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

Page 704 KY., SW. VA., Tennessee, MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.


Numbers 228.

Report of Brigadier General John C. Moore, C. S. Army, commanding brigade.

Near Dalton, Ga., December 3, 1863.

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this brigade in the engagement on Lookout Mountain on the 24th and that on Missionary Ridge the 25th ultimo:

The brigade was composed of the Thirty-seventh Alabama, Lieutenant-Colonel Green commanding; the Fortieth Alabama, Colonel Higley, and the Forty-second Alabama, Lieutenant-Colonel Lanier. The result of the engagement on the mountain, as I conceive, renders it necessary for me to enter more fully into details than I would otherwise do. This position was occupied by my brigade on the right and Walthall's on the left, or beyond the Craven house, the whole force being under the command of Brig. General J. K. Jackson. My brigade had charge of the picket line from the mouth of Chattanooga Creek to the railroad crossing of Lookout Creek, and Walthall's from that point around to the left.

A few days previous to the attack I made a reconnaissance of the whole picket line and forwarded a report, by order of Lieutenant-General Hardee, through Brigadier-General Jackson. At this time the picket line on Lookout Creek extended up that stream about 2 miles to a good ford near an old mill. Our line thus being very long, requiring a large detail (700) from our comparatively small force, I advised in my report the shortening of the line by turning up the mountain at a point known as the Cursey house, and that the ford at the old mill be watched by scouting parties during the day and vedettes at night. A day or two after this General Walthall informed me that he had been instructed to picket along the creek only as far as the railroad bridge, extending his line from that point up the mountain. This threw our picket line very near the brigade on the left, rendering them very liable to a surprise by the enemy crossing above and coming down on the left. Whether this was the case on the day of the assault I am not sufficiently informed to state, though the result seems to indicate such to have been the case. Up to the time of the assault none of the enemy had crossed in front of my picket line, and those who escaped informed me that the first intimation they had of the presence of the enemy on the south side of the creek was their appearance in force on the side of the mountain in their rear. Consequently the greater portion of the picket force of this brigade (225) were captured.

About 11 o'clock on the morning of the 24th, I learned the enemy were forming their forces in line of battle in front of our pickets. I went immediately to a point beyond the Craven house from which I could see that such was the case, and reported the fact in a note to Brigadier-General Jackson, informing him also they had commenced skirmishing with our pickets. I ordered my brigade at once under arms, ready to move where ordered. General Jackson ordered me, through a staff officer, to place my brigade in the trenches, on the right of Walthall's. General Walthall's brigade not being in position in the trenches, I informed him of my order, and asked where his right would rest. I could get no definite answer, he merely stating he intended to fight first beyond the intrench-

Page 704 KY., SW. VA., Tennessee, MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.