War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0445 Chapter XIII. THE CHICKAMAUGA CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records


November 10, 1863.

GENERAL: On August 16, in accordance with orders received from headquarters Department of the Cumberland, my command, consisting of the Seventy-second Indiana, Colonel A. O. Miller; Seventeenth Indiana, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Jordan; Ninety-second Illinois, Colonel S. D. Atkins; Ninety-eighth Illinois, Colonel J. J. Funkhouser; One hundred and twenty-third Illinois, Colonel James Monroe; and the Eight-eenth Indiana Battery, Captain Eli Lilly, constituting the First Brigade of Mounted Infantry, commenced the ascent of the Cumberland Mountains on the road from Decherd to Tracy City. We camped that night at the Southern University, and early next morning started for Tracy City, arriving there at night, over roads very muddy and much cut up by the retreat of the rebels. The next morning we moved on toward Therman, in Sequatchie Valley, making about 20 miles, being delayed to repair the roads so that our artillery and trains could pass. Next day we descended into Sequatchie Valley at Therman, surprising and capturing a party of 14 rebels and releasing 5 Union prisoners they were about to hang, and proceeded to Dunlap, arriving there about an hour sooner than General Palmer's division, of General Crittenden's corps. The next morning we started over Walden's Ridge. Being delayed by General Hazen's brigade in going up the mountain we did not reach the summit until 1 p. m., when, taking the lead, crossed the mountain, going down it a Poe's Tavern, surprising and capturing Captain Carson and a party of rebels, 11 in number, releasing 3 Union men whom they held as prisoners.

The next morning before daylight I put the command in motion, sending Colonel Funkhouser with the Ninety-eighth Illinois and Ninety-second Illinois and a section of Lilly's battery to demonstrate upon Harrison, 6 miles distant, and with the remainder of the command proceeded rapidly toward Chattanooga, 15 miles distant, sending a scouting party of two companies of the Seventeenth Indiana, under Captain Vail (Company H, Seventeenth Indiana), to examine the river between the mouth of North Chickamauga and Chattanooga. We approached Chattanooga so unexpectedly as to capture the animals and some of the men of a battery, and part of the picket stationed on the north side of the river, and wounding a number of the relief pickets who were crossing in a boat to the north side of the river before they could get beyond our fire. The troops and people in the town seemed to be in great consternation, running in all directions. Presently some guns in a battery on the west side of town opened upon us, and Captain Lilly replied to them, in a short time silencing their fire, when they opened upon us from a rifled 32-pounder, the first shot from which killed 4 horses and mortally wounded Corporal McCorkle, of the Eighteenth Indiana Battery. It, however, fired but four shots before Captain Lilly silenced it also, one of his shells exploding in the embrasure from which the gun was being fired, killing a captain and 3 men. He succeeded also in sinking the steamer Paint Rock, and disabling another lying at the landing, and sinking a number of their pontoons, which were laid in the stream preparatory to being swung across the river. We then commenced making feints as if trying to cross the river at different points for 40 miles above the town, and succeeded in so deceiving them as to induce them to use an entire army corps to prevent the execution of such a purpose, they working every night fortifying