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Reports of the battle for Chattanooga 23-25 Nov. 63

1. George H. Thomas
2. Ulysses S. Grant
3. Joseph Hooker
4. William T. Sherman
5. Peter J. Osterhaus
6. August Willich
7. Henry W. Halleck
------------
8 Braxton Bragg
9. Patrick R. Cleburne
10. Alexander P. Stewart  ?



4. William T. Sherman
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXXI/2 [S# 55] NOVEMBER 23-27, 1863.--The Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign.
No. 189.--Report of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, U. S. Army, commanding Army of the Tennessee, including operations since September 22, and march to the relief of Knoxville, with field dispatches November 18-29, and thanks of Congress.

[ar55_568 con't]
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Bridgeport, Ala., December 19, 1863.
GENERAL: For the first time I am now at leisure to make an official record of events with which the troops under my command have been connected during the eventful campaign which has just closed.
During the month of September last, the Fifteenth Army Corps, which I had the honor to command, lay in camps along the Big Black, about 20 miles east of Vicksburg, Miss. It consisted of four divisions: The First, commanded by Brig. Gen. P. J. Osterhaus, was composed of two brigades, led by Brig. Gen. C. R. Woods, and Col. J. A. Williamson, of the Fourth Iowa; the Second, commanded by Brig. Gen. Morgan L. Smith, was composed of two brigades, led by Generals Giles A. Smith and J. A. J. Lightburn; the Third, commanded by Brig. Gen. J. M. Tuttle, was composed of three brigades, led by Generals J. A. Mower and R. P. Buckland, and Col. J. J. Woods, of the Twelfth Iowa; the Fourth, commanded by Brig. Gen. Hugh Ewing, was composed of three brigades, led by General J. M. Corse, Colonel Loomis, Twenty-sixth Ilinois, and Col. J. R. Cock-erill, of the Seventieth Ohio.
On the 22d day of September, I received a telegraphic dispatch from General Grant, then at Vicksburg, commanding the Department of the Tennessee, requiring me to detach one of my divisions to march to Vicksburg, there to embark for Memphis, where it was to form part of an army to be sent to Chattanooga to re-enforce Genera[ Rosecrans. I designated the First Division, and at 4 p.m. the same day it marched for Vicksburg and embarked the next day. <ar55_569>
On the 23d of September, I was summoned to Vicksburg by the general commanding, who showed me several dispatches from the General-in-Chief, which led him to suppose he would have to send me and my whole corps to Memphis and eastward, and I was instructed to prepare for such orders.
It was explained to me that in consequence of the low stage of water in the Mississippi, boats had arrived irregularly and had brought dispatches that seemed to conflict in meaning, and that John E. Smith's division, of McPherson's corps, had been ordered up to Memphis, and that I should take that division and leave one of my own in its stead to hold the line of the Big Black. I detailed my Third Division, General Tuttle, to remain and report to Major-General McPherson, commanding the Seventeenth Corps, at Vicksburg, and that of General John E. Smith, already started for Memphis, was styled the Third Division, though it still belongs to the Seventeenth Army Corps.
This division is also composed of three brigades, commanded by General Matthies, Col. G. B. Raum, of the Fifty-sixth Illinois, and Col. J. I. Alexander, of the Fifty-ninth Indiana.
The Second and Fourth Divisions were started for Vicksburg the moment I was notified that boats were in readiness, and on the 27th of September I embarked in person in the steamer Atlantic for Memphis, followed by a fleet of boats conveying these two divisions. Our progress was slow on account of the unprecedentedly low water in the Mississippi and the scarcity of coal and wood. We were compelled at places to gather fence rails and to land wagons and haul wood from the interior to the boats, but I reached Memphis during the night of the 2d of October, and the other boats came in on the 3d and 4th.
On arrival at Memphis, I saw General Hurlbut and read all the dispatches and letters of instruction of General Halleck, and therein derived my instructions, which I construed to be as follows: To conduct the Fifteenth Army Corps, and all other troops which could be spared from the line of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, to Athens, Ala., and thence report by letter for orders to General Rosecrans, commanding the Army of the Cumberland, at Chattanooga; to follow substantially the railroad eastward, repairing it as I moved; to look to my own line for supplies, and in no event to depend on General Rosecrans for supplies, as the roads to his rear were already overtaxed to supply his present army.
I learned from General Hurlbut that Osterhaus' division was already out in front of Corinth, and that John E. Smith was still at Memphis, moving his troops and matériel out by rail as fast as its limited stock would carry them. General J. D. Webster was superintendent of the railroad, and was enjoined to work night and day and expedite the movement as rapidly as possible, but the capacity of the road was so small that I soon saw that I could move horses, mules, and wagons faster by land, and therefore I dispatched the artillery and wagons by the road, under escort, and finally moved the entire Fourth Division by land. The enemy seems to have had early notice of this movement, and he endeavored to thwart us from the start. A considerable force assembled in a threatening attitude at Salem, south of Saulsbury Station, and General Carr, who commanded at Corinth, felt compelled to turn back and use a part of my troops that had already reached Corinth to resist the threatened attack. <ar55_570>
On Sunday, October 11, having put in motion my whole force, I started myself for Corinth in a special train, with the battalion of the Thirteenth U.S. Regulars for escort. We reached Collierville Station about noon--just in time to take part in the defense made of that station by Col. D.C. Anthony, of the Sixty-sixth Indiana, against an attack made by General Chalmers with a force of about 3,000 cavalry, with eight pieces of artillery. He was beaten off, the damage to the road repaired, and we resumed our journey next day, reaching Corinth at night. I immediately ordered General Blair forward to Iuka with the First Division, and, as fast I got troops up, pushed them forward of Bear Creek, the bridge of which was completely destroyed, and an engineer regiment, under command of Colonel Flad, engaged in its repair.
Quite a considerable force of the enemy was assembled to our front, near Tuscumbia, to resist our advance. It was commanded by General Stephen D. Lee, and composed of Roddey's and Ferguson's brigades, with irregular cavalry, amounting in the aggregate to about 5,000.
In person I moved from Corinth to Burnsville on the 18th, and to Iuka on the 19th, of October.
Osterhaus' division was in the advance, constantly skirmishing with the enemy. He was supported by Morgan L. Smith, both divisions under the general command of Major-General Blair. General John E. Smith's division covered the working party engaged in rebuilding the railroad.
Foreseeing difficulty in crossing the Tennessee, I had written to Admiral Porter at Cairo, asking him to watch the Tennessee and send up some gunboats the moment the stage of water admitted, and had also requested General Allen, at St. Louis, to dispatch up to Eastport a steam ferry-boat. The admiral, ever prompt and ready to assist us, had 2 fine gunboats up at Eastport, under Captain Phelps, the very day after my arrival at Iuka, and Captain Phelps had a coal barge decked over, with which to cross over horses and wagons before the arrival of the ferry-boat.
Still following literally the instructions of General Halleck, I pushed forward the repairs of the railroad, and ordered General Blair, with the two leading divisions, to drive the enemy beyond Tuscumbia. This he did successfully after a pretty severe fight at Cane Creek, occupying Tuscumbia on the 27th of October.
In the meantime, many important changes in commands had occurred, which I must note here to a proper understanding of the case.
General Grant had been called from Vicksburg and sent to Chattanooga to command the three Armies of the Ohio, the Cumberland, and the Tennessee, and the Department of the Tennessee had devolved on me, with instructions, however, to retain command of the army in the field.
At Iuka I made what appeared to me the best disposition of matters relating to the department, giving General McPherson full powers as to Mississippi, and General Hurlbut as to West Tennessee, and assigned General Blair to the command of the Fifteenth Army Corps, and I summoned General Hurlbut from Memphis and General Dodge from Corinth, and selected out of the Sixteenth Corps a force of about 8,000 men, which I directed General Dodge to organize with all expedition, and with it to follow me eastward. On the 27th of October, when General Blair with two divisions was at <ar55_571> Tuscumbia, I ordered General Ewing, with the Fourth Division, to cross the Tennessee by means of the gunboats and the scow as rapidly as possible at Eastport, and push forward to Florence, which he did, and that same day a messenger from General Grant floated down the Tennessee, over the Muscle Shoals, landed at Tuscumbia, and was sent to me at Iuka. He bore a short message from the general to the effect: Drop all work on the railroad east of Bear Creek; push your command toward Bridgeport till you meet orders, &c. Instantly the order was executed, and the order of march was reversed and all columns directed to Eastport, the only place where I could cross the Tennessee.
At first I only had the gunboats and coal barge, but the ferryboat and two transports arrived on the 31st of October, and the work of crossing pushed with all the vigor possible. In person I crossed and passed to the head of column at Florence on the 1st of November, leaving the rear divisions to be conducted by General Blair, and marched to Rogersville and the Elk River. This was found impassable. To ferry would have consumed too much time, and to build a bridge still more, so there was no alternative but to turn up Elk River by way of Gilbertsborough, Elkton, &c., to the stone bridge at Fayetteville; there we crossed Elk and proceeded to Winchester and Decherd.
At Fayetteville I received orders from General Grant to come to Bridgeport with the Fifteenth Army Corps, and leave General Dodge's command at Pulaski and along the railroad from Columbia to Decatur.
I instructed General Blair to follow with the Second and First Divisions by way of New Market, Larkinsville, and Bellefonte, while I conducted the other two divisions by Decherd, the Fourth Division crossing the mountains to Stevenson, and the Third by University Place and Sweeden's Cove.
In person I proceeded by Sweeden's Cove and Battle Creek, reaching Bridgeport at night of November 13.
I immediately telegraphed to the commanding general my arrival and the position of my several divisions, and was summoned to Chattanooga. I took the first boat during the night of the 14th for Kelley's, and rode into Chattanooga on the 15th. I then learned the part assigned me in the coming drama, was supplied with the necessary maps and information, and rode during the 16th, in company with Generals Grant, Thomas, William F. Smith, Brannan, and others to a position on the west bank of the Tennessee, from which could be seen the camps of the enemy compassing Chattanooga and the line of Missionary Hills, with its terminus on Chickamauga Creek, the point that I was expected to take, hold, and fortify.
Pontoons, with a full supply of balks and chesses, had been prepared for the bridge over the Tennessee, and all things prearranged with a foresight that elicited my admiration. From the hills we looked down on the amphitheater of Chattanooga as on a map, and nothing remained but for me to put my troops in the desired position.
The plan contemplated that, in addition to crossing the Tennessee and making a lodgment on the terminus of Missionary Ridge, I should demonstrate against Lookout Mountain, near Trenton, with a part of my command. All in Chattanooga were impatient for action, rendered almost acute by the natural apprehension felt for the safety of General Burnside in East Tennessee. My command <ar55_572> had marched from Memphis, and I had pushed them as fast as the roads and distance would permit, but I saw enough of the condition of men and animals in Chattanooga to inspire me with renewed energy.
I immediately ordered my leading division (Ewing s) to march, via Shellmound, to Trenton, demonstrate against Lookout Ridge, but to be prepared to turn quickly and follow me to Chattanooga; and in person I returned to Bridgeport, rowing a boat down the Tennessee from Kelley's, and, immediately on arrival, put in motion my divisions in the order they had arrived.
The bridge of boats at Bridgeport was frail, and, though used day and night, our passage was slow, and the road thence to Chattanooga was dreadfully cut up and encumbered with the wagons of the other troops stationed along the road.
I reached General Hooker's headquarters, 4 miles from Chattanooga, during a rain in the afternoon of the 20th, and met General Grant's orders for the general attack on the next day. It was simply impossible for me to fill my part in time. Only one division, General John E. Smith's, was in position. General Ewing was still at Trenton, and the other two were toiling along the terrible road from Shellmound to Chattanooga. No troops ever were or could be in better condition than mine, or who labored harder to fulfill their part. On a proper representation, General Grant postponed the attack. On the 21st, I got the Second Division over Brown's Ferry bridge, and General Ewing got up, but the bridge broke repeatedly, and delays occurred which no human sagacity could prevent.
All labored night and day, and General Ewing got over on the 23d, but my rear division was cut off by the broken bridge at Brown's Ferry, and could not join me; but I offered to go in action with my three divisions, supported by Brig. Gen. Jef. C. Davis, leaving one of my best divisions to act with General Hooker against Lookout Mountain. That division has not joined me yet, but I know and feel that it has served the country well, and that it has reflected honor on the Fifteenth Army Corps and the Army of the Tennessee. I leave the record of its history to General Hooker or whomsoever has had its services during the late memorable events, confident that all will do it merited honor.
At last, on the 23d of November, my three divisions lay behind the hills opposite the mouth of Chickamauga. I dispatched the brigade, of Second Division, commanded by General Giles A. Smith up, under cover of the hills, to North Chickamauga, to man the boats designed for the pontoon bridge, with orders at midnight to drop down silently to a point above the mouth of South Chickamauga, then land two regiments, who were to move along the river quietly and capture the enemy's river pickets; General Giles A. Smith then to drop rapidly below the mouth of Chickamauga, disembark the rest of his brigade, and dispatch the boats across for fresh loads. These orders were skillfully executed, and every picket but one captured. The balance of General Morgan L. Smith's division was then rapidly ferried across, that of General John E. Smith followed, and by daylight of November 24 two divisions, of about 8,000 men, were on the east bank of the Tennessee, and had thrown up a very respectable rifle-trench as a tête-de-pont.
As soon as the day dawned some of the boats were taken from the use of ferrying and a pontoon bridge begun, under the immediate direction of Captain Dresser, the whole planned and supervised by <ar55_573> General William F. Smith in person. A pontoon bridge was also built at the same time over Chickamauga Creek, near its mouth, giving communication with the two regiments left on the north side, and fulfilling a most important purpose at a later stage of the drama. I will here bear my willing testimony to the completeness of this whole business. All the officers charged with the work were present and manifested a skill which I cannot praise too highly. I have never beheld any work done so quietly, so well, and I doubt if the history of war can show a bridge of that extent (viz, 1,350 feet) laid down so noiselessly and well in so short a time. I attribute it to the genius and intelligence of General William F. Smith.
The steamer Dunbar arrived in the course of the morning, and relieved General Ewing's division of the labor of rowing across, but by noon the pontoon bridge was down and my three divisions were across with men, horses, artillery, and everything. General Jef. C. Davis' division was ready to take the bridge, and I ordered the columns to form in order to take Missionary Hills. The movement had been carefully explained to all division commanders and at 1 p.m. we marched from the river in three columns en échelon, the left, General Morgan L. Smith, the column of direction, following substantially Chickamauga Creek; the center, General John E. Smith, in column, doubled on the center at one-brigade intervals to the right and rear; the right, General Ewing, in column at the same distance to the right rear, prepared to deploy to the right on the supposition that we would meet an enemy in that direction.
Each head of column was covered by a good line of skirmishers with supports. A light, drizzling rain prevailed, and the clouds hung low, cloaking our movements from the enemy's tower of observation on Lookout. We soon gained the foot-hills. Our skirmishers crept up the face of the hill, followed by their supports, and at 3.30 p.m. we gained, with no loss, the desired point.
A brigade of each division was pushed rapidly to the top of the hill, and the enemy for the first time seemed to realize the movement, but too late, for we were in possession. He opened with artillery, but General Ewing soon got some of Captain Richardson's guns up that steep hill, and we gave back artillery, and the enemy's skirmishers made one or two ineffectual dashes at General Light-burn, who had swept around and got a farther hill, which was the real continuation of the ridge. From studying all the maps, I had inferred that Missionary Ridge was a continuous hill, but we found ourselves on two high points, with a deep depression between us and the one immediately over the tunnel, which was my chief objective point. The ground we had gained, however, was so important that I could leave nothing to chance, and ordered it to be fortified during the night. One brigade of each division was left on the hill, one of General Morgan L. Smith's closed the gap to Chickamauga Creek, two of General John E. Smith's were drawn back to the base in reserve, and General Ewing's right was extended down into the plain, thus crossing the ridge in a general line facing southeast.
The enemy felt our left flank about 4 p.m., and a pretty smart engagement with artillery and muskets ensued, when he drew off, but it cost us dear, for General Giles A. Smith was severely wounded and had to go to the river, and the command of the brigade then devolved on Colonel Tupper, One hundred and sixteenth Illinois, who managed it with skill during the rest of the operations.
At the moment of my crossing the bridge, General Howard appeared, <ar55_574> having come with three regiments from Chattanooga along the east bank of the Tennessee, connecting my new position with that of the main army in Chattanooga. He left the three regiments (which I attached temporarily to General Ewing's right), and returned to his own corps at Chattanooga. As night closed I ordered General Jef. C. Davis to keep one of his brigades at the bridge, one close up to my position, and one intermediate. Thus we passed the night, heavy details being kept busy at work on the intrenchments on the hill. During the night the sky cleared away bright and a cold frost filled the air, and our camp fires revealed to the enemy and to our friends in Chattanooga our position on Missionary Ridge [boldface mine].
About midnight I received, at the hands of Major Rowley, of General Grant's staff, orders to attack the enemy at "dawn of day," and notice that General Thomas would attack in force early in the day. Accordingly, before day, I was in the saddle, attended by all my staff; rode to the extreme left of our position, near Chickamauga; thence up the hill held by General Lightburn, and round to the extreme right of General Ewing, catching as accurate an idea of the ground as possible by the dim light of morning. I saw that our line of attack was in the direction of Missionary Ridge, with wings supporting on either flank.
Quite a valley lay between us and the next hill of the series, and this hill presented steep sides, the one to the west partially cleared, but the other covered with the native forest. The crest of the ridge was narrow and wooded. The farther point of the hill was held by the enemy with a breastwork of logs and fresh earth, filled with men and two guns. The enemy was' also seen in great force on a still higher hill beyond the tunnel, from which he had a fair plunging fire on the hill in dispute. The gorge between, through which several roads and the railroad tunnel pass, could not be seen from our position, but formed the natural place d'armes, where the enemy covered his masses to resist our contemplated movement of turning his right flank and endangering his communications with his depot at Chickamauga. As soon as possible the following dispositions were made:
The brigades of Colonels Cockerill and Alexander and General Lightburn were to hold our hill as the key point. General Corse, with as much of his brigade as could operate along the narrow ridge, was to attack from our right center. General Lightburn was to dispatch a good regiment from his position to co-operate with General Corse, and General Morgan L. Smith was to move along the east base of Missionary Ridge, connecting with General Corse, and Colonel Loomis in like manner to move along the west base, supported by the two reserve brigades of General John E. Smith.
The sun had hardly risen before General Corse had completed his preparations, and his bugle sounded the "forward."
The Fortieth Illinois, supported by the Forty-sixth Ohio on our right center, with the Thirtieth Ohio, Colonel Jones, moved down the face of our hill and up that held by the enemy.
The line advanced to within about 80 yards of the intrenched position, where General Corse found a secondary crest, which he gained and held.
To this point he called his reserves and asked for re-enforcements, which were sent, but the space was narrow and it was not well to crowd the men, as the enemy's artillery and musketry fire swept the approach to his position, giving him great advantage. As <ar55_575> soon as General Corse had made his preparations he assaulted, and a close, severe contest ensued, lasting more than an hour, gaining and losing ground, but never the position first obtained, from which the enemy in vain attempted to drive him. General Morgan L. Smith kept gaining ground on the left spur of Missionary Ridge, and Colonel Loomis got abreast of the tunnel and the railroad embankment on his side, drawing the enemy's fire, and to that extent relieving the assaulting party on the hill crest.
Callender had four of his guns on General Ewing's hill, and Captain Wood his Napoleon battery on General Lightburn's, also two guns of Dillon's battery were with Colonel Alexander's brigade. All directed their fire as carefully as possible to clear the hill to our front without endangering our own men. The fight raged furiously about 10 a.m., when General Corse received a severe wound, and was brought off the field, and the command of the brigade and of the assault at that key point devolved on that fine, young, gallant officer, Colonel Walcutt, of the Forty-sixth Ohio, who filled his part manfully. He continued the contest, pressing forward at all points. Colonel Loomis had made good progress to the right, and about 2. p.m. General John E. Smith, judging the battle to be most severe on the hill and being required to support General Ewing, ordered up Colonel Raum's and General Matthies' brigades across the field to the summit that was being fought for. They moved up under a heavy fire of cannon and musketry and joined to Colonel Walcutt, but the crest was so narrow that they necessarily occupied the west face of the hill. The enemy at the time being massed in great strength in the tunnel gorge, moved a large force under cover of the ground and the thick bushes, and suddenly appeared on the right and rear of this command. The suddenness of the attack disconcerted the men, and, exposed as they were in the open field, they fell back in some disorder to the lower edge of the field and reformed.
These two brigades were in the nature of supports and did not constitute a part of the real attack. The movement, seen from Chattanooga, 5 miles off, gave rise to the report, which even General Meigs has repeated, that we were repulsed on the left. Not so: the real attacking columns of General Corse, Colonel Loomis, and General Smith were not repulsed. They engaged in a close struggle all day, persistently, stubbornly, and well. When the two reserve brigades of General John E. Smith fell back as described, the enemy made a show of pursuit, but were caught in flank by the well-directed fire of one brigade on the wooded crest, and hastily sought his cover behind the hill. Thus matters stood about 3 p.m.
The day was bright and clear, and the amphitheater of Chattanooga lay in beauty at our feet. I had watched for the attack of General Thomas "early in the day." Column after column of the enemy was streaming toward me. Gun after gun poured its concentric shot on us from every hill and spur that gave a view of any part of the ground held by us.
An occasional shot from Fort Wood and Orchard Knob, and some musketry fire and artillery over about Lookout, was all that I could detect on our side, but about 3 p.m. I noticed the white line of musketry fire in front of Orchard Knob, extending farther and farther right and left and on. We could only hear a faint echo of sound, but enough was seen to satisfy me that General Thomas was moving on the center. I knew our attack had drawn vast masses of the <ar55_576> enemy to our flank and felt sure of the result. Some guns which had been firing at us all day were silent or were turned in a different direction. The advancing line of musketry fire from Orchard Knob disappeared (to us) behind a spur of the hill and could no longer be seen, and it was not until night closed that I knew that the troops in Chattanooga had swept across Missionary Ridge and broken the enemy's center. Of course the victory was won, and pursuit was the next step. I ordered General Morgan L. Smith to feel to the tunnel, and it was found vacant, save by the dead and wounded of our own and the enemy commingled. The reserve of General Jef. C. Davis was ordered to march at once by the pontoon bridge across Chickamauga at its mouth, and push forward for the depot.
General Howard had reported to me in the early part of the day with the remainder of his army corps (the Eleventh), and had been posted to connect my left with Chickamauga Creek. He was ordered to repair an old broken bridge about 2 miles up Chickamauga, and to follow General Davis at 4 a.m., and the Fifteenth Army Corps to march at daylight. But General Howard found to repair the badge more of a task than at first supposed, and we were all compelled to cross Chickamauga on the new pontoon bridge at its mouth.
By about 11 a.m. General Jef. C. Davis' division appeared at the depot just in time to see it in flames. He entered with one brigade and found the enemy occupying two hills, partially intrenched, just beyond the depot. These he soon drove away. The depot presented a scene of desolation that war alone exhibits. Corn meal and corn in huge burning piles, broken wagons, abandoned caissons, two 32-pounder rifled guns with carriages, burned pieces of pontoons, balks, chesses, &c.--destined doubtless for the famous invasion of Kentucky--and all manner of things, burning and broken. Still the enemy kindly left us a good supply of forage for our horses; meal, beans, &c., for our men.
Pausing but a short while we pressed on, the road lined with broken wagons and abandoned caissons, till night. Just as the head of column emerged from a dark, miry swamp, we encountered the rear guard of the retreating army. The fight was sharp, but the night closed in so dark that we could not move. General Grant came up to us then, General Davis still leading, and at daylight we resumed the march, and at Graysville, where a good bridge spanned the Chickamauga, we found the corps of General Palmer on the south bank. He informed us that General Hooker was on a road still farther south, and we could hear his guns near Ringgold.
As the roads were filled with all the troops they could accommodate, I then turned to the east to fulfill another part of the general plan, viz, to break up all communication between Bragg and Longstreet.
We had all sorts of rumors as to the latter, but it was manifest that we should interpose a proper force between these two armies. I therefore directed General Howard to move to Parker's Gap and thence send rapidly a competent force to Red Clay, or the Council Ground, and there destroy a large section of the railroad which connects Dalton and Cleveland. This work was most successfully and completely accomplished that day. The division of General Jef. C. Davis was moved up close to Ringgold to assist General Hooker, if needed, and the Fifteenth Corps held at Graysville for anything that might turn up. About noon I had a message from General Hooker saying he had had a pretty hard fight at the mountain pass, just <ar55_577> beyond Ringgold, and he wanted me to come forward to turn the position.
He was not aware at the time that Howard, by moving through Parker's Gap toward Red Clay, had already turned it so I rode forward to Ringgold and found the enemy had already fallen back of Tunnel Hill. He was already out of the Valley of the Chickamauga and on ground whence the waters flow to the Coosa. He was out of Tennessee.
I found General Grant at Ringgold, and, after some explanation as to breaking up the railroad from Ringgold back to the State line, as soon as some cars loaded with wounded could be pushed back to Chickamauga Depot, I was ordered to move slowly and leisurely back to Chattanooga.
On the following day the Fifteenth Corps destroyed absolutely and effectually the railroad from a point half way between Graysville and Ringgold back to the State line, and General Grant, coming to Graysville, consented that, instead of returning to Chattanooga, I might send back all my artillery, wagons, and impediments, and make a circuit by the north as far as the Hiwassee.
Accordingly, on the morning of November 29, General Howard moved from Parker's Gap to Cleveland, General Davis by way of McDaniel's Gap, and General Blair, with two divisions of the Fifteenth Corps, by way of Julien's Gap, all meeting at Cleveland that night. Here another good break was made in the Dalton and Cleveland road. On the 30th, the army moved to Charleston, General Howard approaching so rapidly that the enemy evacuated with haste, leaving the bridge but partially damaged, and 5 car loads of flour and provisions on the north bank of the Hiwassee. This was to have been the limit of our journey. Officers and men had brought no baggage or provisions, and the weather was bitter cold.
I half hardly reached the town of Charleston when General Wilson arrived with a letter from General Grant at Chattanooga, informing me that the latest authentic accounts from Knoxville were to the 27th, at which time General Burnside was completely invested, and had provisions only to include the 3d of December; that General Granger had left Chattanooga for Knoxville by the river road, with a steam-boat following him in the river, but the general feared Granger could not reach Knoxville in time, and ordered me to take command of all troops moving for the relief of Knoxville, and hasten to General Burnside. Seven days before we had left our camps on the other side of the Tennessee, with two days' rations, without a change of clothing, stripped for the fight, with but a single blanket or coat per man, from myself to the privates included. Of course, we then had no provisions save what we gathered by the road, and were ill-supplied for such a march. But we learned that 12,000 of our fellow soldiers were beleaguered in the mountain town of Knoxville, 84 miles distant; that they needed relief, and must have it in three days. This was enough, and it had to be done.
General Howard that night repaired and planked the railroad bridge, and at daylight the army passed the Hiwassee and marched to Athens, 15 miles. I had supposed, rightfully, that General Granger was about the mouth of Hiwassee, and sent him notice of my orders; that the general had sent me a copy of his written instructions, which were full and complete, and that he must push for Kingston, near which we would make a junction. But by the time I reached Athens I had had time to study the geography, and sent «37 R R--VOL XXXI, PT II» <ar55_578> him orders--which found him at Decatur--that Kingston was out of our way; that he should send his boat to Kingston, but with his command strike across to Philadelphia, and report to me there. I had but a small force of cavalry, which was, at the time of my receipt of General Grant's orders, scouting over about Benton and Columbus. I left my aide, Major McCoy, at Charleston to communicate with this cavalry and hurry it forward. It overtook me in the night at Athens. On the 2d of December, the army moved rapidly north toward Loudon, 26 miles distant.
About 11 a.m. the cavalry passed to the head of the column and was ordered to push to Loudon, and, if possible, save a pontoon bridge across the Tennessee, held by a brigade of the enemy, commanded by General Vaughn. The cavalry moved with such rapidity as to capture every picket, but the brigade of Vaughn had artillery in position covered by earth-works, and displayed a force too respectable to be carried by a cavalry dash, and darkness closed in before General Howard's infantry got up. The enemy abandoned the place in the night, destroying the pontoons, running 3 locomotives and 48 cars into the Tennessee, and abandoning a large quantity of provisions, four guns, and other matériel, which General Howard took at daylight.
But the bridge was gone, and we were forced to turn east and trust to General Burnside's bridge at Knoxville. It was all important that General Burnside should have notice of our coming, and but one day of the time remained.
Accordingly, at Philadelphia, during the night of the 2d of December, I sent my aide, Captain Audenried, forward to Colonel Long, commanding the brigade of cavalry, to explain to him how all-important it was that General Burnside should have notice within twenty-four hours of our approach, and ordering him to select the best material of his command to start at once, ford the Little Tennessee, and push into Knoxville, at whatever cost of life and horse flesh. Captain Audenried was ordered to go along. The distance to be traveled was about 40 miles, and the road villainous. Before day they were off, and at daylight the Fifteenth Army Corps was turned from Philadelphia for the Little Tennessee, at Morganton, where my maps represented the river as very shallow, but it was found too deep for fording, and the water freezing cold. Width, 240 yards; depth, from 2 to 5 feet. Horses could ford, but artillery and men could not. A bridge was indispensable. General Wilson, who accompanied me, undertook to superintend the bridge, and I am under many obligations to him, as I was without an engineer, having sent Captain Jenney back from Graysville to survey our field of battle. We had our pioneers, but only such tools as axes, picks, and spades. But General Wilson, working part with crib-work and part with square trestles, made of the houses of the late town of Morganton, progressed apace, and by dark of December 4, troops and animals passed on the bridge, and by daybreak of the 5th, the Fifteenth Corps, General Blair, was over, and Generals Granger's and Davis' divisions were ready to pass; but the diagonal bracings were imperfect for want of proper spikes, and the bridge broke, causing delay. I had ordered General Blair to move out on the Maryville road 5 miles, there to await notice that General Granger was on a parallel road abreast of him, and in person I was at a house where the roads parted, when a messenger rode up bearing me a few words from General Burnside, dated December 4. Colonel Long had arrived at Knoxville with his <ar55_579> cavalry, and all was well then. Longstreet still lay before the place, but there were symptoms of a speedy departure.
I felt that I had accomplished the first great step in the problem for the relief of General Burnside's army, but still urged on the work. As soon as the bridge was mended, all the troops moved forward. General Howard had marched from Loudon and had found a pretty good ford for his horses and wagons at Davis', 7 miles below Morganton, and had made an ingenious bridge of the wagons left by General Vaughn at Loudon, on which to pass his men. He marched by Unitia and Louisville.
On the night of the 5th, all the heads of columns communicated at Maryville, where I met Major Van Buren, of General Burnside's staff, announcing that General Longstreet had the night before retreated on the Rutledge, Rogersville, and Bristol road, leading to Virginia; that General Burnside's cavalry was on his heels; that the general desired to see me in person as soon as I could come to Knoxville. I ordered all the troops to halt and rest, except the two divisions of General Granger, which were ordered to move forward to Little River, and General Granger to report in person to General Burnside for orders.
His was the force originally designed to re-enforce General Burnside, and it was eminently proper that it should join in the chase after Longstreet.
On the morning of December 6, I rode from Maryville into Knoxville and met General Burnside. General Granger arrived later in the day. We examined his lines of fortifications, which were a wonderful production for the short time allowed in their selection of ground and construction of work. It seemed to me that they were nearly impregnable. We examined the redoubt, named Sanders, where, on the Sunday previous, three brigades of the enemy had assaulted and met a bloody repulse. Now, all was peaceful and quiet; but a few hours before, the deadly bullet sought its victim all round about that hilly barrier.
The general explained fully and frankly what he had done and what he proposed to do. He asked of me nothing but General Granger's command, and suggested, in view of the large force I had brought from Chattanooga, that I should return with due expedition to the line of the Hiwassee, lest Bragg, re-enforced, might take advantage of our absence to resume the offensive. I asked him to reduce this to writing, which he did, and I here introduce it as part of my report:

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE OHIO, Knoxville, December 7, 1863.
Maj. Gen. WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: I desire to express to you and your command my most hearty thanks and gratitude for your promptness in coming to our relief during the siege of Knoxville, and I am satisfied your approach served to raise the siege. The emergency having passed, I do not deem for the present any other portion of your command but the corps of General Granger necessary for operations in this section, and, inasmuch as General Grant has weakened the forces immediately with him in order to relieve us, thereby rendering the position of General Thomas less secure, I deem it advisable that all the troops now here, save those commanded by General Granger, should return at once to within supporting distance of the forces in front of Bragg's army.
In behalf of my command, I desire again to thank you and your command for the kindness you have done us.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General, Commanding.

 <ar55_580>
Accordingly, having seen General Burnside's forces move out of Knoxville, in pursuit of Longstreet, and General Granger's move in, I put in motion my own command to return.
General Howard was ordered to move, via Davis' Ford and Sweet Water, to Athens, with a guard forward at Charleston, to hold and repair the bridge, which the enemy had taken after our passage up. General Jef. C. Davis moved to Columbus, on the Hiwassee, via Madisonville, and the two divisions of the Fifteenth Corps moved to Tellico Plains, to cover a movement of cavalry across the mountains into Georgia to overtake a wagon train which had dodged us on our way up and had escaped by way of Murphy. Subsequently, on a report from General Howard that the enemy held Charleston, I diverted General Ewing's division to Athens, and went in person to Tellico with General Morgan L. Smith's division.
By the 9th, all our troops were in position and we held the rich country between the Little Tennessee and the Hiwassee. The cavalry under Colonel Long passed the mountain at Tellico, and proceeded about 17 miles beyond Murphy, when Colonel Long, deeming his pursuit farther of the wagon train useless, returned on the 12th to Tellico. I then ordered him and the division of General Morgan L. Smith to move to Charleston, to which point I had previously ordered the corps of General Howard.
On the 14th of December, all of my command in the field lay along the Hiwassee. Having communicated to General Grant the actual state of affairs, I received orders to leave on the line of the Hiwassee all the cavalry, and come to Chattanooga with the balance of my command. I left the brigade of cavalry, commanded by Colonel Long, re-enforced by the Fifth Ohio Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Heath, the only cavalry properly belonging to the Fifteenth Army Corps, at Charleston, and with the remainder moved by easy marches, by Cleveland and Tyner's Depot, into Chattanooga, where I received in person from General Grant orders to transfer back to their appropriate command the corps of General Howard and division commanded by General Jef. C. Davis, and to conduct the Fifteenth Army Corps to its new field of operations. It will thus appear that we have been constantly in motion since our departure from the Big Black, in Mississippi, until the present moment. I have been unable to receive, from subordinate commanders the usual full detailed reports of events, and have therefore been compelled to make up this report from my own personal memory, but as soon as possible subordinate reports will be received and duly forwarded.
In reviewing the facts I must do justice to my command for the patience, cheerfulness, and courage which officers and men have displayed throughout in battle, on the march, and in camp. For long periods, without regular rations or supplies of any kind, they have marched through mud and over rocks, sometimes barefooted, without a murmur. Without a moment's rest, after a march of over 400 miles, without sleep for three successive nights, we crossed the Tennessee, fought our part of the battle of Chattanooga, pursued the enemy out of Tennessee, and then turned more than 120 miles north and compelled Longstreet to raise the siege of Knoxville, which gave so much anxiety to the whole country. It is hard to realize the importance of the events without recalling the memory of the general feeling which pervaded all minds at Chattanooga, prior to our arrival. I cannot speak of the Fifteenth Army Corps without a seeming vanity, but, as I am no longer its commander, I assert there is no <ar55_581> better body of soldiers in America than it, or who have done more or better service. I wish all to feel a just pride in its real honors. To General Howard and his command, to General Jef. C. Davis and his, I am more than usually indebted for the intelligence of commanders and fidelity of commands. The brigade of Colonel Buschbeck, belonging to the Eleventh Corps, which was the first to come out of Chattanooga to my flank, fought at the Tunnel Hill, in connection with General Ewing's division, and displayed a courage almost amounting to rashness. Following the enemy almost to the tunnel gorge, it lost many valuable lives, prominent among them Lieutenant-Colonel Taft, spoken of as a most gallant soldier. In General Howard throughout, I found a polished and Christian gentleman exhibiting the highest and most chivalric traits of the soldier.
General Davis handled his division with artistic skill, more especially at the moment we encountered the enemy's rear guard, near Graysville, at nightfall. I must award to this division the credit of the best order during our marches through East Tennessee, when long marches and the necessity of foraging to the right and left gave some reasons for disordered ranks.
Inasmuch as exception might be taken to my explanation of the temporary confusion during the battle of Chattanooga in the two brigades of General Matthies and Colonel Raum, I will here state that I saw the whole, and attach no fault to any one. Accidents will happen in battle as elsewhere, and at the point where they so manfully went to relieve the pressure on other parts of our assaulting line, they exposed themselves unconsciously to an enemy vastly superior in force and favored by the shape of the ground. Had that enemy come out on equal terms, those brigades would have shown their metal, which has been tried more than once before and stood the test of fire. They reformed their ranks and were ready to support General Ewing's division in a very few minutes, and the circumstance would have hardly called for notice on my part had not others reported for my wing of the army at a distance of near 5 miles, from which could only be seen the troops in the open field where this affair occurred.
I now subjoin the best report of casualties I am able to compile from the records thus far received, viz:

Fifteenth Army Corps:
Command Killed. Wounded. Missing. Total
First.Division  67 364 66 497
Second.Division  10 90 2 102
Third.Division  89 288 122 499
Fourth.Division  72 535 21 628
Total.loss in Fifteenth Army Corps. 238 1,277 211 1,726

Eleventh Army Corps:
Buschbeck's Brigade  37 145 81 263

General Jef. C. Davis has sent in no report of casualties in his division, but the loss was small.
Among the killed were some of our most valuable officers: Colonels Putnam, Ninety-third Illinois; O'Meara, Ninetieth Illinois; Torrence, Thirtieth Iowa: Lieutenant-Colonel Taft, of the Eleventh Corps, and Major Bushnell, Thirteenth Illinois Volunteers. <ar55_582>
Among the wounded are Brig. Gens. Giles A. Smith, J. M. Corse, and Matthies, Colonel Raum, Colonel Wangelin, Twelfth Missouri Volunteers; Lieutenant-Colonel Partridge, Thirteenth Illinois Volunteers; Maj. P. J. Welsh, Fifty-sixth Illinois Volunteers, and Major McCalla, Tenth Iowa Volunteers.
Among the missing is Lieutenant-Colonel Archer, Seventeenth Iowa.
My report is already so long that I must forbear mentioning acts of individual merit. These will be recorded in the reports of division commanders, which I will cheerfully indorse, but I must say that it is but justice that colonels of regiments who have so long and so well commanded brigades, as in the following cases, should be commissioned to the grade which they have filled with so much usefulness and credit to the public service, viz: Col. J. R. Cockerill, Seventieth Regiment Ohio Volunteers; Col. J. M. Loomis,.Twenty-sixth Regiment Illinois Volunteers; Col. C. C. Walcutt, Forty-sixth Regiment Ohio Volunteers; Col. J. A. Williamson, Fourth Regiment Iowa Volunteers; Col. G. B. Raum, Fifty-sixth Regiment Illinois Volunteers; Col. J. I. Alexander, Fifty-ninth Regiment Indiana Volunteers.
My personal staff, as usual, have served their country with fidelity and credit to themselves throughout these events, and have received my personal thanks.
Inclosed you will please find a map (*) of that part of the battle-field of Chattanooga fought on by the troops under my command, surveyed and drawn by Captain Jenney, of my staff.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
 W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding.
 Brig. Gen. JOHN A. RAWLINS, Chief of Staff to General Grant.
[Inclosure No. 1.]
Statement of ammunition expended by the Army of the Tennessee during the engagements of the 24th, 25th, and 27th of November, 1863.
Kind. Caliber. No.

Elongated ball cartridges  .58 620,000
Elongated ball cartridges  .54 6,000
Rounds assorted ammunition for 24-pounder howitzers    80
Rounds assorted ammunition for 12-pounder howitzers    140
Rounds assorted ammunition for 6-pounder guns    402
Rounds assorted ammunition for 12-pounder guns    80
Rounds assorted ammunition for 10-pounder Parrott    25
Rounds assorted ammunition for 20-pounder Parrott    95
Rounds assorted ammunition for 3-inch Rodman    322
Rounds assorted ammunition for 3.80-inch James    179
Total number of rounds of artillery ammunition expended   1,328
Average number of rounds per man of small-arms ammunition, 41.
Average number of rounds per gun of artillery ammunition, 25.
F. H. PARKER, Chief Ordnance Officer, Department and Army of the Tennessee.
 <ar55_583>
[Inclosure No. 2.]
List of captured arms and accouterments collected from that portion of the battlefield of Chattanooga in front of General Sherman's command.
Articles Caliber No.
Springfield rifle muskets  .69 8
Springfield rifle muskets  .58 78
Enfield rifles (short)  .58 183
Siege rifles (short)  . 69 1
Vincennes rifles  .69 1
Enfield smooth-bore muskets (Tower)  .58 4
Enfield rifle muskets  .58 271
United States rifles  .54 18
United States smooth-bore muskets  .69 58
Austrian rifle muskets  . 54 108
Austrian rifles  .54 25
Suhl rifle muskets  .69 1
Total number of arms collected   756

Enfield bayonets  63
Springfield bayonets  12
Austrian bayonets, quadrangular  34
Total number of bayonets collected  109

Cartridge boxes  334
Cartridge-box plates  120
Cartridge-box belts  43
Waist belts  68
Waist-belt plates  34
Cap pouches  67
Bayonet scabbards (leather)  115

F. H. PARKER, First Lieutenant, and Chief of Ordnance, Department of the Tennessee.
ADDENDA.
HDQRS. IN THE FIELD, 4TH DIVISION, 15TH ARMY CORPS,
Trenton, Ga., November 18, 1863.
 Major-General SHERMAN,
Commanding Department and Army:
GENERAL: The head of my column reached here at 10 a.m. I have camped the rear brigade on the mountain overlooking the town. Cockerill and Corse in town. We threw a few shell at some cavalry, who retreated down stream. Distance by the route we came, Gordon's Mills, 23 miles: road, steed and good. I have sent down to communicate with Hooker's pickets. Should have been here last night, but waited for rear to close up.
Respectfully,
 HUGH EWING, Brigadier-General Commanding Division.
-----
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Bridgeport, November 18, 1863.
 Brig. Gen. HUGH EWING,
Comdg. Fourth Division, Fifteenth Army Corps:
DEAR GENERAL: I came down the river last night in a skiff, having missed the boats at Kelley's Ferry. I stopped at Shellmound, expecting to see you, but you had passed all right. My telegraphic dispatch will have conveyed to you the purpose and object of your <ar55_584> move. The enemy occupies Lookout Mountain and the country beyond. We hold the river and country beyond, including Chattanooga and the road up to where the river impinges against Lookout Ridge.
The Fifteenth Corps is destined for Chattanooga for offense, but an object is gained by threatening Trenton, as though this corps meditated to attack the enemy on Lookout by ascending at Trenton. But as soon as the other divisions have passed Whiteside's, I will send you order quietly to retire and follow the other divisions of the corps. Your train will be sent to Whiteside's, where you can pick it up. I expect to send you such an order as soon as the corps has passed Wauhatchie.
In the meantime, act as though you were the head of a strong column, waiting for the rear to close up. By this device the enemy will strengthen that flank and weaken the other, of which we propose to take advantage. Do what you can to accomplish this end, using the head of your column, but leaving the rear at the head of the mountain, by which you descend to Trenton, and make plenty of fires on the mountain, as though a heavy force were collecting behind you. Be ready to reverse your column to move, via Whiteside's and Wauhatchie, to Chattanooga.
At Brown's Ferry there is a good pontoon bridge, where I will meet you and explain everything.(*)
Logan is appointed to the command of the Fifteenth Corps, and Blair will go to Washington. You will command that division. W. S. Smith is chief of cavalry at Nashville.
Yours,
 W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding.
-----
HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Trenton, Ga., November 19, 1863--11 a.m.
 Major-General SHERMAN, Commanding Department and Army:
GENERAL: Your dispatch of yesterday is received. Loomis built extensive fires on the edge of the mountain last night, which showed well. Corse camped above town, looking up the valley, and Cockerill below, looking down. I communicated with General Hooker, my messengers returning this morning. I gathered in considerable corn and straw, and ground 10,000 rations of flour. One good road enters the valley from Lookout Mountain, 13 miles above, called Johnson's Crook Gap, but on our maps Deerhead Cove, running through Stevens' Gap on the other side to Cassandra and La Fayette. This is the route on which to make an earnest demonstration. I have sent Corse to take position at the mouth of this gap, fronting up stream and covering his communication, to send one regiment to the top of Lookout, to show its head and send out pickets, build fires, and demonstrate generally, but with caution; a second regiment to camp half way up.
I have ordered Loomis to descend the Raccoon Mountain this afternoon at Wimm's Gap, which enters this valley 2 miles above town, and to stretch out toward Johnson's Crook, camping, with show in fires, &c., 4 or 5 miles above here. Also to build fires at his camp of last <ar55_585> night, and on the mountain above Wimm's. I have also ordered Corse's last night's camp to be lit up.
Cockerill this afternoon will move two regiments across Lookout Creek, and drive what parties he may find up the mountain trails. There are iron-works here and at Johnson's Crook newly built, one finished, others in process. Shall I destroy them or not?
Is it not better to march in return straight down the valley to Wauhatchie than to go by Whiteside's?
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, &c.,
 HUGH EWING, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
-----
HDQRS. IN THE FIELD, 4TH DIV., 15TH ARMY CORPS,
Trenton, Ga., November 19, 1863.
 Brigadier-General CORSE, Commanding Second Brigade:
GENERAL: You will take position near Johnson's Crook Gap, sending a detachment to show its head on the top of Lookout Mountain, and a second, half way up the ascent, both to demonstrate by fires, chopping, &c., taking care not to be cut off. Your main force, with the artillery, front up stream, covering your communications with Trenton and your detachment. Feel well in all directions with mounted men, and fall back on the First Brigade, if necessary.
Respectfully,
 HUGH EWING, Brigadier-General, Commanding.
-----
HDQRS. IN THE FIELD, 4TH DIV., 15TH ARMY CORPS,
Trenton, Ga., November 19, 1863.
 Colonel LOOMIS, Commanding First Brigade:
COLONEL: You will come down Raccoon Mountain by Wimm's Gap, and stretch up stream some 4 or 5 miles, leaving a regiment on the mountain to occupy the head of the gap, with instructions to build extensive camp fires. Occupying the center, move rapidly to either wing if you hear it strongly assailed, looking, however, chiefly up stream toward General Corse, at Johnson's Crook Gap, in the Lookout.
Very respectfully,
 HUGH EWING, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
-----
HDQRS. IN THE FIELD, 4TH DIV., 15TH ARMY CORPS,
Trenton, Ga., November 19, 1863.
 Colonel LOOMIS, Commanding First Brigade:
COLONEL: If you hear at any time heavy firing in the direction of General Corse, move rapidly to his assistance, and go to work at close quarters, notifying me.
Respectfully,
 HUGH EWING, Brigadier-General, Commanding.
 <ar55_586>
HDQRS. IN THE FIELD, 4TH DIV., 15TH ARMY CORPS,
Trenton, November 19, 1863.
 Colonel LOOMIS, Commanding First Brigade:
COLONEL: Demonstrate with your command in the morning by sending two detachments, a regiment each, to reconnoiter the base of Lookout and feel for passes. Keep them in reach, however.
Respectfully,
 HUGH EWING, Brigadier-General, Commanding.
-----
HEADQUARTERS IN THE FIELD, FOURTH DIVISION,
Trenton, Ga., November 20, 1863.
 Major-General SHERMAN, Commanding Deportment and Army:
GENERAL: The brigades of Brown, Liddell, and Cumming, Stevenson's division, cover about all the troops on Lookout, from one end to the other, as far as I can learn. Corse has full possession of the top of the mountain at his end. Do you want it held if they try to recover it in any force? I will not send up artillery unless ordered.
Respectfully,
 HUGH EWING, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
-----
HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Trenton, Ga., November 20, 1863.
 Major-General SHERMAN, Commanding Department and Army:
GENERAL: Your dispatch received. The detachments of Corse are ordered in. The division will move at daylight with all possible dispatch. The train and rations will be promptly attended to.
Respectfully,
 HUGH EWING, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
-----
HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Trenton, Ga., November 20, 1863.
 Major-General SHERMAN, Commanding Department and Army:
GENERAL: Our pickets camped on the summit of Lookout at Johnson's Crook Gap last night, and mounted scouts felt out over the mountain, but as far as heard from found no enemy. Corse drove a few up the mountain last evening. Loomis camped 5 miles above Trenton at the iron-works. Cockerill moved down to the Nickajack trace, a few miles below here, and drove a few cavalry up the trace. The enemy were watching us all day yesterday from Lookout. They have a force, said to be two brigades, on the top of <ar55_587> the Nickajack trace. I am watching my detachments carefully. We have spread out boldly, and made an impression, I think, with little risk. Deserters and refugees say that our force "in the valley and back on Raccoon" is estimated at 30,000.
An impression prevails in Bragg's army and among the inhabitants beyond Lookout that he is sending back his heavy artillery, and intends falling back; some think massing toward our right flank. I intended Corse to seize the pass boldly, but to draw back if attacked in force, and to look carefully to his detachments. Loomis will move to Corse speedily if he is attacked. I am making a good demonstration, and of course running some risk, but I think very little. I have no fear of a serious attack. I am destroying the iron-works, and hope by morning to see them all "fall to lawless ruin."
I had great lines of fires on Raccoon last night, representing an army corps at least, and made a fine show in the valley. Yesterday at noon a party of mounted officers arrived on Lookout opposite town, and spent a couple of hours examining the situation.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
 HUGH EWING, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
-----
HDQRS. IN THE FIELD, 4TH DIVISION, 15TH ARMY CORPS,
Trenton, Ga., November 20, 1863.
 Brigadier-General CORSE, Commanding Second Brigade:
GENERAL: If the enemy approach in any force, draw your detachment quickly down the mountain, and, if followed, fallback on Loomis, who has orders to move to you if attacked. If threatened in your rear, move rapidly this way and go to work and hold them for Loomis. Keep a bright lookout in all directions. Set parties to work at once to undermine and destroy the stocks and machinery of all iron-works in your vicinity, but do not burn or blow up--do it without noise. Cassell is coming with tools, but do what you can.
 EWING, Commanding Division.
-----
HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Trenton, Ga., November 20, 1863.
 General CORSE, Commanding Second Brigade:
GENERAL: As I wrote you this morning, draw your detachment down the mountain if attacked in any force and be ready and fall back on Loomis if necessary to avoid a fight of any consequence. Our purpose is not to bring on an engagement, and if a fight is approaching we must concentrate here.
Respectfully,
 HUGH EWING, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
 <ar55_588>
HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Trenton, Ga., November 20, 1863.
 Captain CASSELL, Division Engineer, Commanding Pioneers:
CAPTAIN: You will proceed at once to destroy the machinery and stocks of all iron-works in Lookout Valley, without using fire or powder. Make the work thorough; also destroy all tanneries and machinery of mills attached to the iron-works.
Respectfully,
 HUGH EWING, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
-----
HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Trenton, Ga., November 20, 1863.
 Colonel COCKERILL, Commanding Third Brigade:
COLONEL: Move your command at 8 o'clock this morning, via Wauhatchie, to Brown's Ferry, where you will camp to-night, reporting your arrival to General Sherman.
Respectfully,
 HUGH EWING, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
-----
HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Trenton, Ga., November 20, 1863
 Colonel LOOMIS, Commanding First Brigade:
COLONEL: Move with your entire brigade at daybreak to this point. I will expect you to camp, if possible, beyond Wauhatchie to-night.
Respectfully,
 HUGH EWING, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
-----
HDQRS. IN THE FIELD, 4TH DIV., 15TH ARMY CORPS,
Trenton, Ga., November 21, 1863--12.40 a.m.
 Major-General SHERMAN, Commanding Department and Army:
GENERAL: Your dispatch received. The detachments of Corse are ordered in. The division will move at daylight, with all possible dispatch. The train and rations will be promptly attended to.
Respectfully.
 HUGH EWING, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
-----
SPECIAL ORDERS No. 14.
HDQRS. DEPT. AND ARMY OF THE TENN.,
Near Chattanooga, November 21, 1863.
Every available man fit for duty in the Fifteenth Corps, now present, will at once be prepared for an important movement. Each man will carry a blanket or overcoat, three days' cooked rations, <ar55_589> and as near 100 rounds of ammunition as possible, including that in cartridge boxes. The camps and transportation will be left in charge of those unfit for duty. The ambulances will follow their respective divisions as far as the river, but await further orders before crossing.
By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:
 R. M. SAWYER, Assistant Adjutant-General.
-----
HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Trenton, Ga., November 21, 1863.
 Brigadier-General CORSE, Commanding Second Brigade:
GENERAL: Call in your detachments at once, and move with your entire force at daybreak for this point. I wish you to pass here and make Wauhatchie, if possible, by night, or as near it as you can.
Respectfully,
 HUGH EWING, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
-----
HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Trenton, Ga., November 21, 1863.
 Colonel O'MEARA, Commanding at White Oak Gap:
COLONEL: Several miles below you on the edge of the mountain the enemy are signaling across to Lookout by raising and extinguishing, or covering, a small fire. Send a company, under a sharp officer, to surround and catch them. Let them go light--move rapidly, but cautiously. They will probably have a few men stationed toward you in the dark to give notice of your approach. Let the party, when they draw near the locality, approach them from the opposite direction, and get them dead or alive.
Respectfully,
 HUGH EWING, Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
-----
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Near Chattanooga, November 22, 1863.
OPERATIONS FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23.
The Fifteenth Army Corps, re-enforced by one division of the Army of the Cumberland, is to cross the Tennessee at the mouth of East Chickamauga Creek, advance and take possession of the end of Missionary Ridge, viz, from the railroad tunnel to Chickamauga, hold, and fortify. The Army of the Cumberland and General Hooker's command are to assist by direct attacks to their front.
Details: One brigade, Second Division, to march to West Chickamauga Creek to man the boats (120), to have everything ready, and at midnight to-night, November 22 to 23, to push out and drift down the Tennessee, until one-half mile above East Chickamauga, where two regiments land and secure the enemy's picket <ar55_590> at the mouth of Chickamauga. The remainder of the brigade will drop down and land below the mouth of Chickamauga and at once prepare a rifle-trench at the summit of the hill. The whole of the Second Division will then cross to the north of the Chickamauga and the Third Division to the south, each working smartly to fortify the ground and to improve the landings.
Both these divisions, each with one good battery, should be across and well covered by break of day, and a pontoon bridge finished across the Chickamauga, to connect these two divisions.
The First and Fourth Divisions will approach the Tennessee by separate ways, one above and the other below the Chickamauga but keep out of observation of the enemy until the opposite bank is secure and boats ready to receive them. This will probably be as early as 7 a.m., when they will be rowed across rapidly and move out. The First Division will cross the Chickamauga and follow it up to near abreast of Missionary Ridge, and ascend the hill at its point. The Fourth Division will move out toward Tunnel Hill, keeping connection up with the left division on Chickamauga Creek, which is the guiding flank.
The Third Division, John E. Smith, will form the center and march by column of divisions, ready to deploy forward, direct to the middle hill, keeping up with the left division.
The Second Division will follow the center division as soon as relieved by the division of the Army of the Cumberland which will take its place in line, or act according to circumstances not yet fore seen.
General William F. Smith will give all the detailed arrangements for crossing over, and the commanding general will explain in person to the division commanders the ground and maps. The utmost silence, order, and patience must be displayed. The boats will take their loads from the heads of columns, and the men will resume their places the moment they reach the opposite bank of the Tennessee. Very great care must be taken by division commanders that the routes of march do not cross each other. The First and Second Divisions crossing above Chickamauga should follow the road up the valley, where our camps are, and around north of these headquarters; the Third and Fourth Divisions can take the direct route, by the head of John E. Smith's camp. Except in case of orders, muskets must not be loaded until the troops are disembarked on the other side of the Tennessee.
Division commanders of the Second, Third, and Fourth Divisions will select one battery to accompany the division; the others will be left in position to cover the crossing, under the direction of the chief of artillery, who will at once commence to place these batteries, being careful not to stop roads needed by the movement.
By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:
 R. M. SAWYER, Assistant Adjutant-General.
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SPECIAL ORDERS No. 15.
HDQRS. DEPT. AND ARMY OF THE TENN.,
Near Chattanooga, November 23, 1863.
Owing to the non-arrival of troops expected, the operations of the Fifteenth Corps, as planned for this morning, are postponed for twenty-four hours. The instructions issued for this morning will, <ar55_591> therefore, be carried out to-morrow morning, with this exception, that, in case of the non-arrival of the First Division in time, the Second Division, in addition to the part already assigned, will execute the part laid down for the First Division after crossing.
By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:
 R. M. SAWYER, Assistant Adjutant-General.
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HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH CORPS,
Sibley's Ford, opposite Boyce's Station,
November 26, 1863--7.40 a.m.
 General SHERMAN:
Head of column arrived at 7 a.m., closing up on General Davis' division. The cavalry has moved on, finding the camp of rebel cavalry evacuated; said to have moved off at midnight. We now advance in a single column on the road to Chickamauga Station.
 O. O. HOWARD, Major-General.
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HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH CORPS,
November 26, 1863--12 m.
 Major-General SHERMAN, Commanding Army of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: General Davis has possession of Chickamauga Station. Rebels burned up stores as we approached. A few stragglers have been picked up. Slight skirmishing by Morgan's brigade. A ridge (Oak Ridge) seems to be fortified. The enemy make a little show. No artillery opened as yet. General Davis will develop what is on the hill as soon as his men get some refreshment. Try to have signals established with ours from the ridge. A foot-bridge across Chickamauga on railroad will be completed in half an hour. Please communicate that way. There is little skirmishing beyond town now.
 O. O. HOWARD, Major-General.
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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Near Graysville, November 26, 1863.
 Major-General HOWARD, Commanding Corps:
GENERAL: The column will move at 6 o'clock to-morrow morning, in the same order as to-day.
By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:
 R. M. SAWYER, Assistant Adjutant-General.
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BROWN'S FERRY,
November 26, 1863--2.45 p.m.
 General W. T. SHERMAN, Commanding Army of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: The artillery of the Eleventh Corps is now crossing the bridge. The troops of that corps are lying on the hill by the <ar55_592> ferry, General Ewing's division being in their rear. I know not what time it will cross. Owing to repairs, the bridge has not been used for the past hour. Have you any instructions.
Very respectfully,
 J. C. AUDENRIED, U.S. Army.
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HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH CORPS,
November 27, 1863--11.40 a.m.
 Major-General SHERMAN,  Commanding:
GENERAL My head of column has passed through Parker's Gap; have met no force yet. A very large train went on Cleveland and Ringgold road last night with small escort. Great fears were expressed that, you would cut them off at Ringgold.
Respectfully,
 O. O. HOWARD, Major-General, Commanding.
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HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH CORPS,
November 27, 1863--7.10 p.m.
 Major-General SHERMAN, Commanding Army of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: One division of my command is established near the junction of the Ringgold and McDaniel's Gap road. Two small brigades with a section of a battery are pushed forward to the railroad at Red Clay. They reached there at sundown, captured 3 men guarding remnants of train, which our cavalry burned; captured an officer (lieutenant of General Kelly's staff) and 2 orderlies. A captain with them escaped. This rebel staff officer reports that his division of cavalry attacked Colonel Long at daylight this morning at Cleveland, and defeated him, taking from him about 200 prisoners, and Long retreated toward Harrison. He reports also that Kelly's cavalry is on the way to Dalton. This officer was on his way to Bragg, had no written dispatches, and what he said about his cavalry may not be true. Information from different quarters shows that no train has been from Dalton farther than Red Clay since last Monday. Inhabitants report that the enemy retreated through Dalton, intending to make a stand below. My brigade, under Col. O. Smith, found three cars (good ones). He will effectually destroy the road, burn the cars, and then return here. The distance from our camp last night to Red Clay is 18 miles.
Respectfully,
 O. O. HOWARD, Mayor General, Commanding.
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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Graysville, Ga., November 27, 1863.
 Maj. Gen. F. P. BLAIR,  Jr, Commanding Fifteenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: The general commanding has conferred with General Grant to-day at Ringgold, and has received substantially the following orders:
That the pursuit of the enemy has ceased, and that after the destruction <ar55_593> of railroads and property liable to be put to hostile use, the army will return to its camp at or near Chattanooga.
General Hooker's command will destroy the railroad and property near Ringgold. General Howard's corps a section of the railroad from Dalton to Cleveland, and yours, that near and at Graysville. You will therefore cause all the railroad ties and iron, water tanks, station houses, machine shops, and whatever may be connected with the railroad for a distance of about 1 mile north and west of Graysville to a point about 3 miles south of Graysville--say, to about the farm of C. Cartrung, which is about where it crosses the Calhoun road--to be destroyed. You will also cause to be destroyed all tanneries, machine shops, mills, dams, and whatever in your judgment might be converted into hostile uses, giving the parties in possession a simple statement in writing of the fact that the destruction was made by the order of the general commanding, and fixing a value when possible. The general wishes the work done thoroughly. There are two cars at Ringgold which the surgeon-in-chief proposes to load with wounded at Ringgold and push to Chattanooga depot. Please send a messenger to Ringgold, notifying the chief surgeon of General Hooker's command to use dispatch in pushing the cars by, before some hour, say 9 a.m., when the destruction of the track will begin.
By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:
 R. M. SAWYER, Assistant Adjutant-General.
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HDQRS. DEPT. AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Graysville, Ga., November 27, 1863.
 Brig. Gen. JEFFERSON C. DAVIS, Commanding Division :
GENERAL: The general commanding directs that you move your command leisurely, to-morrow morning, back along the old Alabama road to Parker's Gap, and there await the return of General Howard's corps. On his return, or if you communicate with him, notify him that the pursuit of the enemy has ceased by order of General Grant, and that after destroying the railroad and other property which might be converted to hostile uses, the whole army will return to their old camps at or near Chattanooga.
In a map furnished him by the topographical engineer of the Army of the Cumberland, the general finds a large road laid down from Parker's Gap to Chickamauga Station, by way of the camp ground, which will avoid, in a great measure, the bad roads we found in approaching Graysville. The Fifteenth Corps will remain here until you send notice that General Howard has returned, when orders will be given you and General Howard to return leisurely to your former camps at or near Chattanooga, by the route indicated, provided you find such route in existence.
In anticipation of this movement, and in fear of rain, the general advises you to send back at once all wagons and artillery not needed to Chattanooga, and await your coming; also, to send into Ringgold and ascertain if there be a wagon train there belonging to General Howard's corps, in which event order it to accompany you to Parker's Gap, there to await General Howard's return. Please notify the general when General Howard is back, that he may make the «38 R R--VOL XXXI, PT II» <ar55_594> movement back to Chattanooga simultaneously by different routes, without coming into contact.
The Fifteenth Corps will do all the labor of destruction of railroad required by General Grant to-morrow.
By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:
 R. M. SAWYER, Assistant Adjutant-General.
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HDQRS. DEPT. AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Graysville, Ga., November 27, 1863.
 Maj. Gen. O. O. HOWARD, Commanding Eleventh Corps:
GENERAL: General Sherman visited General Grant to-day at Ringgold by appointment, and the following movements were ordered: After the destruction of a section of the railroad from Dalton to Cleveland by your corps, and its return to Parker's Gap, the army will return to its original camps, at or near Chattanooga, by way of Chickamauga Depot. In anticipation of your return, the general has ordered General Davis' division, and your wagon train, to await your coming at or near Parker's Gap.
To-morrow the Fifteenth Corps will destroy railroads and all property of use to all enemy in this neighborhood, and General Hooker's command will, in like manner, destroy that in the neighborhood of Ringgold, and as soon as advised of your arrival at Parker's Gap, the general will make the necessary orders for the general movement back to Chattanooga. Therefore, as soon as you reach Parker's Gap, please report what you have done, and make all preliminary preparations for the return march.
By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:
 R. M. SAWYER, Assistant Adjutant-General.
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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Graysville, Ga., November 28, 1863--2.10 a.m.
 Major-General HOWARD, Commanding Corps:
GENERAL: Your dispatch of 10 p.m. is received. The general desires that you hold your command at or near Parker's Gap until General Jef. C. Davis reaches that point from Ringgold. He is ordered to move up this morning at his leisure, and to bring with him your wagon train.
The pursuit of the enemy will be pushed no farther, and, after the destruction of railroad, mills, &c., at Ringgold and here, General Grant intends to move leisurely back toward Chattanooga. You may make all preliminary arrangements to that end, and cause the road back to Chickamauga Depot, via camp ground, to be reconnoitered, with a view to avoid returning either to Ringgold or this point.
Instructions will be given to turn all parties or men and wagons belonging to your command to you at Parker's Gap, and, as soon as the general learns officially that your command is assembled at that point, he will send orders for the general movement, which will not, in all probability, occur until to-morrow (the 29th). <ar55_595>
To insure the receipt of your wagon train, the general suggests that you send a staff officer to Ringgold to bring it up to Parker's Gap. Road from Ringgold to Parker's Gap is comparatively good. Road from Ringgold to this point is bad and much cut up.
By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:
 R. M. SAWYER, Assistant Adjutant-General.
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HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH CORPS,
November 28, 1863--6.30 a.m.
 Major-General SHERMAN, Commanding Army of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: The two brigades sent to Red Clay returned at 12.30 a.m., having destroyed the railroad for 2 miles effectually; they burned the ties and bent the rails. They also burned two cars, destroyed a water-tank and the depot, which has been a place for storing supplies. The brigades have marched 26 miles during the day. I shall march to Ringgold, starting at 7 a.m.
Very respectfully,
 O. O. HOWARD, Major-General, Commanding.
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HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH CORPS,
Cleveland, Tenn., November 29, 1863.
 General SHERMAN:
I left Parker's Gap with my command at daylight, and marched along the old Alabama road, communicating with General Davis through the gaps. Arrived here about sunset. A company of rebels left town a half hour before. I have sent a brigade to intercept any retreat on the Dalton road, but this company took a road to the left of the direct road to Dalton and escaped. My corps is encamped to the front and right of the town.
Respectfully,
 O. O. HOWARD, Major-General.
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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE,
Cleveland, Tenn., November 29, 1863.
 Maj. Gen. O. O. HOWARD, Commanding Eleventh Corps:
GENERAL: The general commanding directs that you please move your command by the direct road to Charleston, starting between the hours of 8 and 9 to-morrow morning, communicating with General Davis on your left, on approaching the Hiwassee River. You will please secure all boats and bridges that may be found at the river. General Blair will destroy the Dalton railroad south of Cleveland, and follow on your track about 10 a.m.
By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:
 R. M. SAWYER, Assistant Adjutant-General.
 <ar55_596>
GENERAL ORDERS No. 68.
WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE
Washington, February 22, 1864.
PUBLIC RESOLUTION, NO. 12.--JOINT RESOLUTION tendering the thanks of Congress to Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman.
Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the thanks of Congress and of the people of the United States are due, and that the same are hereby tendered, to Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman, commander of the Department and Army of the Tennessee, and the officers and soldiers who served under him, for their gallant and arduous services in marching to the relief of the Army of the Cumberland, and for their gallantry and heroism in the battle of Chattanooga, which contributed in a great degree to the success of our arms in that glorious victory.
Approved February 19, 1864.
By order of the Secretary of War:
 E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.


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