Today in History:

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

Page 746 KY., SW. VA., Tennessee, MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.


I had sent off all of Buckner's division except Reynolds' brigade, when I received the following order from army headquarters, viz:

The general commanding desires that you will halt such portions of your command as have not yet left at Chickamauga; such as may have left halt at Charleston. Do not, however, separate brigades; if parts of brigades have gone, let the remaining portion of the brigade go, but halt at Charleston.

In compliance with the above, I sent forward the remainder of Johnson's brigade, but took a portion of Reynolds' brigade off the cars as it was about to start. I also telegraphed to Brigadier General Bushrod Johnson, commanding Buckner's division, directing him to halt the division at Charleston.

I immediately after received the following dispatch from army headquarters, viz:

Order Johnson's troops at Charleston back here. Move up rapidly with you whole force.

I dispatched General Johnson accordingly.

In a few minutes after I received the following, viz:

We are heavily engaged. Move up rapidly to these headquarters.


Instructing Brigadier-General Polk to bring up the division, I galloped forward to headquarters for further instructions. I was ordered to rest for the night immediately behind Missionary Ridge, and placed my division accordingly. Returning to General Bragg's headquarters, he informed me that my division would act as reserve for the army, and would report directly to him. I ordered Reynolds's brigade, which I brought back with me from Chickamauga, to be reported directly to General Bragg, and had no further control of it.

During the night our line along the western front of Missionary Ridge was abandoned, and at early dawn I commenced to construct a new line of defense along the top of the ridge from the Shallow Ford road to General Bragg's headquarters. Before this was completed General Bragg informed me that the enemy had crossed the Tennessee River, both above and below the mouth of the Chickamauga and directed me to send a brigade and battery to the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad bridge over the Chickamauga to guard that point. I sent Brigadier-General Polk's command and Semple's battery.

About 2 p.m. on the 24th November, I received orders to proceed with the remaining three brigades and the batteries of my division to the right of Missionary Ridge, near the point where the tunnel of the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad passes through Missionary Ridge, where I would find an officer of General Hardee's staff, who would show me my position. At the same time General Bragg informed me that the enemy had already a division in line opposite the position I was intended to occupy; that he was rapidly crossing another, and had nearly completed a pontoon bridge over the Tennessee opposite my position. He also told me I must preserve the railroad bridge in my rear, where Brigadier-General Polk was stationed, at all hazards. Galloping forward ahead of my command, I found Major Poole, of General Hardee's staff, at the tunnel, who informed me he had been left by General Hardee to show me my position.

I will attempt here a description of the ground. The right of

Page 746 KY., SW. VA., Tennessee, MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.