Today in History:

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


with a slight depression on the right, which gave the advantage of an enfilading fire in that direction. From the top of the ridge to the intrenchments at the foot is 600 or 800 yards, and beyond this an open field of about 900 yards in width.

When ordered to move to the right at 1 o'clock I sent a staff officer to bring that part of Finley's command in the trenches to the ridge to rejoin his brigade. The order was given and the troops commenced ascending the hill, but upon making the fact known to General Breckinridge he directed it to remain. When we changed locality our relative position to this command, was changed, our left on the ridge not reaching to a point opposite its right at Moore's house.

As to the part taken by this command in the trenches, I respectfully refer to the reports of the division officer of the day, Lieutenant-Colonel Badger, and other officers commanding it.

Hindman's division, commanded by Brigadier-General Anderson, was on my right, and Major-General Stewart's division on my left. These dispositions having been made, we awaited the onset of the foe, who seemed confidently resting as a giant in his strength on the plain below, while volleys on the right told of the conflict being waged.

About 3 or 4 p.m. the enemy initiated a movement along my entire front by advancing a heavy line of skirmishers, followed by two unbroken lines of battle, with heavy reserves at intervals. But a slight resistance was given to this advance by the troops of Reynolds' brigade, in the trenches of our immediate front. They abandoned the ditches on the approach of the enemy's skirmishers and sought refuge at the top of the hill, breaking and throwing into slight confusion the left of Finley's brigade as they passed through. Major Weaver, of the Sixtieth North Carolina Regiment, seemed to be in command. He rallied and formed these troops (who seemed to be from two or three different regiments of Reynolds' brigade) across the Crutchfield road a few paces in rear of the main line. A well-directed and effective fire having been opened on the advancing line, handsomely repulsed it, throwing a portion of it behind our vacated trenches and precipitated others on their second line, which, being out of range of small-arms, I ordered the firing to cease and the line to fall back a few paces to replenish ammunition and give the artillery an unobstructed sweep. This was executed coolly and without confusion. I took occasion during this interval to push a few sharpshooters on the declivity of the hill in front of the smoke as vedettes. Order was soon restored in the ranks of the enemy and another onward movements made in systematic and defiant style. My infantry was again advanced to the verge of the ridge and opened a spirited fire, which was constantly replied to. During this charge my attention was called to some scattered troops a few hundred yards to my right, making their way, apparently without resistance, to the top of the hill. Believing them to be Confederates falling back from the trenches, I forbade my right firing upon them, and sent a staff officer to ascertain who they were. Upon receiving the answer, I directed upon them a right-oblique fire of infantry and artillery from the right of Tyler's command. It drove him to his left, but did not check his ascent of the ridge. In a few moments I saw a flag waving at the point in the line of General Anderson's division, beyond the depression in the ridge, where a section of artillery of Dent's battery had been firing and was then