Today in History:

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

Page 78 KY., SW. VA., Tennessee,MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.


the valley of Lookout Creek, drove the rebels around the point, captured some 2,000 prisoners, and established himself high up the mountain side, in full view of Chattanooga. This raised the blockade, and our steamers were ordered from Bridgeport to Chattanooga. They had run only to Kelley's Ferry, whence 10 miles of hauling over mountain roads and twice crossing the Tennessee on pontoon bridges brought us our supplies.

All night the point of Mission Ridge, on the extreme left, and the side of Lookout Mountain, on the extreme right, blazed with the camp-fires of loyal troops. The day had been one of driving mists and rains, and much of Hooker's battle was fought above the clouds, which concealed him from our view, but from which his musketry was heard.

At nightfall the sky cleared, and the full moon, the "hunter's moon," shone upon the beautiful scene. Till 1 a.m. twinkling sparks upon the mountain side showed that picket skirmishing was still going on; then it ceased. A brigade sent from Chattanooga crossed Chattanooga Creek and opened communication with Hooker soon after nightfall.

General Grant's headquarters during the afternoon of the 23rd and the day of the 24th were in Wood's redoubt, except when in the course of the day we rode along the advanced lines, visiting the headquarters of the several commanders in Chattanooga Valley.

At daylight on the 25th, the Stars and Stripes were discerned on the peak of Lookout. The rebels had evacuated the mountain. Hooker moved to descend the mountain, and, striking Mission Ridge at the Rossville Gap, to sweep it on both sides and on its summit.

The rebel troops were seen as soon as it was light enough streaming by regiments and brigades along the narrow summit of Mission Ridge, either concentrating on their right to overwhelm Sherman, or marching for the railroad and raising the siege. They had evacuated the Valley of Chattanooga; would they abandon that of the Chickamauga?

The 30-pounders and 4 1/2-inch rifles of Wood's redoubt opened on Mission Ridge. Orchard Knob sent its compliments to the ridge, which, with rifled Parrotts, answered, and the cannonade thus commenced continued all day. Shot and shell screamed from Orchard Knob to Mission Ridge, from Mission Ridge to Orchard Knob, and from Wood's redoubt, over the heads of General Grant and General Thomas and their staffs, who were with us in this favorable position, whence the whole could be seen as in an amphitheater.

Headquarters were under fire all day long. Cannonading and musketry were heard from General Sherman. Howard marched the Eleventh Corps to join him.

Thomas sent out skirmishers, who drove in the rebel pickets, and even shook them in their intrenchments at the foot of Mission Ridge.

Sherman sent an assault against Bragg's right, intrenched on a high knob, next to that on which Sherman himself lay fortified.

The assault was gallantly made, reached the edge of the crest, held its ground for what seemed to me an hour; but was then bloodily repulsed by reserves.

A general advance was ordered, and a strong line of skirmishers, followed by a deployed line of battle some 2 miles in length, at the signal of six cannon-shots from the headquarters on Orchard Knob, moved rapidly and orderly forward.

Page 78 KY., SW. VA., Tennessee,MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.