chief of Staff. J. S. Fullerton, A. A. General.

headquarters Fourth army corps, November 23, 1863.
Brigadier General Wood, with his division, will as soon as possible carry out the foregoing instructions, and will be supported by General Sheridan's division, to be posted along near the line of railroad, its right resting about midway between Moore's road and the brush knob in front of Lunette Palmer. Respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. Granger, Major-General, commanding. Twelve o'clock M. Brigadier-General Th. J. Wood, Commanding Third Division Fourth Army Corps.

Immediately on the receipt of this order I summoned my brigade commanders to my Headquarters, to give them full and minute explanations as to the manner in which I intended to execute the instructions I had received. I desired also to express in person the part the command of each was to perform in the operations. The disposition of the division, as then explained to the brigade commanders, and as was subsequently most successfully carried out, was as follows:

Hazen's brigade on the right, Willich's on the left, were to be formed in two lines, the first deployed, the second in double column, closed in mass.

Beatty's brigade formed in double column, closed in mass, so as to be ready to deploy to the front, or deploy faced to the left, was held in reserve in rear of Willich's left. This arrangement would fully protect Willich's left from any flank movement of the enemy during the advance. As General Sheridan had been ordered to occupy a position which would place his division in rear of my right flank during the advance, I had no occasion to look to the safety of my right. In addition to the double line formation just described, the entire grand guard on duty for the day was to be deployed on the advance sentinel line of pickets, so that the whole would be covered with a cloud of skirmishers. I ordered the formation to take place on the broad slope on the southern side of Fort Wood. This work crowns a conical eminence about two hundred feet elevation above the level of the river, situated about a half a mile out of Chattanooga in a south-easterly direction. From its parapet the rebel works and troops were clearly discernible.

The descent of this hill on the northern, eastern, and western sides is abrupt, but gradually on the southern, extending down into the valley through which runs the Western and Atlantic railway. At one and a half o'clock P. M. the arrangements were all completed, the troops were in position, and the reserve ammunition and ambulance trains in rear of Fort Wood.

Then, at the bugle signal, the magnificent array and serried columns moved forward.

It scarcely ever falls to the lot of man to witness so grand a military display.

Every circumstance that could heighten the interests of, or impart dramatic effect to the scene, was present. On the ramparts of Fort Wood were gathered officers of high rank, crowned with honors gathered on other fields. There, also, [337] were officers distinguished for scientific attainments and rare administrative ability.

Troops in line and column checkered the broad plain of Chattanooga.

In front, plainly to be seen, was the enemy, so soon to be encountered in deadly conflict. My division seemed to drink in the inspiration of the scene, and, when the advance was sounded, moved forward in the perfect order of a holiday parade.

It has been my good fortune to witness, on the Champs-de-Mars and on Long Champ, reviews of all arms of the French service, under the eye of the most remarkable man of the present generation. I once saw a review, followed by a mock battle, of the finest troops of El Re Galantuomo. The pageant was held on the plains near Milan, the queen city of Lombardy, and the troops in the sham conflict were commanded by two of the most distinguished officers of the Piedmontese service — Cialdini, and another whose name I cannot now recall. In none of these displays did I ever see anything to exceed the soldierly bearing and the steadiness of my division, exhibited in the advance on Monday afternoon, the second. There was certainly one striking difference in the circumstances of these grand displays. The French and Italian parades were peaceful pageants: ours involved the exigencies of stern war — certainly an immense difference.

I should do injustice to the brave men who thus moved forward to the conflict in such perfect order, were I to omit to record that not one straggler lagged behind to sully the magnificence and perfectness of the grand battle array.

From Fort Wood to the railroad the country is open. South of the railroad, the country passed over is partly open and partly wooded. Hazen's brigade had to pass over the open field, several hundred yards in breadth, and Willich's through the woods. On the southern side of the field the enemy's front line of pickets was posted. The skirmishers were instructed to press forward, as soon as the advance was sounded, as rapidly as possible, and drive in the enemy's out line of pickets on their reserves. This service was excellently performed.

To the proper understanding of the subsequent movements of the division, some explanatory remarks are necessary.

Orchard Knob, given in the order directing the reconnoissance as the guiding point, is a steep, craggy knoll, rising some hundred feet above the general level of the valley of Chattanooga. It is twenty-one hundred yards from Fort Wood. The rebels had held the knob as an outpost since the investment was first established.

A position naturally so strong, they had done little to strengthen it by intrenchments on its summit. To the right of Orchard Knob, looking to the south, a rocky, abrupt, wooded ridge extends several hundred yards toward the south-west. It is not so elevated as the knob. The enemy had formed rude, but strong barricades on the northern slope, just below the crest of this ridge. To the left of the knob, still looking to the south, a long line of rifle-pits extended away off to the northeast, and, trending round, reached almost to Citico Creek. Orchard Knob was the citadel of this line of intrenchments.

General Willich was ordered to direct his brigade on the knob, and General Hazen his brigade on the intrenchments on the right of it. So soon as the skirmishers moved forward, the enemy opened fire. Across the open field and through the woods the skirmishers kept up a sharp, rattling fire, steadily and rapidly driving in the enemy. As the knob and intrenchments were neared the fire became hotter, the resistance of the rebels more determined, but the majestic advance of our lines was not for a moment stayed. Finally, Willich's brigade, which had met with less opposition than Hazen's, having arrived quite near the knob, “by a bold brush,” ascended its steep acclivity, crowned its summit, and it was ours. Reference is made to the report of Brigadier-General Willich for a more full description of this brilliant feat of arms.

In the meantime, Hazen's brigade was encountering a determined resistance from the enemy, sheltered by his breastworks on the rocky ridge to the right. For a few moments the fire was sharp and destructive. More than a hundred casualties in the leading regiment attest the severity of the fire. But nothing could restrain the impetuosity of the troops. In a few moments after Willich's brigade had carried Orchard Knob, Hazen's skirmishers poured over the enemy's barricades. The Twenty-eighth Alabama was captured, with its flag, almost entire. I respectfully refer to the report of Brigadier-General Hazen for a more detailed narrative of this gallant and successful assault. Among the killed we have to mourn the loss of Major Birch, Ninety-third Ohio, who was killed while gallantly leading his regiment to the, charge. So soon as the Knob and the barricades were taken, the enemy fled, to take shelter in his intrenchments at the base of Mission Ridge.

Beatty's brigade, though not playing so distinguished a part as the other two brigades, was doing good service in the part, assigned him. Following the left of Willich's brigade, so soon as the knob was carried, some of Beatty's regiments were brought forward to occupy a portion of the rifle pits to the left of Willich's position. The remainder was held in reserve. Shortly after the successful dash, General Granger, commanding the Fourth army corps, joined me at Orchard Knob. Personal observation assured him of the extensiveness and completeness of our success. The result having been reported to General Thomas, commanding the Department, he ordered the position to be held and intrenched. Soon the men were engaged in this work. While so employed, the enemy opened a most terrific fire of shot and shell on us from [338] several batteries established on Mission Ridge. It was continued nearly an hour — in fact, until toward nightfall. It seems almost a miracle, but it is nevertheless true, that no damage was inflicted by the enemy's artillery. One man only was very slightly wounded by the fragment of a shell.

While my division was engaged in intrenching its position, the Eleventh army corps was ordered to take post on my left. The resistance it met in its front from the enemy in his rifle-pits rendered its progress slow. Two regiments of Beatty's brigade were deployed to the left to take the rifle-pits in flank, drive out the enemy's skirmishers therefrom, and relieve the pressure on the front of the Eleventh corps. This service was quickly and handsomely done, but the Eleventh corps neglecting to occupy the rifle-pits, the enemy returned to them. It was hence necessary for the two regiments of Beatty's brigade to render the service over again on Tuesday morning, the twenty-fourth. The whole of the night of the twenty-third was spent in intrenching our position. In this laborious work the troops evinced as much fortitude as they had shown gallantry in gaining the position. Not only was a line of rifle-pits and barricades constructed along the entire front of the division during the night, but a strong epaulement for a six-gun field battery was thrown up on the summit of Orchard Knob; Bridges' battery, of forty-three inch Rodman guns and two Napoleons. The early light of Tuesday morning disclosed to the anxious gaze of the rebels such works as must have convinced them we intended to hold the position won the day before. Perchance they saw in this evident intention the prognostic of further and more extensive operations, to be attended by more distinguished and important results.

I almost refer to the report of General Beatty, commanding Third brigade of my division, for a full report of his command in the operations of the twenty-third.

During the twenty-fourth the division was quiet, remaining in undisturbed possession of the important acquisitions of the previous afternoon. The enemy in full view, and sheltered behind his rifle-pits, at the base of Mission Ridge, made no effort to retrieve his losses. An occasional shot from the skirmishers, and a booming of a gun from Orchard Knob, varied the monotony of the day. We had ample opportunity to watch with eager interest the brilliant operations, though miles away from us, of General Hooker's command for the possession of Lookout Mountain. And when the morning sun of Wednesday had dispelled the mist from the mountain top and displayed to our view the banner of the brave and the free flying from the topmost peak of Lookout Mountain, loud and long were the joyous shouts with which my division made the welkin ring.

Shortly after night-fall, Tuesday, the twenty-fourth, I received the following order:

Headquaters, Fourth army corps, Chattanooga, November 24, 1863, 6.40 P. M.
General: The following instructions have just been received:

Headquartes Department of the Cumberland, Chattanooga, Tenn.
General Granger: The General commanding Department directs that you have everything ready for an offensive movement early tomorrow morning.

J. J. Reynolds, Major-General, Chief of Staff.

You will make every preparation for such movement.

By command of Major-General Granger.

J. S. Fullerton, Lieutenant-Colonel and A. A. General. Brigadier-General Wood, Third Division, Fourth Corps.

In conformity with these instructions I had, during Tuesday night, one hundred rounds of ammunition per man distributed to the troops, and the rations in the haversacks replenished. At dawn Wednesday morning my division was ready for action, and only awaited the order from the senior officers to commence the onslaught. Early in the forenoon of Wednesday, Orchard Knob became the station of officers of high rank and signal renown. The Commanding General of tile Grand Division of the Mississippi was there, as was also the Commander of the Department and .Army of the Cumberland. During the forenoon I was ordered to advance my line of skirmishers to the southern edge of the wood intervening between my position and the enemy's rifle-pits at the base of Mission Ridge. This service was gallantly performed; the enemy's skirmishers being rapidly driven back and compelled to take shelter behind their rifle-pits. As the day progressed, the interest which attracted every eye and absorbed, every feeling was that involved in the attempt of General Sherman's command to effect a lodgment on Mission Ridge, near the tunnel. Severer opposition than had been expected was evidently being met with. To lessen the opposition General Sherman was encountering, it was determined that a movement should be made against the rebel centre. I was ordered to advance and carry the enemy's intrenchments at the base of Mission Ridge, and hold them. The signal for the advance was to be six guns fired in rapid succession from the batteries on Orchard Knob. The necessary instructions were given to the brigade commanders. This was near three o'clock P. M. Soon the booming of the guns awakened the reverberations of the fastnesses of Mission Ridge and Lookout Mountain; and before the echoes had died away in the distant recesses of their ragged heights the advance was commenced.

Mission Ridge is an elevated range (with an average altitude of several hundred feet above the general level of the country), running from north-east to south-west. [339]

The part of it assaulted by my division the afternoon of the twenty-fifth, is about four miles from Chattanooga, and about a mile from Orchard Knob. Between the latter and the base of Mission Ridge there is a broad; wooded valley. Of course, this had to be traversed before the intrenchments at the base of the ridge could be assaulted.

As soon as our troops began to move forward the enemy opened a terrific fire from his batteries on the crest of the ridge.

The batteries were so posted as to give a direct and cross fire on the assaulting troops. It would not, perhaps, be an exaggeration to say that the enemy had fifty pieces of artillery disposed on the crest of Mission Ridge. But the rapid firing of all this mass of artillery could not stay the onward movement of our troops. They pressed forward with dauntless ardor, and carried the line of intrenchments at the base of the ridge. The enemy in these intrenchments, doubtlessly impressed with the uselessness of resistance, made no serious opposition, but sought safety by flight behind his intrenchments on the crest of the ridge.

When the first line of intrenchments was carried, the goal for which we had started was won. Our orders carried us no further.

We had been instructed to carry the line of intrenchments at the base of the ridge, and then halt. But the enthusiasm and impetuosity of the troops were such that those who first reached the intrenchments at the base of the ridge bounded over them, and pressed on up the ascent after the flying enemy. Moreover, the intrenchments were no protection against the enemy's artillery on the ridge. To remain would be destruction; to retire would be both expensive in life, and disgraceful.

Officers and men all seemed impressed with this truth. In addition, the example of those who commenced to ascend the ridge so soon as the intrenchments were carried, was contagious.

Without waiting for an order, the vast mass pressed forward in the race of glory, each man eager to be the first on the summit.

The enemy's artillery and musketry could not check the impetuous assault. The troops did not halt to fire; to have done so would have been ruinous. Little was left to the immediate commanders of the troops than to cheer on the foremost, to encourage the weaker of limb, and to sustain the very few who seemed to be faint-hearted.

To the eternal honor of the troops, it should be recorded that the laggards were, indeed, few in number. The interval which elapsed between the carrying of the intrenchments at the base of the ridge and the crowning of the summit, must have been one of intense and painful anxiety to all who were not participants in the assault. The ascent of Mission Ridge was, indeed, an effort to try the strongest limbs and the stoutest hearts.

But suspense and anxiety were not of long duration. Upward steadily went the standard of the Union (borne onward by strong arms, upheld by brave hearts), and soon it was seen flying on the crest of Mission Ridge I Loud, indeed, were the shouts with which this spectacle was received.

Some of the first troops on the crest pressed forward in pursuit of the flying enemy immediately in front of them, while others (with great good sense on the part of their brigade commanders) were deployed to the right and left to clear the ridge, and to relieve the pressure on our troops that had not gained the summit.

The good effect of the flank attacks was almost instantaneously apparent, and soon the entire crest was occupied by our troops. Mission Ridge was ours The enemy, whom we had seen during the two lonely months of the investment occupying this dominating position, was in full retreat.

As the day was nearly spent, and the troops much worn and somewhat disordered by the ascent, the pursuit could not, of course, be long continued. Darkness was coming on apace, and the brigades were re-formed on the crest of the ridge, where they bivouacked for the night.

The assault of Mission Ridge is certainly one of the most remarkable achievements that have ever occurred. Military history would probably be ransacked in vain for a parallel. With so much armed resistance encountered, probably no assault was ever so eminently successful.

In fifty minutes from the time the advance commenced, the first flags were seen flying on the crest of the ridge. But the great achievement was not won without serious loss. Many gallant and accomplished officers and brave men were killed and wounded in the assault. To these especially is the lasting homage and gratitude of the country due.

As is not at all singular, there is a difference of opinion as to what troops first crowned the summit of Mission Ridge. All the different divisions engaged in the assault set up claims to this honor; the brigades of the same division (I know it is so in my division) have conflicting claims; and in like manner the regiments of the same brigade lay claim to the honor. Each commander, observing his own troops more closely than others, is disposed to think, with all honesty, that his command was first on the crest. While admitting I am liable to be mistaken, I sincerely think a considerable portion of my division were the first troops that reached the summit. But I am not able to discriminate with certainty which one of the three brigades was first up. The truth is, parts of each brigade reached the crest almost simultaneously; and where injustice might be done, I do not think it advisable to make a decision on the conflicting claims. In fact, I do not consider myself competent to do so. I own that I was much more interested in getting to the top of the ridge than in seeing who reached there first. Happily, it is a question which does not require to be definitely settled. The strong position of the enemy was carried, and it matters little what particular [340] regiment, brigade, or division was first on the summit. Where all strove so ardently to do well, he who was first up can only be considered as more fortunate, not more deserving, than his comrades.

I must refer to the report of brigade commanders, with their accompaniments, the reports of regimental commanders, for a more minute and detailed narrative of the operations of their several commands than I can present in this report. To these reports I must also refer for many instances of special commendation for gallantry and good conduct displayed by regimental and company officers and soldiers. To record all the instances of heroism displayed by men and officers, would extend this report beyond all reasonable compass.

After the rout of the enemy by the successful assault on Mission Ridge on the afternoon of the twenty-fifth, as shown by the reports of the brigade commanders, were as follows: General Willich, commanding First brigade, reports the capture of five pieces of artillery; General Hazen, commanding Second brigade, reports the capture of eighteen pieces of artillery; and General Beatty, commanding Third brigade, reports the capture of eight pieces of artillery. There is, I believe, some conflict of claims between Generals Willich and Hazen as to the priority of capture of two pieces of artillery, and I think they have both included them in their reports of captures. Without pretending to decide which of the two has the better claim, which I am really not able to do (nor is it at all important the question should be settled), I make the correction, to avoid counting two pieces twice. The reports of the brigade commanders show an aggregate capture of twenty-nine pieces of artillery by the division-all field pieces. In regard to the conflict between Generals Willich and Hazen, it may be remarked that it is not at all strange such differences of opinion should exist in regard to occurrences on the battle-field, as, by reason of the turmoil of the conflict, it is often impossible to mark distinctly the exact order of precedence of events; and where also two regiments may arrive simultaneously at the same place, and yet each honestly think itself the first there. General Willich, commanding First brigade, reports the capture of two regimental colors; General Hazen, commanding Second brigade, three; and General Beatty, two; making a total of seven. General Willich reports the capture of twelve hundred stands of small arms; General Hazen, six hundred and fifty; and General Beatty, two hundred; making an aggregate of two thousand and fifty stands of small arms.

Grand summary of captures by the division:

Field guns-twenty-nine.

Field caissons-twenty-five.

Regimental colors-seven.

Stands of small arms-two thousand and fifty.

Prisoners-over one thousand, for whom receipts were received by the Provost-Marshal of the division from the Provost-Marshal General. I have not the report of my Provost Marshal before me, and hence cannot give the exact number. Among the prisoners were officers of various grades.

The causualties in. the division amounted to sixteen officers killed and fifty-nine wounded; non-commissioned officers and privates killed, one hundred and fifty-four; wounded, eight hundred and thirteen; making the total casualties of the division one thousand and thirty-two. Among these the country has to mourn the loss of many gallant and accomplished officers, and brave and devoted men. I have already noted the. death of Major Birch, of the Ninety-third Ohio, who was killed while gallantly leading his regiment in the assault on the enemy's intrenchments on Monday afternoon of the twenty-third. Major Irvin, Sixth Ohio, and Major Glass, Thirty-second Indiana, while displaying like heroism, were killed in the assault on Mission Ridge. In the death of these gallant and excellent officers the country has sustained a severe loss.

To my brigade commanders, General Willich, commanding First brigade; General Hazen, commanding Second brigade; and General Beatty, commanding Third brigade, my warmest thanks are due (and are hereby tendered) for the prompt, skilful, and intelligent manner in which they performed their duties in these brilliant operations. They each displayed high personal gallantry, as well as professional intelligence. I commend them to the consideration and care of my seniors in rank. They speak in terms of high praise of their staff officers, and, I doubt not, justly.

In writing a report of operations affording opportunities for the display of personal gallantry and heroism, and for rendering high and distinguished service, it is impossible to chronicle the name of every officer or soldier specially distinguishing himself. And where all have done well, to attempt to discriminate individuals would, perhaps, lead to invidious distinctions. But, as in extensive operations, some are fortunate enough to specially distinguish themselves, it is doing no more than justice to them to commemorate their names in an official report. Colonel Berry, commanding Fifth Kentucky, displayed conspicuous gallantry on the twenty-third and on the twenty-fifth. He was slightly wounded on both days. Colonel Wiley, commanding Forty-first Ohio, rendered signal service on both days, and displayed high courage. In the assault on Mission Ridge he received a ghastly wound in his right knee, rendering amputation necessary. Lieutenant-Colonel Chandler, commanding Thirty-fifth Illinois, after being among the very first on the summit of Mission Ridge, rendered the most important service by a prompt flank movement to the left, whereby a portion of the resisting rebels were swept off, Lieutenant-Colonel Chandler then, according to his brigade commander's report, followed up the enemy a mile and a half in his retreat. Colonel Stout, commanding Seventeenth Kentucky, and Colonel Knefler, commanding [341] Seventy-ninth Indiana, distinguished themselves by the vigor of their assault on Mission Ridge, and the ardor with which they attacked the rebels after the crest had been gained.

To the members of my personal staff, Captain Bestow, Assistant Adjutant-General, First Lieutenant Yargan, Fifty-eighth Indiana, and Second Lieutenant Shaffer, Ninety-third Ohio, Aides-de-Camp, Captain Bartlett, Forty-ninth Ohio, Inspector-General of the Division, and Captain Wells, Eighty-ninth Illinois, Assistant Commissary of Musters, who accompanied me on the field throughout the entire operations, my thanks are especially due for much valuable assistance, promptly and intelligently rendered. They all bore themselves with signal gallantry. Captain Bestow was slightly wounded by the fragment of a shell in the assault on Mission Ridge. To the members of my staff who were not immediately on the field, Captain Bradley, Sixth Ohio battery, Chief of Artillery; Captain Myers, Assistant Quarter-Master; Captain Mullen, Commissary of Subsistence; Lieutenant Haldeman, Ordinance Officer; and Captain Taft, Provost-Marshal, I must tender my thanks for the excellent manner in which they performed their appropriate duties. Captain Bridges, commanding the battery which was posted on Orchard Knob during the night of the twenty-third, did good service. Special praise and commendation are due to that accomplished officer and Christian gentleman, Surgeon W. W. Blair, Medical Director of the division, for the excellent arrangements, provided in advance, for taking care of the wounded, and for the prompt manner in which, so far as human power could do it, their sufferings were alleviated.

Though it may be unusual, I trust it will not be considered in bad taste, more especially when it is remembered that we commenced the career of arms together in our boyhood, if I return my sincere acknowledgments to the Commander of the corps of which my division is a part, for the prompt and hearty support he gave me throughout the brilliant operations which terminated in raising the protracted investment of Chattanooga and the rout of the rebel army.

Immediately after the termination of the operations around Chattanooga, my division, with another of the corps, was ordered to march to the relief of the garrison of Knoxville, beleaguered by the rebels under General Longstreet. Thinly clad, some of the men being absolutely barefooted, and all deficient in clothing, and after having been more than two months on short rations, the march was cheerfully commenced and rapidly made at a most inclement season of the year. The line of march having been changed after leaving Chattanooga, it was impossible to draw subsistence from the Commissariat Department, and during the remainder of the march it was necessary for the troops to subsist on the country. This their indomitable energy enabled them to do. And, I may add, they have been compelled to live in the same way, more or less, ever since. When we marched from Chattanooga it was understood that the object of the movement was simply to cause the siege of Knoxville to be raised, and that as soon as this was accomplished we were to return. On our arrival at Knoxville it was determined to hold us there, while the garrison pursued the retreating rebels.

After remaining at Knoxville a week, a report was received that Longstreet had turned on his pursuers and was driving them back. To support them we were ordered to advance to this point, and here we have remained ever since, suffering all the privations and hardships that insufficient clothing, insufficient shelter, and insufficient food, at the most inclement season of the year, can produce. When we marched from Chattanooga the troops were allowed but one wagon per regiment for the transportation of baggage, shelter, and cooking utensils.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,.

Thomas J. Wood, Brigadier-General U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

Tabular Statement of Casualties in the Third Division, Fourth Army Corps, in the operations before Chattanooga, on 23d, 24th, and 25th days of November, 1863.

commands. Third division, Fourth army
Commissioned Officers.Enlisted MenCommissioned Officers.Enlisted Men.Commissioned Officers.Enlisted Men.Commissioned Officers and Enlisted Men.
First Brigade74617267  337
Second Brigade78630399  522
Third Brigade21212148  174
Total1614459814  1,033

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