Today in History:

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


ters of Lieutenant-General Hardee and report my arrival. During his absence I was met by the general commanding and directed by him to push on with all possible speed to the right. Soon afterward Major-General Stevenson who had been in conference with the commanding general, directed me to halt my brigade until the position of his division should be assigned him.

Shortly after the division took up its position in line of battle on Missionary Ridge-about 9.30 o'clock. In this line my brigade, which was the center of the division, had its right resting upon the top of the tunnel. In front of the position occupied by the right two regiments a wide gorge of not very steep descent, but considerably grown up with the thicket, descended into the plain beneath, and at the foot of which were a collection of houses about 200 yards from the line. Beyond these houses the country spread out in open fields in all directions. Upon my right and somewhat in my front was a strong position on a knob partially fortified and held by a portion of Major-General Cleburne's troops, and upon which it soon became evident the enemy proposed to make a powerful assault.

Shortly after taking position in line of battle, the skirmishers of the enemy appeared in the open country behind the houses (a long line) advancing upon our line, and supported by heavy columns in the rear. Seeing them advancing upon the houses heretofore mentioned, Lieutenant-General Hardee directed me to send down two regiments to take possession of the houses and hold them, but if compelled to retire to burn them. The Thirty-ninth Georgia Regiment, Colonel J. T. McConnell commanding, and the Fifty-sixth Georgia Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel J. T. Slaughter commanding (the right two regiments), were designated as the one to perform this movement. They passed down the ridge-one on the right and the other on the left of the railroad-and engaged the enemy's skirmishers to the rear and right of the houses. Here a brisk skirmish fight occurred between the two regiments and a brigade of the enemy, but at long distance, and resulting in little loss on either side. A considerable amount of ammunition having been wasted, and the two regiments being apparently threatened by a movement of the enemy on their right flank, who had advanced in heavy columns toward the battery on the fortified knob on our right, orders were given them by Major-General Stevenson to retake their position on the ridge. This movements was effected in perfect order under a dropping fire from the enemy's sharpshooters. Owing to some misconception of orders, the troops withdrew without setting fire to the houses.

During the absence of the right two regiments, the left two regiments, (the Thirty-sixth Georgia, Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace, and the Thirty-fourth Georgia, Colonel Johnson) were moved up to supply their position in the line, and the returned regiments formed in their rear while replenishing their cartridge boxes. While the left two were being brought to supply the place of the right two regiments, each of them sustained a serious loss in the wounded of its commanding officer, Colonel J. A. Johnson, Thirty-fourth Georgia, being struck by a Minnie ball in the leg, and Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace, Thirty-sixth Georgia, having received a severe contusion from a fragment of a shell. In the placing hors de combat of these two brave and experienced officers upon the eve of a hot encounter I felt that the brigade, as well as their respective regiments, had sustained a serious loss. His regiment having been supplied with ammunition, gallant Colonel McConnell requested to be allowed to take it