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Reports and Correspondence
concerning the
18th and 26th Tennessee Regiments
of Brown's Tennessee Brigade
around Lookout Mountain
- November, 1863 -


Page Outline:

Reports

Report of Maj. Gen. C. L. Stevenson of Hardee's Corps

Report of Brig. Gen. John C. Brown, C. S. Army, commanding brigade and Stevenson's division

Report of Capt. Max Van Den Corput, Cherokee (Georgia) Artillery.

Report of Lieut. Col. William R. Butler, Eighteenth Tennessee Infantry, commanding Eighteenth and Twenty-sixth Tennessee Infantry (Brown's Brigade)

Report of Maj. John P. McGuire, Thirty-second Tennessee Infantry (Brown's Brigade)

Report of Col. Anderson Searcy, Forty-fifth Tennessee infantry, commanding Forty-fifth Tennessee Infantry and Newman's (3d Tenn.) Battalion (Brown's Brigade)

Report of Brig. Gen. Hugh Ewing, U. S. Army, commanding Fourth Division

Correspondence and Orders

November 12, 1863. SPECIAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE

November 14, 1863. GENERAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS HARDEE'S CORPS

November 19, 1863. two dispatches from Lt.Col. Butler to Gen. Brown

November 21, 1863. Gen. Hardee to Gen. Stevenson

November 22, 1863. Gen. Hardee to Gen Stevenson

November 22, 1863----2.16 p.m. Gen Brown to Stevenson

November 23, 1863. Circular from Gen. Hardee

November 23, 1863----4.20 p.m. Gen. Hardee to Gen. Stevenson

November 24, 1863----a.m.: Orders to STEVENSON

November 27, 1863. General Order from Gen. Stevenson


No. 237

HEADQUARTERS STEVENSON'S DIVISION,
HARDEE'S CORPS, ARMY OF TENNESSEE,

Near Dalton, January 2, 1864.

COLONEL : I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the troops of my command west of Chattanooga Creek on November 24, 1863:

On November 12, I was directed to move my division from the position near the tunnel on the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad, which it had occupied since its return from East Tennessee, to the extreme left of our infantry lines -- the top of Lookout Mountain -- reporting to Lieutenant-General Hardee. On November 14, the positions of the troops of his command were assigned by the lieutenant general. Walker's division, commanded [718] by Brigadier-General Gist, to occupy that portion of the line which lay west of the Chattanooga Creek to the Chattanooga road, at the base of the mountain; Cheatham's division, commanded by Brigadier-General Jackson, that known as the Craven house slope, extending from the left of Walker's line to Smith's trail, on the western side of the mountain, and the defense of the mountain was intrusted to my division and a very small and inadequate force of cavalry. The position assigned to me -- the table on the top of the mountain -- included the pass at Johnson's Crook, distant 18 miles. The numerous passes along the western crest to Nickajack Pass, a distance of about 10 miles, were held by infantry; the remainder by the small force of cavalry. The defensive works on the mountain extended across from east to west at about 2 miles from the point. To guard this extended line, to protect these numerous passes, and to complete, with the dispatch so frequently urged upon me by the general commanding the line of defense, the work upon which was prosecuted agreeably to his orders day and night, and the necessity of watching with the utmost vigilance the movements of the heavy force of the enemy threatening my rear at Stevens' Gap and Johnson's Crook, demanded and received my constant and undivided attention. By personal inspection and reconnaissance, I familiarized myself with the character of the line intrusted to me, but had neither time nor occasion to make myself acquainted with the dispositions made by the lieutenant-general commanding for the defense of the rest of the line further than such information as I acquired by personal observation in visiting and adjusting the posts of my pickets and signal stations at and near the point of the mountain, from which place in favorable weather both armies could be plainly discerned.

On November 23, about 1 p.m., my attention was attracted by heavy firing in the valley below. I immediately proceeded to the point of the mountain from which I could plainly see all the movements of the enemy. I watched them closely until dark, and then hurried off the following dispatch by signal both to Lieutenant- General Hardee and direct to General Bragg: I observed closely from the point the movements of the enemy until dark. An object seemed to be to attract our attention. All the troops in sight were formed from center to left. Those on their right moved to center. The troops from Raccoon were in line in full sight. If they intend to attack, my opinion is it will be upon our left. Both of their bridges are gone. The movements of the enemy and his demonstrations against our right center were such that in my own mind I had not the slightest doubt that his purpose was to attract our attention, induce us to concentrate on our right, thereby weakening our left, and thus render the acquisition of Lookout Mountain practicable for him. The maneuver had the desired effect, for during that evening Walker's entire division was removed from its position to the extreme right, and the force west of Chattanooga Creek thereby diminished more than one-third. After dark I was informed by Lieutenant-General Hardee that he had been ordered to the extreme right, and I was directed to assume command of the troops west of Chattanooga Creek. To fill, as far as possible. the vacancy caused by the removal of Walker's division, Jackson's brigade, of Cheatham's division, was removed from the Craven house slope, and Cumming's brigade, of my own division, from the top of the mountain, General [719] Cumming, as senior officer present, being placed in command of the two brigades. I was advised by the lieutenant-general commanding to transfer my headquarters to the Craven house, and subsequently to the camp just vacated by him.

Having thus, without the slightest premonition -- not only a large portion of the troops, but even the permanent commander having removed -- been placed in command at night, at a most critical period, over a wing of the army, with whose position and disposition, as I have already stated, I had enjoyed no opportunity of making myself acquainted, I at once used every exertion to gain the necessary information by sending every officer of my staff and devoting the whole night myself to riding over and examining the lines. I found the position at which General Hardee advised me to establish lily headquarters to be on the eastern side of Chattanooga Creek, some distance beyond the extreme right of my line, and at least 2 miles from the base of the mountain. The distance and the fact that the situation was most unfavorable for personal observation determined me to return to the mountain, which afforded this advantage in the highest degree, and I accordingly addressed you the appended communication (A).

On my way back I examined the whole line, and at sunrise reached the Craven house. I found the troops in position as assigned by Lieutenant-General Hardee. Moore's brigade was bivouacked along the eastern side of the mountain near the Craven house, Walthall's on the northwestern slope in front of the Craven house. After examining the ledge I became satisfied that no tenable line could be established on the northwestern slope, so completely was it commanded by batteries which the enemy had erected for the purpose, and that the only feasible plan of defense was for Walthall, in case the enemy should cross the creek and attack him, to fall back fighting upon Moore on a line near the Craven house, holding them in check until the only movable force that I had could be sent to assist. This would expose the enemy to a flank fire at short range from the crest of the mountain on which I proposed to deploy the remainder of my force not engaged in guarding the passes on the west side as sharpshooters. Accordingly, after seeing General Moore and conversing with him upon the subject of his line and his ability to hold it -- of which he spoke with some confidence -- being informed that all was quiet on that line, I went to the top of the mountain to make what I conceived to be the proper disposition of the troops there. I directed Brigadier-General Brown, then commanding my division, to hold the larger portion of Pettus' brigade ready to move at a moment's notice to any point to which it should be ordered. I thus provided, as well as the means at my disposal permitted, either for an attack upon Cumming or Jackson.

Immediately upon my arrival on the mountain I directed the lookouts at the point to keep a close watch and advise me of any movement the enemy might make.

About 10 a. m. I received from Brigadier-General Jackson the communication (B) written him by General Walthall, and soon afterward was informed by the men at the point that there was some picket firing on Lookout Creek. I immediately rode to the point to see what was going on. The enemy had by felling trees constructed three temporary bridges over the creek and in a short time forced a passage. The troops as they crossed formed to cover the passage of the remainder. I immediately sent a staff officer of General Hardee [720] (Maj. W. D. Pickett) who happened to be with me to General Jackson to inform him of what l had seen and to direct him at once to place all of his troops in position. He reached General Jackson, I suppose, a little after 10 a. m. I caused the picket at Smith's trail to be largely increased and a strong force to be posted as sharpshooters along the crest of the mountain. The artillery, with trails raised, opened with spirit and effect, and was used until the enemy advanced so close under the cliff that the guns could not be sufficiently depressed for the shots to take effect.

General Walthall's pickets and skirmishers extended from the turnpike bridge of Lookout Creek to the railroad bridge, and thence making nearly a right angle across the northwest slope of the mountain to a point near Smith's trail. The enemy, as Walthall mentions in his report, had threatened to force a passage of the creek on his right, but their real movement was upon his left. A large force had moved up the creek under cover of the fog, crossed above, and, passing along the western slope, attacked him successfully in flank and rear. Their advance on the flank and from the front was gallantly contested; but though their front line sometimes wavered, they pressed on, Walthall falling back to the line which I have before mentioned, but with very heavy loss in prisoners, owing to the enemy taking him in flank and rear.

Finding that the fog was becoming so dense that the troops on the northern point of the mountain could not see the enemy moving upon Walthall, I gave orders for Pettus with my only disposable force to move down and report to Brigadier-General Jackson. He started at 12.30 o'clock and reached the scene of action a little past 1 o'clock, relieving Walthall on the left of Moore's line. This position was held by Moore, Walthall, and Pettus until about 8 p.m., when Walthall's and part of Pettus' command were relieved by Clayton's brigade, commanded by Colonel Holtzclaw, which was sent to cover the movement to the right. Moore and Holtzclaw retired from the position about 2 a. m. on the 25th. Brown, finding that the enemy could not be seen for the fog, deployed his sharpshooters down the sides of the mountain, who were guided in firing by the reports of the enemy's musketry. At the same time the men stationed along the crest rolled down rocks in the direction of the Craven house. This with the shells from the Napoleon guns doubtless contributed not a little to checking the advance of the enemy, for soon thereafter his firing materially abated. Early in the day the appended communication (C) was received from General Bragg. A perusal of it will show how highly important he on that day considered my making such dispositions as would effectually prevent a severance of the troops which I commanded from the main body of the army. About the time the attack was made on Walthall the enemy massed a considerable force upon the Chattanooga road in front of Cumming's line, evidently for the purpose of co-operating with and making a diversion in favor of their assaulting column. The number of his troops massed for this purpose, who had been in plain sight until the view was obscured by the mist; the serious weakness of Cumming's force (there not being a man for yards upon some parts of the line) and the certainty that to re-enforce the command near the Craven house from Cumming's was to give the enemy an opportunity to cut us off from the main body without even a show of resistance, rendered it highly improper to withdraw a man from [721] him. I have already stated that he had but two brigades to hold the line from the Ohattanooga Creek to the Chattanooga road, at the base of the mountain. The force early that morning at the Craven house slope had consisted of two brigades -- Moore's and Walthall's -- and was now re-enforced by the larger part of a third (Pettus'), while on the mountain top there were but one small brigade and two regiments of another, the larger portion being between the point and the works, the other picketing and holding a line of about 10 miles.

Of my six brigades it will be perceived from the foregoing account that four were engaged, while the remaining two were threatened by a force which, had it advanced, could soon have driven them from their position and irremediably cut us off from the army east of the creek -- a position which I had been instructed to hold even at the expense of the mountain. I had been directed by General Bragg, if I needed re-enforcements, to call for them (see letter C), and as soon as I saw that the enemy were attacking and would carry the point, I availed myself of the order and called both upon Generals Breckinridge and Bragg for them by a staff officer. I instructed him to say to them that if they would send me re-enforcements I would, when the fog rose, attack the enemy in flank by sharpshooters on the mountain, crest, and, descending Smith's trail, take him in the rear, and, I doubted not, drive him from the slope. This statement I repeated by three other staff officers, sent at intervals of half an hour. After waiting for some time for an answer, I received a verbal order from General Bragg to the effect that no re-enforcements could be sent me; that I must withdraw as best I could under cover of the fog, and that a brigade would be sent to the base of the mountain to cover the withdrawal. Subsequently I received the following note:

2.30 p. m. The general commanding instructs me to say that you will withdraw your command from the mountain to this side of Chattanooga Creek, destroying the bridges behind. Fight the enemy as you retire. The thickness of the fog will enable you to retire, it is hoped, without much difficulty.

About five hours after the date of this order I received a note from Major-General Breckinridge, then my corps commander, informing me that he had arrived at the base of the mountain with a brigade (Clayton's) to be used in the retirement, and generously offering to confer with me, and render me any assistance in his power in the withdrawal of the troops. This brigade, as has been heretofore stated, relieved Walthall's and part of Pettus' command about 8 p.m., and was the only force sent to me that day. I was engaged in issuing the necessary orders for the retirement of the troops when Major-General Cheatham arrived. He informed me that he had come to consult with me, but not to assume command. I sent the troops from the top of the mountain down, and then proceeded myself to a point near its base, where General Cheatham and myself had appointed to meet. Here, as senior officer, he assumed command, and I then gave no further directions with regard to the retirement of the troops, except such as I received from him for those of my own division. Here we met, also, Major-General Breckinridge, who, when Major-General Cheatham took command, returned to his corps. Brown was directed at once to cross Chattanooga Creek (about 11 p.m.), Cumming at 1 o'clock, and Cheatham's division [722] -- with which was then serving Pettus' brigade, of my own division -- afterward, all with directions to await further orders on the eastern side. General Cheatham then left me, as I understood, to get further orders from General Bragg. Except about one hour -- from about 10.30 to 11.30 a. m.-- the mountain was enveloped in fog during the day.

About 12 m. two staff officers of General Bragg rode up to where I was (General Cumming's quarters), and stating that they could not find General Cheatham, handed me orders to him from General Bragg to send all the troops that had been west of Chattanooga Creek to the extreme right. This order was immediately given, and was executed as quickly as possible. The conduct of the troops was all that could have been desired, and they accomplished all that could have been expected of them. The withdrawal of Walker's division on the night of the 23d, in my opinion, rendered the position on the left, opposed by so large a force, untenable, and it was beyond the power of the troops there to do more than secure the communication with the top of the mountain and with the main body of the army until General Bragg could decide whether he would re-enforce them sufficiently to hold the line or abandon it. His decision I have already given. The mountain was held until 2 o'clock the next morning, and the troops, artillery, and trains were withdrawn in order to the eastern side of the creek. As Brigadier-General Jackson is mentioned in the reports of subordinate commanders as having been absent from his headquarters with me, it is due to him to state that, haying checked the enemy in rear of the Craven house, and finding that they had massed a considerable force on the Chattanooga road, apparently with the intention of advancing from that direction, it being important that he should have definite orders in case they should make a successful attack upon the troops on that part of the line -- and thus cut us off from the main body of the army -- to provide against any accident in transmission of such orders, he came to me to receive them in person. I approved of his course, under the circumstances. As his conduct at the battle of Missionary Ridge, when not under my command, has been alluded to in one of the accompanying reports, I append, at his request, to be read with said report, a communication (D) addressed him on the subject by his commanding officer, Major- General Cheatham. I take pleasure in expressing my indebtedness to Maj. W. D. Pickett, of Lieutenant-General Hardee's staff, and my renewed obligations to Maj's John J. Reeve, George L. Gillespie, J. H. F. Mayo, H. M. Mathews, H. Webb, J. E. McElrath, and Chief Surg. H. M. Compton, of my staff. For the particular service rendered by the several regiments I respectfully ask attention to the reports of brigade commanders. I transmit herewith maps * of the line west of Chattanooga Creek. Delay in the reports of subordinate commanders and my illness have prevented me from forwarding this report sooner. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. L. STEVENSON,
Major-General

Col. GEORGE WILLIAM BRENT, Assistant Adjutant-General. * To appear in Atlas.

vol. 31, pt 2, 717-722


No. 238.

Report of Brig. Gen. John C. Brown, C. S. Army, commanding brigade and Stevenson's division.

HEADQUARTERS BROWN's BRIGADE, November 30, 1863.

MAJOR: I beg to submit a report of the part performed by my command in the battle of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge on November 24 and 25. On Monday night, November 23, Major-General Stevenson directed me to take command of his division, then occupying the summit of Lookout Mountain and defending the approaches at the point and on the west slope of the mountain as far as Nickajack trail, a distance of 10 miles. At 12 o'clock that night I was ordered by the major-general to send Gumming's brigade to the base of Lookout Mountain to report to Brigadier-General Jackson, and Garrity's battery of Parrott guns to report to Brigadier-General Anderson on the right of the line, on Missionary Ridge. Early Tuesday morning, the 24th, the pickets at passes of the mountain were re-enforced, and at 12 in., in obedience to an order from the major-general commanding, I sent Pettus' brigade, except the Twenty-third and Thirtieth Alabama Regiments, to report to Brigadier-General Jackson, half way down the mountain, leaving me only my own brigade, the Twenty-third and Thirtieth Alabama Regiments, and Corput's battery of Napoleons. The Eighteenth and Twenty-sixth Regiments-(consolidated), under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Butler, were disposed at Powell's and Nickajack trails and the contiguous passes. Powell's trail is 7 miles and Nick-[726]ajack 10 miles from the north point of Lookout. The pass at the point and those nearest to it for 2 miles on the west side were held by detachments from the Twenty-third and Thirtieth Alabama Regiments, while reserves from the same regiments, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Hundley, officer of the day, were held near the line of defenses south of Summertown to re-enforce these pickets. One section of the battery under charge of was in position near the point, while the other section was held disposable between the point and the line of defenses on the south.

About 12.30 p. in.. I moved the Thirty-second Tennessee, the largest regiment of my brigade, to re-enforce the point and to support the battery.

At 1 p. m. the two Napoleon guns on the point opened fire upon the enemy, then passing near the Craven house, and continued it incessantly for two hours. At the same time I deployed sharpshooters from the Thirty-second Tennessee and the Thirtieth Alabama down the sides of the mountain, and directed a fire upon the enemy's flank. I ordered rocks rolled down the mountain also. The fog was so dense that we could not see the enemy, although we could hear his march, and guided by this and the report of his musketry ours was directed. His advance was quickly checked and his fire materially abated, and doubtless the effect of the shells from the two Napoleon guns and the fire of our sharpshooters contributed largely to this end.

Late in the afternoon (the hour not recollected) I reported to the major-general commanding, in answer to a summons from him, and was informed that he had been directed by General Bragg to withdraw from the mountain.

I gave orders to all the troops to be ready to move at 7p.m. Nearly all of our wagons had been ordered the night previous to Chickamauga Station for supplies, and had not returned. The consequence was that our camp equipage and a part of our baggage was abandoned.

At 7 p. m. the troops, artillery, and ordnance trains were quietly withdrawn to the valley by the Chattanooga road, and crossed Chattanooga Creek by 10 o'clock. The Eighteenth and Twenty-sixth Tennessee Regiments were withdrawn by the McCullough road, and crossed the valley and Missionary Ridge by way of Rossville, and did not form a junction with the command until late in the afternoon the next day. I halted my brigade on the east side of Chattanooga Creek, fronting on that stream, my right resting on the left of Breckinridge's line.

At 4 a. in. the 25th, I received orders from Major Clare, of General Bragg's staff, to move to the extreme right of the line, which I did at once, reaching the position of Major-General Cleburne immediately after sunrise. Under the directions of Major-General Stevenson I formed with my left resting over the tunnel through which the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad passes Missionary Ridge. My line was soon afterward changed by Lieutenant-General Hardee so as to be in position to support Cleburne's left or hold the railroad, as occasion might demand. My skirmishers covered the ground from Cleburne's left to the railroad, moving as far forward as Glass' Station.

An hour or two later, by direction of Major-General Stevenson, I moved up so as to occupy the interval between the left of Cleburne's [727] line of defenses and the railroad, prolonging Cleburne's line to the railroad, my left considerably advanced. I occupied this position until near sunset. My skirmishers were all the while engaged, and so hotly for a time that I re-enforced the line until nearly half of my command was deployed as skirmishers. They checked the enemy and prevented his advance, killed and wounded many, and captured 50 prisoners. I did not advance from my position, because my orders left me no discretion. Indeed, there was probably no time when it would have been advisable.

About 3 p. m. Major-General Cleburne suggested to me that I might change my front forward on my right battalion and attack the column of the enemy in flank which was moving immediately on his front. I told him I had just returned from my line of skirmishers, who were hotly engaged, and if I changed the direction of my line I would be exposed to a terrible fire on my flank from the enemy, who was lying under the hill not more than 300 yards in my front. He readily perceived that the movement would be hazardous, and directed me not to make it, but to retain my position.

About one hour before sunset I was ordered to move rapidly toward the center and report to Major-General Cheatham with my command. By this officer's direction I formed on the left of the remnant of Walthall's brigade, which had its right resting on the line of defenses, the enemy having previously penetrated the center of our line on Missionary Ridge. There was an irregular line in our front skirmishing with the enemy, but it soon retired in broken fragments, and we then advanced. I had orders to conform the movements of my part of the line to that of the command on my right. Before advancing 100 yards the troops on my right gave way in great disorder, and while that portion of the line was being reformed orders arrived for me to move by the left flank across the Chickamauga by way of the railroad bridge. Major-General Cheatham conducted the movement, and in less than three hours we had effected the crossing and were in bivouac near the Shallow Ford road.

My entire command without an exception behaved well.

Captain Tucker, Thirty-second Tennessee Regiment, had charge of the line of skirmishers on the 25th, and deserves the highest praise for his skill and coolness.

I am under renewed obligations to Capt. H. J. Cheney, assistant adjutant-general; J. T. Brown, first lieutenant and aide-de-camp; Capt. J. B. Moore, assistant inspector-general of my staff, and M. A. Carter and George B. McCallum, acting staff officers, for the prompt and efficient discharge of their respective duties.

Attention is invited to the reports of regimental commanders, herewith filed, marked, respectively, A, B, C, D, and E. *

I have the honor to be, major, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. C. BROWN,
Brigadier-General.

* Butler's, McGuire's, and Searcy's the only sub-reports found.

vol. 31, pt 2, 725 - 27.


No. 239.

Report of Capt. Max Van Den Corput,
Cherokee (Georgia) Artillery.

HDQRs. CHEROKEE ARTILLERY,
STEVENSON’S DIVISION,
December 29, 1863.

MAJOR: In obedience to orders from Major-General Stevenson’s [headquarters], I send you a report of the part taken by my battery on November 24 last while on the summit of Lookout Mountain:

On the night of November 23 and 24 last, I was ordered by General Brown, in command of General Stevenson’s division, to place two Napoleon guns on the point of the mountain and relieve Garrity’s battery, which I did, and at 1 a.m. that night I had my section in position on the right of the mountain, facing the Craven house. At daybreak and until 10 o’clock the fog was so heavy that it was impossible to distinguish anything in the valley below. About 10 a.m. the fog on the side of Lookout Creek had disappeared enough to show us the Federals moving in three different bodies from the foot of Raccoon Mountain toward Lookout Creek. The pickets had been firing from about sunrise toward the creek. We could hear very distinctly cutting of timber in the valley, but presuming that the pickets would give notice of any work going on on the side of the Federals, I took no notice of it. The longest fuse that I had with my guns was 7”, which time would carry my shells only 1 mile. The position of the Federals being far over that distance, I did not open fire on them then. After their first charge on our infantry—who instantly gave way, the enemy pursuing them— I opened fire on the Federals, having brought my section in position on the left of the mountain. I fired 33 shells, doing in many instances good execution. The Federals were, however, soon under cover of the rocks, being unable to depress my guns enough. The fog during all that time was very dense on the right and in front of the point. When the enemy made their charge I discovered two places over the creek where they had made bridges by cutting timber, which answered for the cutting that I heard in the morning. Unable to do anything more, I waited for further orders. At about 12.30 p. m. I received orders to bring my pieces back toward headquarters. At 1 p.m., being close by headquarters, the order was countermanded and I went back to the point. I took position on the right, the fog being still very heavy, and waited for orders. At about 2 p.m. General Brown gave me orders to fire toward the Craven house if I could ascertain the direction, the enemy being reported in force in that direction. I obtained from the signal corps the position of the house, and fired about thirty times at intervals in that direction and toward the right. In the opinion of General Brown, then present, and according to my own judgment, I believe I did some good firing. At 3.45 p.m. I received orders from headquarters to retire with my section from the point, which order was obeyed, and in passing at headquarters I reported to the general, who gave me orders to proceed with my battery to the foot of the mountain and from there to the rear. In coming down the Lookout the enemy shelled my [729] battery severely, but, every carriage being kept at a long distance, they did no damage.

Very respectfully,
your obedient servant,
M. VAN DEN CORPUT,
Captain. Maj. J. J. REEVE,
Assistant Adjutant- General,
Stevenson’s Division.

vol. 31, pt 2, 728 - 29.


No. 240. Report of Lieut. Got. William R. Butler, Eighteenth Tennessee Infantry, commanding Eighteenth and Twenty-sixth Tennessee Infantry.

HDQRS. EIGHTEENTH AND TWENTY-SIXTH TENN.,
Dalton, Ga., December 31, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor respectfully to submit the following report of the operations of the Eighteenth and Twenty-sixth Tennessee Volunteers in the late engagement at Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain:

The regiment was on outpost duty guarding the western crest of Lookout Mountain from Wauhatchie to Nickajack Pass, a distance of 8 miles, at the commencement of the battle.

At 12 p.m., November 24, I received a dispatch from Brigadier-General Brown to the effect, that our entire force had been withdrawn from Lookout Mountain and had retired to the east of Chattanooga Creek. Also ordered the concentration and withdrawal of my command by the McCullough road in the direction of Rossville, wagons to go out at Cooper's Gap and report to the railroad.

At 12 o'clock the command moved from Powell's Pass (at which point the companies were assembled) on the McCullough road, and rested an hour before daylight 2 miles south of Rossville.

We resumed the march at 8 o'clock on the morning of November 25, and reached the extreme right of the army on Missionary Ridge, and immediately in rear of Brown's brigade, at 3.30 p. m. the same day. I then dispatched General Brown the whereabouts of my command, subjecting it to his orders, in reply to which I was ordered to retain my position until further orders. Immediately after the reception of General Brown's order, General Cleburne came up and ordered me to move the command to the crest of the hill and in supporting distance of troops then engaged, exposing the command to the enemy's fire, and at which point Maj. W. H. Joyner was slightly wounded.

The command remained in this position until a few minutes after sunset, when 1 received an order from General Brown to move to the left and rejoin the brigade. Having moved some 350 yards, I received the intelligence that a point on the ridge still to our left had been carried by the enemy, and was ordered by an aide from General Brown to move directly to the rear and in the direction the brigade had taken.

Respectfully submitted.

W.R. BUTLER,
Lieutenant-Colonel, commanding,
18th and 26th Tennessee Vols.

vol 31, pt 2, p. 729


No. 241. Report of Maj. John P. McGuire, Thirty-second Tennessee Infantry.

HDQRS. THIRTY-SECOND TENNESSEE REGIMENT, December 29, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor respectfully to submit the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the recent action of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge: On the morning of the 24th ultimo, this regiment, together with two other regiments of the brigade (the Third and Forty-fifth Tennessee Regiments), were ordered under arms and marched from their encampments on Lookout Mountain to a point near Summertown at which the road reaches the summit of the mountain. Here the brigade was halted, and this regiment detached and ordered to report to Brigadier-General Brown, commanding Stevenson's division, at Lookout Point. Reaching this point, Company A, Lieutenant Pigg, was deployed as skirmishers, and the remainder of the regiment held in line of battle until about 2 p. in., when the skirmishers were ordered in without having been engaged with the enemy, and the regiment ordered to rejoin the brigade at the point where it was halted in the forenoon. Here it remained until about 10 p. in., when orders were received to march off the mountain by the road leading in the direction of Chattanooga. We reached the valley and bivouacked about 1 a. m. the 25th. The command was allowed to rest for a few hours, when, about dawn, the line of march was resumed for the right of the line on the ridge. We reached our position at the tunnel about 9 a. m. Brisk skirmishing was tben going on on our right. This regiment was soon in position. Company A, Lieutenant Pigg, and Company I, Captain Sumners, were advanced as skirmishers, and soon became engaged with a heavy line of the enemy's skirmishers posted near the base of the ridge. Heavy skirmishing continued with those two companies until about 11 o'clock, when the enemy were discovered to be advancing a second and very heavy line of skirmishers. Orders were received to re-enforce our skirmishers, which was accordingly done with Company G, Captain Hall, and Company H, Lieutenant Fogg; hence these two lines were checked and repulsed. Soon afterwards brigade of the enemy advanced against our position, which, with some assistance, was likewise repulsed after a sharp engagement. At about 2 p. m. our line being contracted, Companies A and I were ordered in, and Companies G and H relieved by Company B, Lieut. Aaron Smith, and Company F, Captain Young. These two companies, after being hotly engaged for about two hours, were ordered to rejoin their regiment and brigade, when the whole was moved back and formed on the summit of the ridge. Orders were soon received, and the command moved by the left flank toward the center, but unfortunately did not reach, its destination until it was too late to turn the tide of the victory to Southern arms. In this action this regiment lost 1 killed, * 16 wounded, and 1 missing, which constituted the losses of the battles of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. Officers and men all did their duty.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. P. McGUIRE, Major,
Commanding,

Capt. H. J. CHENEY, Assistant Adjutant-General. * Lieut. J. T. Pigg

vol 31, pt 2, 730


No. 242. Report of Col. Anderson Searcy, Forty-fifth Tennessee infantry, commanding Forty-fifth Tennessee Infantry and Newman's battalion.

HDQRS. 45TH TENN. REGT. AND NEWMAN'S BATTALION,

December 29, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to report the action of my regiment in the late battles of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, November 24 and 25.

Both officers and men acted well. My regiment was not engaged at all on Lookout Mountain nor on Missionary Ridge, except a few thrown out as skirmishers. Although we were on the front line the whole day and under very heavy fire, our line remained firm. We held our position with skirmishers alone.

Toward night we were ordered to move to the extreme left, which we did; but to our great surprise we found that the men at that point had been driven from the ridge in great disorder. We were immediately formed in line. Skirmishers were thrown forward to check the enemy. We remained in this position until everything had been moved out. When the retreat was ordered we moved off in perfect order.

Accompanied you will find a list of our killed, wounded, and missing.*

Respectfully submitted.

A. SEARCY,
Colonel, Commanding.

vol 31, pt 2, p. 731


The below report from Brig. Gen. Hugh Ewing is included to show a contrast to the actions in Lookout Valley. Despite the spartan numbers of Confederates present in the valley - a regiment under Lt. Col. Butler plus a detachment of cavalry - the forces were perceived to be the size of two brigades of infantry:

No. 204.

Report of Brig. Gen. Hugh Ewing,
U. S. Army, commanding Fourth Division,
including operations since September 28.

HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS, In the Field, November 28, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the late operations of my division: After the enemy were driven from the capital of Mississippi, we encamped on Black River, in rear of Vicksburg, and occupied some weeks in restoring discipline and drill. September 28, we marched to Vicksburg. October 5, arrived by steamer at Memphis. Marched on the 11th, passed Corinth on the 17th, and halting at Inka on the 19th, laid out and partly built a fort. On the 27th, at the head of the corps, we crossed the Tennessee at Eastport, and occupied and intrenched Florence, Ala On the 3d of November, we were deflected north by Elk River; crossed it on the 8th, at Fayetteville, near its source. Marched thence through Winchester, and south over the mountains by Stevenson, reaching Bridgeport on the 15th. On the 16th, the division was ordered by General Sherman to drive the enemy from Trenton and threaten Bragg's left flank by demonstrating in the valley of Lookout. On the 17th, we crossed the Tennessee and moved, by Shelimound and Gordon's Mines, over the Raccoon Mountain by a trail to the' summit overlooking town, and camped, concealing our fires. On the 18th, Cockerill's brigade, followed by that of Corse, descended and drove out the enemy. Loomis' brigade halted on the summit, and detached to Wimm's Gap, down which the main road enters the valley, building extensive camp fires along the mountain at night. Two brigades of Stevenson's division, under General Brown, came down Lookout by the Nickajack trace, and threatened us, but marched back at dusk. On the 19th, Cockerill made a reconnaissance in force down the valley, drove all outlying partes up Nickajack trace, and returned after night. Corse moved up the valley 15 miles, drove the Ninth Virginia through Johnson's Crook, up and over Lookout Mountain, leaving a strong detachment on the summit and camping his main [631] force in the valley. Loomis moved down Raccoon by Wimm’s Gap, and headed up the valley, leaving Colonel O’Meara, Ninetieth Illinois, to hold the gaps. At night extensive fires were built at the two gaps on Raccoon, on Lookout, in the crook, in the old camp of Corse, and the camps of Loomis and Cockerill. All roads and traces, not blockaded, leading down Lookout Mountain for 23 miles were watched, and the various detachments held well in hand for concentration.

On the 20th, the Fourth Tennessee Cavalry ascended from McLemore’s Cove to drive us from the mountain. General Corse charged them with 40 mounted infantry, led by Captain Nunn, supported by infantry, routed and drove them beyond their camps in the cove, inflicting a heavy loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners, and capturing arms, horses, and equipage. Loomis moved toward Corse, and Cockerill placed a detachment at the Nickajack trace.

On the 21st, in compliance with orders, the detachments were called in, the division concentrated, at Trenton and marched down the valley, the leading brigade camping within the lines of Hooker, and the rear below Nickajack. On the 22d, we recrossed the Tennessee at the base of Lookout, and rejoined the corps. While in the valley we destroyed the ironworks, breaking to pieces the engines and machinery and leveling the stacks to the ground.

vol 31, pt 2, p. 630-31.


Correspondence and Orders

November 12, 1863. SPECIAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE

November 14, 1863. GENERAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS HARDEE'S CORPS

November 19, 1863. Two dispatches from Lt.Col. Butler to Gen. Brown

November 21, 1863. Gen. Hardee to Gen. Stevenson

November 22, 1863. Gen. Hardee to Gen Stevenson

November 22, 1863----2.16 p.m. Gen Brown to Stevenson

November 23, 1863. Circular from Gen. Hardee

November 23, 1863----4.20 p. m. Gen. Hardee to Gen. Stevenson

November 24, 1863----a.m.: Orders to STEVENSON

November 27, 1863. General Order from Gen. Stevenson

 


SPECIAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE, No. 294.

Missionary Ridge, November 12, 1863.

[ ]

III. The following transfers are announced and will take effect immediately: [ ] 4. Pettus' brigade is re-assigned to Stevenson's division. 5. Brown's brigade from Stewart's to Stevenson's division. 6. Georgia brigade, late Gardner's, from Stevenson's .to Stewart's division;

Vol 31, pt 3, 685


GENERAL ORDERS, No. 4.
HEADQUARTERS HARDEE'S CORPS,

Near Kirkpatrick's,
November 14, 1863.

Pursuant to instructions from headquarters of the army, Lieutenant-General Hardee assumes command of all the troops west of Chattanooga Creek. Major-General Stevenson is assigned to the command of the troops and defenses on the top of Lookout Mountain. The ranking officer of Cheatham's division will assume command of the troops and defenses at and near the Craven house. The ranking officer of Walker's division will have charge of the line from the base of Lookout Mountain east to Chattanooga Creek, and all the troops not at the points above named. Official papers will continue to be forwarded according to organization.

By command of Lieutenant-General Hardee:

Vol. 31, pt 3, 695


HEADQUARTERS,
Powell’s Gap,
November 19, 1863.

General JOHN C. BROWN:

GENERAL: Two regiments of the enemy with two pieces of artillery at the foot of Nickajack Pass. I have 75 men now there, and have just sent 50 more to re-enforce. Major McConnell thinks they will make an assault by or before daylight. I have doubled all my pickets and ordered the commanders to have their detachments formed under arms two hours before day. I am, general, yours to command,

W. R. BUTLER,
Lieutenant- Colonel,
Commanding Outpost.

vol. 31, pt 3, 718


HEADQUARTERS,
Powell's Gap,
November 19, 1863----4 p.m.

[General JOHN C. BROWN:]

GENERAL: I proceeded with a squad of 30 men across Lookout Valley this morning, under a heavy fog and smoke, and reached the Trenton road and Will's Valley railroad 1 miles above the Yankee pickets. I picketed the dirt road two hours and a half or three hours. A battalion of cavalry passed in the direction of Trenton about 10 o'clock. Captured a Yankee officer's horse, servant, and rigging. If you'll allow me to take a regiment, I think we can ambush and capture a foraging party any day (at a risk, however). All quiet. Yours to command,

W. R. BUTLER,
Lieutenant-Colonel,
Commanding Outpost.

vol. 31, pt 3, 718


HDQRS. HARDEE'S CORPS,
ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
Chattanooga Valley,
November 21, 1863.

Major-General STEVENSON,
Commanding Lookout Mountain:

GENERAL: General Hardee directs me to forward to you the following extract from a communication just received by him from General Bragg:

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
Missionary Ridge,
November 21, 1863.

GENERAL:

The general deems it best that you should have all the avenues of approach to Lookout Mountain as far down as the crook protected by rifle-pits and other defenses against the approaches of the enemy.

GEORGE WM. BRENT,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

vol. 31, pt. 2, 668


HDQRS. HARDEE'S CORPS,
ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
Chattanooga Valley,
November 22, 1863.

Major-General STEVENSON,
Commanding on Lookout Mountain:

GENERAL:

General Hardee directs me to say that you will have a reconnaissance made toward Trenton and Lookout Valley, to ascertain whether there is any enemy at Trenton, or in that direction. The reconnaissance will be made as far down the valley as possible without endangering the command. He also desires me to inform you that he has ordered a reconnaissance from Johnson's Crook in that direction. Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

P. II. POOLE, Assistant Adjutant- General.

vol. 31, pt 2, 670


NOVEMBER 22, 1863.
Major REEVE,
Assistant Adjutant-General:

MAJOR: I have been unable to ascertain certainly whether there is any enemy at Trenton. I believe there is none. I have 2 scouts out now for that purpose. They will report to Colonel Butler on their return to Powell’s Pass. Two other scouts were sent in that direction last night, who have not returned. I directed Colonel Butler to use the scouts on their return until further orders. Respectfully, major, your obedient servant,

J. C. BROWN,
Brigadier-General.

vol. 31, pt 2, 672


HEADQUARTERS,
Powell's Pass,
November 22, 1863----2:16 p. m.

Maj. J. J. REEVE,
Assistant Adjutant-General:

MAJOR: Colonel Butler has returned and reports no enemy on the mountain. Lieutenant-Colonel Anderson occupies Johnson's Crook and had sent a scout toward Trenton. I have ordered Major McConnell [of the 26th Tenn] to take up his old position at Trenton and withdraw his picket from the Johnson Crook road. Not hearing again from you, I have ordered Captain Kuhn to move to position occupied by McConnell's picket on this road (10 miles distant), report to you from time to time, and to establish two courier stations for that purpose. He has neither rations nor forage. My brigade is in motion to its old camp, leaving Butler on picket, as before. I have ordered Colonel Butler to construct defenses at each pass of logs, &c. I am, major, yours, &c.,

J. C.. BROWN,
Brigadier- General.

vol. 31, pt 2, 672


CIRCULAR.
HDQRS. HARDEE'S CORPS,
ARMY OF TENN.,
Chattanooga Valley,
November 23, 1863.

Division commanders will have their commands provided with three days' cooked rations.

By command of Lieutenant-General Hardee:

vol. 31, pt 2, 673


HDQRS. HARDEE'S CORPS,
ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
Chattanooga Valley,
November 23, 1863----4.20 p. m.

Major-General STEVENSON,
Commanding on Lookout Mountain:

GENERAL: General Hardee directs that you hold your command in readiness to move at a moment's notice. Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

D. H. POOLE, Assistant Adjutant-General.

vol. 31, pt 2, 673


HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
Missionary Ridge,
November 24, 1863----a.m.

Major-General STEVENSON,
commanding Division:

GENERAL: The general commanding directs me to say that you are charged with the defenses on the left of Chattanooga Creek. If the enemy attempt to cross the creek you must defend obstinately, calling on the forces to your left, and also on Breckinridge, on your right, for assistance. Should you be compelled to yield, the force on the mountain and at Craven house must be withdrawn in time to save them from being cut off. In a last resort the Craven house command could pass on the old road leading up the mountain and form a junction with the force coming down; or in case of extreme necessity they could move south on the mountain. But this only an extreme case. Report fully and frequently by letter and signal all movements in our front. I am, general, very respectfully,

KINLOCH FALCONER, Assistant Adjutant-General

vol. 31, pt 2, p. 723


GENERAL ORDERS,
HEADQUARTERS STEVENSON'S DIVISION,
No. ----.

in the Field, November 27, 1863.

The major-general commanding desires to return his sincere thanks to the brave officers and men of his command for the gallantry which they have exhibited during the recent operations of the army. It was Pettus' brigade, of his division, which first checked an enemy flushed with victory on Lookout Mountain, and held him at bay until ordered to retire. On the next day, on the right of Missionary Ridge, the whole division (Brown's, Cumming's, and Pettus' brigades, and the artillery) fought with a courage which merited and won success. Cumming's brigade three times charged the enemy, routing him and taking several colors. Whatever may have been the issue as regards other commands, the officers and men of this division can look back to the battle of Missionary Ridge, can recall their repulse of every assault of the enemy, and their success in holding their position, with the pride of soldiers whose strong arms and stout hearts have entitled them to the gratitude and admiration of their country.

By command of Major-General Stevenson:

JOHN J. REEVE,. Assistant Adjutant-General.

vol. 31, pt 2, p. 725


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