Today in History:

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

Page 748 KY., SW. VA., Tennessee, MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.

brigade on the main ridge, I placed him on that spur in rear of it which jutted out just north of the tunnel and covered the valley and road before described, which led over the main ridge from the direction of the enemy. Govan rapidly threw skirmishers across this road and between it and the Chickamauga.

Lieutenant-General Hardee was soon on the ground in person. He approved my dispositions, directed the destruction of a bridge which crossed the Chickamauga close in rear of my right flank, and ordered two regiments of Lowrey's brigade and some artillery into position in rear of my right flank. Between the left of Smith's brigade and Walker's division, a distance of near a mile, there was now but two regiments of Lowrey's brigade, and it so remained all night and until 7 a.m. next day.

It was now dark; the fighting had ceased in front of Smith's; he had maintained his position. Hearing of the disaster at Lookout, I supposed our army would fall back beyond the Chickamauga, and accordingly had sent my ordnance and artillery across that river, with the exception of the two pieces of cannon planted beyond my right flank. I sent Captain Buck, my assistant adjutant-general, to headquarters of the army so as to receive any orders that might be given as quickly as possible. About midnight he returned with the information that it was determined to await the enemy's attack on Missionary Ridge. I now ordered my artillery and ordnance to join me at daylight, sent to my train for the axes belonging to the division in order to throw up some defenses, and rode out myself to make a moonlight survey of the ground and line of retreat. I found a hill on the north bank of the Chickamauga, between my right and the railroad bridge, guarded by General Polk, which completely commanded my line of retreat.

I ordered Brigadier-General Polk to occupy this hill at once with two regiments of infantry and a section of artillery. Discovering the facility which it afforded for turning me on the extreme right, I determined to immediately throw a line across the other east spur of Missionary Ridge, which jutted out from the north point of the ridge, and was washed by the Chickamauga. I placed the two regiments of Lowrey's brigade, left near the tunnel, on this line. In the meantime, Smith had thrown up some defenses in his front, but at my suggestion he now abandoned them and took up position as follows, viz, his left resting on the crest of the main ridge about 150 yards north, of the tunnel, and running north along the crest for the length of one regiment the Sixth, Tenth, and Fifteenth Texas (consolidated), Colonel R. Q. Mills commanding. The right of this regiment rested close under the crest of Tunnel Hill. On the top of Tunnel Hill a space was left clear of infantry, and Swett's battery of our Napoleon guns, commanded by Lieutenant H. Shannon, was placed on it so as to sweep north in the direction of Smith's position. Northwest of the detached ridge, or west into the Tennessee Valley as occasion might require, at a point about 60 yards northeast of the right of Mill's regiment, Smith's line recommenced, but instead of continuing north, it now ran but slightly north of east down the side of the hill for the length of two regiments, the Seventh Texas, Colonel H. B. Granbury, commanding and the Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Twenty-fourth, and Twenty-fifth Dismounted Cavalry (consolidated), Major W. A. Taylor, commanding. This formation made the angle on the apex of Tunnel Hill, where Swett's battery was planted, the weak point in Smith's line, but it

Page 748 KY., SW. VA., Tennessee, MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.