War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0682 KY.,SW.VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA. Chapter XLII.

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right to the left the distance was about 200 yards. These batteries command all the ground in the vicinity of the right fork, or the road upon which I was at the time. Their pieces were light 6 and 12 pounders. They had our range quite accurately, dropping their shells (many of which did not explode) quite near us, but, taking advantage of the ground, my casualties were very light.

I found the map furnished me very incorrect. I herewith inclose a more correct one* based upon my own observation and the best information I could gather from the citizens, &c.

The strength of the enemy must only be inferred from circumstances. They presented a strong line of skirmishers in the vicinity of the crossing of Lookout Creek, and when so hotly engaged by our own as to be unable to resist us longer, they were ordered to "fall back on their regiment or regiments," supposed to be not far from the right of the creek at the ford. But as the battery opened upon us shortly after this, and as I was ordered not to go beyond Lookout Creek, the regiments did not become engaged. From Mr. Parker (who has the reputation of being a Union man) I learned that one brigade (Strahl's) was encamped about 1 mile to the east of his house as late as the 5th instant. Mr. [Parker] has a pass dated "Headquarters Strahl's brigade, on outpost duty, September 3, 1863."

Mr. [Parker] states that he was in Chattanooga on the 3rd; that the mountain is strongly fortified to guard the approaches from this direction; that he saw but few troops in the town and no artillery there, but from the indication of the woods in the surrounding country, and from what he could learn, he believed the enemy were there in strong force. A prisoner whom we captured stated that Bragg was being re-enforced from Johnston's command, and also from South Carolina. The battery which opened upon me commands all the ground in the vicinity of the road upon which I was approaching. A column cannot approach from this direction without being subjected to great slaughter,a nd should it succeed in approaching so near as to make the guns which opened upon me ineffective form their great elevation, it is reasonable to suppose that there are lower batteries which might be brought to bear upon us. Should it be designed to approach from this direction, I would recommend another reconnaissance by the left fork of the road from Parker's house. It is possible that new facts might thus be developed in regard to the nature of the ground, the position and strength of enemy's batteries which from the late hour of the day and the nature of my instructions, safety of my command, &c., did not permit me to ascertain.

I regard his position however as a very formidable one, if he intends making a stubborn resistance.

Having pushed my reconnaissance as far as ordered and carried out my instructions to the best of my ability, I returned to camp, arriving about nightfall.

My loss was 1 man killed by the bursting of a shell.

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

C. G. HARKER,

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Captain M. P. BESTOW,

Assistant Adjutant-General, First Division.

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*Not found.

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