Today in History:

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

Page 774 KY., SW. VA., Tennessee, MISS., N. ALA,. AND N. GA.


Seventh Texas, Captain C. A. Talley commanding, to the top of the ridge, and to form the other two regiments along the slope fronting the town, and far enough in the timber to conceal the line from the view of the approaching enemy. The Sixth, Tenth, and Fifteenth Texas Regiments (united), Captain Kennard commanding, were on the left, the extreme left of this regiment being within 150 paces of the railroad where it enters the pass, and where two pieces of our artillery were put in position. The Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Twenty-fourth, and Twenty-fifth Texas Regiments (united), Major W. A. Taylor commanding, constituted the right of my line, extending to a considerable swell in the ridge immediately in front of the town, from which point the course of the ridge deflected to the right and rear. Along this swell Major Taylor deployed one of his companies as skirmishers to protect the right flank. In the course of the engagement I had occasion to order two companies from the left of Captain Kennard's regiment to re-enforce this point. I had skirmishers thrown out down the slope covering the entire front of my line and the right flank. By the time these dispositions were completed the enemy had occupied the town, deployed a strong line of skirmishers, and advanced upon our position. The firing was very spirited on the right from the beginning, and soon became general along my entire skirmish line, the enemy taking position behind the embankment of the railroad and in some houses immediately in our front.

About 11 a.m. I received a message from Major Taylor to the effect that the enemy were moving a large body of troops with the evident intention of scaling the ridge where his right flank rested, and to the right of that point. Feeling apprehensive for the safety of the Seventh Texas, I sent Lieutenant English, acting assistant inspector-general, to Major-General Cleburne with this information. The general relieved my solicitude by assuring Lieutenant English that Brigadier-General Lowrey's brigade was also on the top of the ridge and other troops were moving there. To further protect my own immediate flank, I ordered two companies from the left of Captain Kennerd's regiment to report to Major Taylor to re-enforce that portion of the line which deflected to the right, and also sent instructions to Major Taylor to move one or more of his own companies to that point. Major Taylor promptly drew off two of his companies, and formed them along the swell of the ridge at a right angle with his main line.

The enemy coming up in gallant style to the assault, Major Taylor ordered the three companies to charge, and they swept down the hill, routing an entire regiment, the Twenty-ninth Missouri (Federal), capturing their colors and between 60 and 100 prisoners, and causing the attacking brigade to withdraw. Considering the fact that this portion of my line was attacked by an entire brigade of the enemy, it will be conceded that Major Taylor handled his men with great judgment and effect. Nothing could exceed the noble gallantry which distinguished the three companies led into this charge by their chivalrous major.

Receiving intimation from Major-General Cleburne that the enemy would probably attempt to charge and carry our battery in the gorge by the railroad. I moved Captain Kennard's regiment farther down the hill, slightly swinging the right to the front, ordered bayonets fixed, and sent Captain Hearne, assistant adjutant-general, to the line of skirmishers to notice when the attacking column should advance. From prudential or other consideration, the

Page 774 KY., SW. VA., Tennessee, MISS., N. ALA,. AND N. GA.