Today in History:

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


to submit the following report of the part taken by Breckinridge's division in the battle of Missionary Ridge on November 25:

The division I had the honor to command in the recent engagement near Chattanooga, Tennessee (known as Breckinridge's division), was composed of Brigadier General J. H. Lewis' (Kentucky) brigade, Brigadier General J. J. Finley's (Florida) brigade, and Bate's brigade, composed of Georgians and Tennesseeans, commanded by Colonel R. C. Tyler, and a battalion of artillery commanded by Captain Cobb, and composed of Captains Cobb's, Slocomb's and Mebane's batteries.

Lewis' brigade, by order from army headquarters, was withdrawn

from Chickamauga Station on the evening of November 23 to a point on Missionary Ridge between the headquarters of General Bragg and Major-General Breckinridge. On the same evening, when the enemy advanced and took possession of the knoll, or Orchard Hill, capturing pickets on my right, the two brigades commanded by Brigadier-General Finley and Colonel R. C. Tyler, then encamping at the base of Missionary Ridge in front of the headquarters of Major-General Breckinridge, were ordered under arms and in the trenches. Assistance being called for on the right, Colonel Tyler was ordered to report with his command to Brigadier-General Anderson as a temporary supporting force. He returned after dark to his designated place in the trenches, with the loss of 1 man killed and 3 wounded.

Thus located, the entire command remained during the 24th without participating in any of the operations of that day. In the early part of that night I was directed by Major-General Breckinridge to move my command to the summit of the ridge immediately in rear of the place I then occupied. This I did by sending the artillery, under command of Captain Slocomb, via Rossville, moving the infantry directly up the hill, as was contemplated in the order effecting the change.

About 12 o'clock at night I received an order from corps headquarters to send Lewis' brigade to report to Major-General Cleburne, on the right, which was promptly done.

Daylight on the morning of the 25th found the two remaining brigades of the division on the crest of the ridge, Tyler's right resting at General Bragg's headquarters and Finley's prolonging the line to the left, while the enemy, like a huge serpent, uncoiled his massive folds into shapely lines in our immediate front. Fatigue parties were detailed and put to work on the defenses which Lewis had commenced the day previous, the command having stacked arms in line of battle a short distance back from the brow of the hill, secure from the shells that occasionally greeted us, and which met a prompt replication from Slocomb's and Cobb's batteries, the former near the center and the latter the right of my line;this reply annoyed and checked a line advancing on our left obligue, and relieved from the peril of capture our pickets yet in the advanced trenches. Requisition having been made, in accordance with orders from corps headquarters, to furnish 180 men, with complement of field and line officers, as a picket force to confront the enemy along our immediate line, the First Florida Regiment (dismounted) Cavalry and the Fourth Florida Regiment, both small, were detailed for this duty on the 24th, and Major Wall, of the Fifteenth and Thirty-seventh Tennessee Regiments,, as division officer of the day.

The pressure of the enemy on our front on the morning of the 25th ultimo forbade the relief of this force, and hence it remained on that day; the officer of the day was substituted by Lieutenant-Colonel