Today in History:

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


Volunteers, Lieutenant Colonel John F. Cramer commanding; Thirty-first Missouri Volunteers, Lieutenant Colonel Samuel P. Simpson commanding, was ordered to cross Lookout Creek, and, in connection with the other brigade of this division and troops of the Twelfth and Fourteenth Army Corps, to assault Lookout Mountain. It was necessary for this purpose to throw a bridge across the creek. This was done by the pioneers of the First Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, who were protected while at the work by the Third Missouri Volunteers. The bridge was soon finished, and the troops moved across the creek by the right flank up the hill, covered by the Third Missouri Volunteers as skirmishers. As soon as the brigade was across the creek it faced by the left flank and moved along the slope of the mountain in line of battle, the left resting on the Chattanooga road. Owing to the broken and rough nature of the ground near the Chattanooga road, I took two regiments, the Twelfth Missouri and Seventy-sixth Ohio, and moved by the left flank up the road to a point near where the railroad debouches into the Chattanooga Valley, where I formed them in line of battle. I afterward placed other regiments on the same line, which I was directed by Major-General Hooker to hold.

On the right of my line the fighting was stubborn. The Twenty-seventh Missouri was ordered forward to relieve some regiment of General Whitaker's brigade reported to be out of ammunition, and took possession of rifle-pits from which the enemy had been driven. The Third Missouri, the Twenty-ninth Missouri, and the Thirty-second Missouri were placed on the same line. The latter two regiments were in the extreme front, and took possession of some rifle-pits from which they drove the enemy, taking a few prisoners. This disposition placed the brigade in two lines en echelon, the right thrown forward, and this was the situation during the night.

I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of the officers and men under my command during the engagement. They moved forward to the attack with an energy that overcame all opposition, and they held every inch of ground gained with a tenacity which foiled the enemy in every attempt to dislodge them.

On the morning of the 25th, this brigade led the advance of Major-General Hooker's column, taking the road to Rossville. When near that place we found the gap through Missionary Ridge strongly occupied by the enemy with infantry and artillery.

The Twenty-seventh Missouri formed the advance guard. The skirmishers attacked with vigor and occupied the attention of the enemy, while the remainder of the brigade moved off to the right, under fire of the enemy's artillery, and advanced up, and without further opposition gained the summit of the ridge, along which it moved to the gap, but upon arriving there found that the enemy had fallen back, and that it had been followed by the Twenty-seventh Missouri through the gap.

The brigade then moved forward, taking a road about 1,000 yards in rear of Missionary Ridge and running nearly parallel to it. Having gone about a mile to some fields, we discovered the enemy in force on Missionary Ridge moving toward the gap through which we had passed. They soon met the head of General Cruft's division, which engaged them sharply, and was driving them back. They endeavored to escape in the direction in which my brigade was stationed. I was ordered by General P. J. Osterhaus to move up the hill on their flank, which was done in the most gallant style, com-