Today in History:

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

Page 576 Chapter XLIII. KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA.

enemy to our flank and felt sure of the result. Some guns which had been firing at us all day were silent or were turned in a different direction. The advancing line of musketry fire from Orchard Knob disappeared (to us) behind a spur of the hill and could no longer be seen, and it was not until night closed that I knew that the troops in Chattanooga had swept across Missionary Ridge and broken the enemy's center. Of course the victory was won, and pursuit was the next step. I ordered General Morgan L. Smith to feel to the tunnel, and it was found vacant, save by the dead and wounded of our own and the enemy commingled. The reserve of General Jef. C. Davis was ordered to march at once by the pontoon bridge across Chickamauga at its mouth, and push forward for the depot.

General Howard had reported to me in the early part of the day with the remainder of his army corps (the Eleventh), and had been posted to connect my left with Chickamauga Creek. He was ordered to repair an old broken bridge about 2 miles up Chickamauga, and to follow General Davis at 4 a. m., and the Fifteenth Army Corps to march at daylight. But General Howard found to repair the bridge more of a task than at first supposed, and we were all compelled to cross Chickamauga on the new pontoon bridge at its mouth.

By about 11 a. m. General Jef. C. Davis' division appeared at the depot just in time to see it in flames. He entered with one brigade and found the enemy occupying two hills, partially intrenched, just beyond the depot. These he soon drove away. The depot presented a scene of desolation that war alone exhibits. Corn meal and corn in huge burning piles, broken wagons, abandoned caissons, two 32-pounder rifled guns with carriages, burned pieces of pontoons, balks, cheeses, &c.-destined doubtless for the famous invasion of Kentucky-and all manner of things, burning and broken. Still the enemy kindly left us a good supply of forage for our horses; meal, beans, &c., for our men.

Pausing but a short while we pressed on, the road lined with broken wagons and abandoned caissons, till night. Just as the head of column emerged from a dark, miry swamp, we encountered the rear guard of the retreating army. The fight was sharp, but the night closed in so dark that we could not move. General Grant came up to us then, General Davis still leading, and at daylight we resumed the march, and at Graysville, where a good bridge spanned the Chickamauga, we found the corps of General Palmer on the south bank. He informed us that General Hooker was on a road still farther south, and we could hear his guns near Ringgold.

As the roads were filled with all the troops they could accommodate, I then turned to the east to fulfill another part of the general plan, viz, to break up all communication between Bragg and Longstreet.

We had all sorts of rumors as to the latter, but it was manifest that we should interpose a proper force between these two armies. I therefore directed General Howard to move to Parker's Gap and thence send rapidly a competent force to Red Clay, or the Council Ground, and there destroy a large section of the railroad which connects Dalton and Cleveland. This work was most successfully and completely accomplished that day. The division of General Jef. C. Davis was moved up close to Ringgold to assist General Hooker, if needed, and the Fifteenth Corps held at Graysville for anything that might turn up. About noon I had a message from General Hooker saying he had had a pretty hard fight at the mountain pass, just

Page 576 Chapter XLIII. KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA.