Today in History:

75 Series I Volume XXXI-II Serial 55 - Knoxville and Lookout Mountain Part II


was continued on the bridge across the river from both ends, and Captain P. V. Fox, Michigan Engineers, began the bridge across the South Chickamauga. According to previous arrangement, Brigadier General J. H. Wilson brought up the steamer Dunbar to assist in the passage of the troops, about 5,000 infantry and one battery of artillery; besides the horses of the generals and their staff were crossed in that manner under the energetic direction of General Wilson. At 12.20 p.m. the bridge across the river was completed, the one across the creek having been finished a little before, and by 3 p.m. the brigade of cavalry under Colonel Long had crossed and was on its march.

The bridge across the river was thrown with less trouble than was anticipated, because it was found that most of the drift hugged the right bank, and to avoid the catching of the drift on the cables anchors were dispensed with for several boats near the shore and the structure kept in place by guy lines to the trees on shore. Lieutenant Dresser deserves all praise for his intelligent energy in throwing a bridge of nearly 1,400 feet in length over such a flood in such a short time. That same afternoon two pontoon bridges were thrown across the Chattanooga Creek to connect the center and right of General Thomas' command, the right by that time occupying the base of Lookout Mountain. On the 25th, an additional bridge was thrown across the Citico Creek at its mouth and the unused bridge above brought down and thrown across the river at Chattanooga. On the 26th, Lieutenant Wharton and the Pioneer Brigade, under Colonel George P. Buell, were ordered to accompany the pursuing column toward Ringgold, and Colonel Buell reports the completion of a bridge across the West Chickamauga Creek by daylight of Friday morning. Lieutenant Twining, of the Engineer Corps, had been ordered to reconstruct the bridge near Shallow Ford across the South Chickamauga. On Friday at Ringgold, orders were given to Lieutenant Wharton to attend to the destruction of the railroad at that place and whatever mills in the vicinity. On Sunday, Captain Merrill was ordered to accompany the column under General Gordon Granger toward Knoxville. I beg to call the particular attention of General Grant to the accompanying report of Brigadier-General Wilson* with reference to the bridge constructed under his direction across the Little Tennessee for the passage of General Sherman's column over that stream; also that of Captain Poe*, Chief Engineer, Army of the Ohio. The officers of the Engineer Corps were zealous and efficient. I forward with this a map# large enough to show the strategic movements made before the battle and also map giving the battle-field. These maps are mainly due to the exertions of Captain West, U. S. Coast Survey, of my staff, and to the labors of Captains Dorr and Donn, of the same Department, who have been ordered to report to me by Professor Bache, Superintendent U. S. Coast Survey, and who all deserve the thanks of the general for their labors. By them the distances were determined before the battle for the use of artillery, and also the heights of artillery positions occupied by us and the enemy.

Very respectfully,


Brigadier-General, Chief Engineer, Mil. Div. of the Miss.

Brigadier General JOHN A. RAWLINS,

Chief of Staff.


*See Part I, pp.315 and 431, respectively.

#To appear in the Atlas.