Brown's Ferry, seizure of.
Gen. G. W. F. Smith
undertook to open a more direct way for supplies for the National
troops at Chattanooga
(q. v.). In cooperation with Hooker
's advance on Wauhatchie, he sent General Hazen
, with 1,800 men in bateaux, to construct a pontoon bridge below.
These floated noiselessly and undiscerned in the night (Oct. 26-27, 1863) down the Tennessee River
, past the point of Lookout Mountain
along a line of Confederate pickets 7 miles in length.
They landed at Brown's Ferry, on the south side, captured the pickets there, and seized a low range of hills that commanded Lookout Valley
Another force, 1,200 strong, under General Turchin
, had moved down the north bank of the river to the ferry at about the same time; and by ten o'clock a pontoon bridge was laid, and a strong abatis
for defence was constructed.
The Confederates, bewildered, withdrew up the valley.
Before night the left of Hooker
's line rested on Smith
's right at the pontoon bridge.
By this operation the railway from Bridgeport
well up towards Chattanooga
was put in possession of the Nationals, and the route for supplies for the troops at the latter place was reduced by land from 60 to 28 miles along a safe road; and by using the river to Kelly's Ferry, to 8 miles.