Today in History:

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


ordered to move my command up on the Dallas road, about 4 miles above Chattanooga, and go into camp in the valley near the Tennessee River before daylight, which was accomplished, although the Second Brigade was 6 miles in the rear. Remained in camp until the night of the 23rd of November, when, in compliance with orders received from Major-General Sherman, I moved, at 12 o'clock, to the bank of the Tennessee River, nearly opposite the mouth of East Chickamauga Creek, in readiness to cross the river in pontoon-boats.

At about 1.30 a. m. on the 24th, the boats arrived, and the First Brigade, followed by the Third and Second Brigades, crossed in perfectly good order. Upon reaching the opposite bank, in compliance with instructions previously received, Colonel Alexander, commanding First Brigade, deployed the Fourth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, Lieutenant Colonel J. E. Tourtellotte commanding, as skirmishers, so as to cover the brigade front, while the remainder of the First and Third Brigades intrenched themselves as rapidly as possible, so that by daylight, when the Second Brigade had crossed, the whole command was perfectly secure behind a good line of works. Daylight revealed a second ridge about 500 yards in advance of the first line. I ordered the command forward, and they again intrenched themselves. At this point Colonel Tourtellotte reported to his brigade commander the enemy's cavalry picket taken by his skirmishers. The Fourth Division having crossed the river, and taken the position assigned it on my right, I withdrew the Second Brigade, formed in column of regiments, to protect the right flank, and placed them in rear of my line.

At about 1 p. m. I received orders to advance my column, formed by division. The skirmishers advanced steadily without much opposition until they gained the summit on the left on Missionary Ridge, where they met with quite spirited opposition, but soon drove the enemy's skirmishers from the ground. The First and Third Brigades were formed in two lines, the Second in reserve, and ordered to intrench themselves. One section of the Sixth Wisconsin Battery was ordered up to the hill, but owing to the poor condition of the horses it was found impossible to get it up without the assistance of the infantry. A detail of 200 men from the First Brigade soon had the guns in position on the right of our line. These dispositions being made, about 5 a. m., in compliance with orders from Major-General Sherman, and in anticipation of an attack through the valley at the base of the ridge, I moved down with the Second and Third Brigades and placed them under cover of the woods, ready to act in any emergency that circumstances might require.

I remained in this position, without receiving any orders, until 11 a. m. of the 25th, when Brigadier-General Ewing, commanding Fourth Division, on my right, sent to me for one brigade to enable him to close a gap in the valley, not covered by his men. Fearing that the enemy might attack at that point, I at once ordered the Third Brigade, Brigadier-General Matthies commanding, to report to General Ewing. An hour later General Ewing sent for another brigade when I promptly ordered out the Second Brigade, Colonel Raum commanding, to report to him. Following I found the Second Brigade placed in position on the right and about 20 paces in front of General Ewing's line of intrenchments, covering a position of his (General Ewing's) command to the extent of one-half of the Second Brigade front. I at once called upon General Ewing for an explana-