Today in History:

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


Numbers 203.

Report of Brigadier General Joseph A. J. Lightburn, U. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade.

HDQRS. 2nd BRIGADE, 2nd DIVISION, 15TH ARMY CORPS, In the Field, November 28, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command in the late battle of Chattanooga:

Pursuant to orders, I started from camp on the evening of the 23rd instant, marched to the Tennessee River, near the Caldwell house, at 3 a. m. The 24th instant, we crossed the river in pontoon-boats, took position on an elevation near the river, and intrenched it; at 2 p. m. started in line of battle for the hills known as Mission Ridge, ascending the first hill without opposition. Upon arriving at the summit I perceived it not to be the hill designated in the order. I therefore ordered Colonel A. C. Parry, with his regiment, Forty-seventh Ohio Infantry Volunteers, to take possession of the point of the main hill, which was immediately in front of the one we then occupied. Upon arriving, Colonel Parry informed me that the enemy was advancing on him from the opposite side; also opening upon him with two pieces of artillery from another elevation of the main hill. I then ordered Colonel Theodore Jones, with his regiment, Thirtieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, to re-enforce him, subsequently ordering Colonels B. J. Spooner and J. H. Dayton, with their regiments, the Eighty-third Indiana Volunteer Infantry and Fourth [West] Virginia Infantry Volunteers, to the same hill, with instructions to intrench it, placing Lieutenant-Colonel von Blessingh, with his regiment, the Thirty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, on the point of the first hill I occupied, fronting Chickamauga Creek, to protect my left flank and rear, in which position the command remained until next morning, the 25th. At 9 a. m. I received verbal orders from Major-General Sherman to send forward 200 men to occupy Tunnel Hill. I ordered Colonel Jones, with his regiment, Thirtieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and two companies of the Fourth [West] Virginia Volunteer Infantry, under command of Captain J. L. Mallernee, to perform that duty, ordering Colonel Parry to place three companies of his regiment to protect the left flank of the movement. Upon advancing upon the hill, Colonel Jones found it occupied in force by the enemy, which, when reported, I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel von Blessingh, with his regiment, Thirty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, to his support.

Colonel Jones advanced and took possession of the first elevation, driving the enemy from his outer works, and advanced his skirmishers to within 50 or 75 yards of his interior line, holding his position until near sunset, when he was relieved by the First Brigade. I then called my command together upon the intrenched hill, and bivouacked for the night.

On the morning of the 26th, I received orders to provide my command with three days' rations, and at 12 m. marched for Chickamauga Station. During the march and engagement the officers and men behaved splendidly, promptness characterizing every movement.

I beg leave to make special mention of Colonels Parry and Jones for their courage, skill, and promptness in performing the duty assigned them.