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160

BRAGG PREPARING FOR BATTLE.

mound, and thence over the mountains toward Trenton, some distance up the Lookout Valley, to menace Bragg's left front, while the remainder of Sherman's force, excepting Osterhaus's division, moved up quickly and secretly to Brown's Ferry, crossed the river there on Smith's pontoon bridge, and marched round behind Chattanooga toward Grant's left, thereby giving Bragg the impression that they were more likely to be moving to the relief of Burnside than to attack his extreme right. The latter was the real movement intended. These troops, as we shall observe presently, crossed the Tennessee to Chattanooga, and at a proper time took position on Thomas's left.

Ewing's troops were stealthily withdrawn from near Trenton, and ordered to follow the others of the corps to the extreme left of the Union Army, leaving only Hooker, with the addition of Osterhaus's division, on Bragg's left. The latter had been prevented from crossing the river at Brown's Ferry, on account of the breaking of the pontoon bridge by drift-wood, and was ordered to join Hooker.

On account of bad roads, caused by heavy rains, Ewing's march was more tardy than was contemplated, and he did not reach his assigned position until the 23d, instead of on the 21st, when Grant expected to make his attack. The latter was impatient, for he knew that Burnside was in peril; and by a note from Bragg on the 20th,' and the report of a Confederate deserter on the 22d, he was impressed with a belief that his adversary was preparing to fly southward. Bragg was simply repeating the trick he so successfully played upon Rosecrans, to draw Grant into action prematurely, before his re-enforcements should arrive. It succeeded in a degree, for

before Sherman's troops had crossed the river, he ordered Nov. 23, Thomas to move the center forward to find out what was going

on behind the strong line of Confederate pickets in front of Chattanooga. The fact was, Bragg, instead of preparing to retreat, was making dispositions for a formidable resistance to the impending attack.

ent for the attack on the 21st, Hooker was to assail Bragg's left on Lookout Mountain. This movement was suspended, and Howard's corps was called to Chattanooga and temporarily attached to Thomas's command. The Fifteenth Army Corps (Sherman's) was now under the command of General Blair, with orders to take position on the extreme left, near the mouth of the West Chickamauga River. They had with them on their march up the north side of the Tennessee, a concealed train of one hundred and sixteen pontoon boats, wherewith to construct a bridge for passing over; and on the afternoon of the 23d, when Thomas moved out, they were at the crossing point.

When Thomas moved, the heavy guns of Fort Wood, at Chattanooga, were playing upon the Missionaries' Ridge and Orchard Knob, the latter a much lower hill considerably in front of the former. The column

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1 Brigg's note, dated “ Head-quarters Army of the Tennessee, in the field, November 20, 1868," was as follows: "General-As there may still be some non-combatants in Chattanooga, I deem it proper to notify you that prudence would dictate their early withdrawal."

? In the picture, on the next page, of that portion of the Missionaries' Ridge that was the chief theater of war, Orchard Knob is the eminence on the left of the figures on Cemetery Hill, rising above the rolling plain to about half the height of the ridge. That ridge is made up of a series of connected knobs, with depressions, the most considerable of which is Rossville Gap.

SEIZURE OF ORCHARD KNOB.

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moved in close and admirable order, the division of General T. J. Wood, of Granger's (Fourth) corps, leading, on the left, and advancing almost to Citico Creek, and Sheridan's on the right. Palmer, of the Fourteenth Corps, supported Granger's right, with Baird's division refused, while Johnston's division remained in the intrenchments, under arms, and Howard's corps was in reserve, both ready to move to any required point. Grant, Thomas, Granger, and Howard, stood upon the ramparts of Fort Wood, watching the advance, and were speedily gratified by hearing shouts of victory from the lips of the patriot soldiers, and seeing the foe flying in confusion. Steadily but swiftly the Nationals had moved toward Orchard Knob, like a

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deep torrent, driving every thing before them, and by a vigorous charge carrying the rifle-pits on that eminence and taking two hundred prisoners. The movement was so quick and vigorous, that Bragg had not time to throw forward supports 'before it was too late. Wood immediately intrenched. Howard moved up and took position on his left, and Bridges's (Illinois) battery was placed in position on the crest of Orchard Knob, which was thus secured. That evening Bragg was satisfied that he had been almost fatally out-generaled.

It was now important to get Sherman's army over the river without being discovered. To attract the chief attention of the Confederates to another quarter, Hooker was ordered to attack them on the northern face of Lookout Mountain. He was under arms and ready for the movement at

1 These were of the Twenty-eighth Alabama Regiment, whose colors were among the trophies of Hazen's brigade, which captured the prisoners.

2 Hooker's force now consisted of Osterhaus's division of the Fifteenth Corps; Crnft's, of the Fourth; and Geary, of the Twelfth, excepting some regiments left to guard the roads in the rear and to Kelly's Ferry. His artillery was composed of Battery K of the First Ohio, and Battery K of the First New York. He had also a part of the Second Kentucky Cavalry and a company of the Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry, making his entire force only 9,681 men. “We were all strangers," he said in his report, “no one division ever having seen one of the others."

At that time the Confederate pickets formed a continuous line along the right bank of Lookout Creek, with reserves in the valley, while their main force was encamped in a hollow half way up the slope of the mountain. The summit was held by several brigades of Stevenson's division. The side of the mountain toward Hooker was steep, rugged, and wooded, with a palisaded crest, the rocks rising perpendicularly from fifty to eighty feet. On the northern slope, toward Chattanooga, was a belt of arable land, extending well up toward the palisades This was traversed by a continuous line of earth-works, with redoubts, redans, and rifle-pits; also abatis and stone walls, to resist an attack from Lookout or Chattanooga Valley. There was no road to the summit in thias region, excepting a zigzagging one on the Chattanooga side.

VOL. III.-89

162

THE NATIONALS SCALE LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN.

four o'clock the next morning, when he found that the recent heavy rains had damaged his pontoon bridge at the mouth of Lookout Creek, and the stream was not fordable. He at once ordered Geary to march to Wauhatchie, supported by Cruft, cross the creek there, and hold the right bank of the stream, while the rest of the troops should build temporary bridges nearly in front of the detachment. Fortunately for the Nationals, a heavy mist lay upon the country that morning, and while the vigilant eyes on Lookout Mountain above were watching the bridge-builders, as the mist drifted now and then in the breeze, they did not observe Geary's movement. He crossed the creek at eight o'clock, seized a whole picket guard there, of forty-two men, and extended his line to the right to the foot of the mountain, facing northward. Hooker now advanced Gross's brigade, which seized the bridge just below the railway crossing, and pushed over the stream. Osterhaus's division, which, as we have seen, had been left at Brown's Ferry, now came up, and Wood's brigade was pressed to a point half a mile above Gross, where it laid a temporary bridge and crossed. The two batteries, meanwhile, had been well planted on little hills near, and by eleven o'clock Hooker was at work, with a determination to assail the Confederates and drive them from Lookout Mountain—"an enterprise,” he said, under the

circumstances, “worthy the ambition and renown of the troops to whom it was intrusted." His adversary in immediate command before him, was General Walthall.

Hooker's guns all opened at once on the breast works and rifle-pits along the steep, wooded, and broken slopes of the mountain, with a destructive enfilading fire. Wood and Gross having completed their bridges, dashed across the creek under cover of this fire, and joining Geary on his left, pushed swiftly and vigorously down the valley, sweeping every thing before them, capturing the men in the rifle-pits, and allowing very few to escape up the mountain. At the

same time the troops scaling SLOPE OF LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN.?

the rugged sides from the valley, pushed on over bowlders and ledges, rocky crests and tangled ravines, BATTLE ON LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN.

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1 Hooker's Report, February 4, 1864.

? In this sketch is seen a portion of the slope of Lookout Mountain, with its felled trees, up which the National troops climbed and fought. In the distance is seen the Tennessee, where it winds around Cameron's Hill at Chattanooga and by Moccasin Point.

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cutting their way through the felled trees with which the mountain-side had been covered, under the very muzzles of the Confederate cannon, driving the foe from his camp in the hollow or plateau well up toward the crest, and forcing him around the arable belt toward the Chattanooga Valley. In this work, Cobham's brigade, posted on high ground, did effective service, by pouring destructive volleys from above and behind the Confederates, while Freeland's brigade was rolling them up on the flank. Both were supported, closely and warmly, by the brigades of Whittaker and Creighton.

Not knowing to what extent the Confederates might be re-enforced, and fearing a fatal entanglement and disordering of his troops in the mountain, Hooker now directed them to halt. But they could not be restrained. Inspired by their success they pushed on, and notwithstanding their adversaries had been re-enforced, they continued to be irresistible. Two of Osterhaus's regiments, meanwhile, had been sent forward on the Chattanooga road, near the base of the mountain, and the remainder of his division joined Geary. After a little more struggle the plateau was cleared, and from near Craven's house, where the Confederates made their last stand, they were seen flying pell-mell, in utter confusion, down the precipices, ravines, and rugged slopes, toward the Chattanooga Valley. During all the struggle, a battery planted on a little wooded hill on Moccasin Point, under Captain Naylor, had been doing excellent service. It actually dismounted one of the guns in the Confederate battery on the top of Lookout Mountain, nearly fifteen hundred feet above it.

It was now about two o'clock in the afternoon. The mountain was completely enveloped in a dense cloud-so dense as to make further movements perilous, if not impossible. All the morning, while the struggle was going

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on, the mountain was hooded with vapor that went up from the valley, and it was only at intervals, when it broke away, that glimpses of the lines and banners of the Nationals might be caught by straining eyes at Chattanooga

1 This is from a sketch from Cameron's hill, at Chattanooga, made by the writer in May, 1866, in which the ruins of Mr. Cameron's house is seen in the foreground. Below is seen the Tennessee River, winding around Moccasin Point. In the distance, at the center, rises Lookout Mountain, on the face of which the white spot indicates the place of Craven's house, on the plateau. In Lookout Valley, to the right, is the hill on which Hooker was stationed during the fight. Farther to the right are seen the northeastern slopes of Raccoon Mountain

164

BATTLE ON LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN.

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and Orchard Knob, where ears, filled with the thunders of battle high in air, were making all hearts anxious. Hooker had been literally fighting in the clouds, and gaining a substantial victory, while all below was doubt and painful suspense. He established his line firmly on the eastern face of the mountain, his right resting on the palisades at the summit, and his left near the mouth of Chattanooga Creek, completely commanding, by an enfilading fire, the line of the Confederate defenses, stretching across the Chattanooga Valley to the Missionaries' Ridge. Communication with Chattanooga was established toward evening, and at sunset General Carlin, with his brigade, joined Hooker, and was placed on his right, to relieve the troops of Geary, exhausted by hours of climbing and fighting. During the night the right was attacked, but the assailants were gallantly repulsed. The assault was to mask the retreat of the Confederates from the top of the mountain, to which they were impelled by the fear of being cut off in the morning from the only road leading down to the Chattanooga Valley. They left behind them, in their haste, twenty thousand rations, the camp and garrison equipage of three brigades, and other war material. Before daylight, in anticipation of this retreat, parties from several regiments were detached to scale the palisades at some broken point. The Eighth Kentucky were the first to

do so, climbing up a narrow, rocky passage, one at a time, for Nov. 25,

there was no one above to oppose them. At sunrise,” in the

clear, crisp autumn air, they unfurled the National banner from Pulpit Rock, on the extreme point of the mountain overlooking Chatta

nooga, with cheers that were re-echoed by the troops below. From that “pulpit "

. Jefferson Davis had harangued his troops only a few days before, when he gave them assurances that all was well with the Confederacy. This brilliant victory made absolutely secure the navigation of the river from Bridgeport to Chattanooga, the needful highway for supplies for the National army.

While Hooker was fighting on Lookout Mountain, Sherman's troops were crossing the Tennessee above Chattanooga. At one

o'clock in the morning, three

thousand men embarked on the pontoon boats already mentioned, at the mouth of the North Chickamauga Creek, behind the shelter of Friar's Island. They floated silently down the river, landed some troops above the mouth of the South Chick

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• Nov. 24.

amauga, to capture Confederate pickets 1 Bragg, in his report, complained of the remissness of General Stevenson, in command on the summit of the mountain, for not rendering assistance to Walthall. He said Stevenson had “six brigades at his disposal." "Upon his urgent appeal," said Bragg, “another brigade was dispatched in the afternoon to his support, though it appears that his own forces had not been brought into action."

This shows the character of a portion of the summit of Lookout Mountain, where it abuts upon the Tennessee River. There lie in picturesque confusion immense laminated bowlders, and occasionally columnar

PULPIT ROCK.'

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