War of the Rebellion: Serial 055 Page 0028 KY., SW. VA., Tennessee, MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.

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[CHAP. XLIII.

chief engineer, was to be thrown across the river at or near Brown's Ferry to seize the range of hills at the mouth of Lookout Valley, covering the Brown's Ferry road, and orders were given accordingly. It was known that the enemy held the north end of Lookout Valley. Holding these advantages he would have had little difficulty in concentrating a sufficient force to have defeated or driven Hooker back. To remedy this the seizure of the range of hills at the mouth of Lookout Valley and covering the Brown's Ferry road was deemed of the highest importance. This, by the use of pontoon bridges at Chattanooga and Brown's Ferry, would secure to us by the north bank of the river, across Moccasin Point, a shorter line by which to re-enforce our troops in Lookout Valley than the narrow and tortuous road around the foot of Lookout Mountain afforded the enemy for re-enforcing his. The force detailed for this expedition consisted of 4,000 men, under command of General Smith, chief engineer, 1,800 of which, under Brigadier General W. B. Hazen, in sixty pontoon-boats, containing 30 armed men each, floated quietly from Chattanooga past the enemy's pickets to the foot of Lookout Mountain on the night of the 27th of October, landed on the south side of the river at Brown's Ferry, surprised the enemy's pickets stationed there, and seized the hills covering the ferry, without the loss of a man killed and but 4, or 5 wounded. The remainder of the forces, together with the materials for a bridge, was moved by the north bank of the river across Moccasin Point to Brown's Ferry without attracting the attention of the enemy, and before day dawned the whole force was ferried to the south bank of the river, and the almost inaccessible rising from Lookout Valley and its outlet to the river and below the mouth of Lookout Creek were secured.

By 10 a.m. an excellent pontoon bridge was laid across the river at Brown's Ferry, thus securing to us the end of the desired road nearest the enemy's forces, and the shorter line over which to pass troops if a battle became inevitable. Positions were taken up by our troops from which they could not have been driven except by vastly superior forces, and then only with great loss to the enemy. Our artillery was placed in such position as to completely command the road leading from the enemy's main camps in Chattanooga Valley to Lookout Valley. On the 28th, Hooker emerged into Lookout Valley at Wauhatchie by the direct road from Bridgeport, by way of Whiteside's, to Chattanooga with the Eleventh Army Corps, under Major-General Howard, and Geary's division of the Twelfth Army Corps, and proceeded to take up positions for the defense of the road from Whiteside's, over which he had marched and also the road leading from Brown's Ferry to Kelley's Ferry, throwing the left of Howard's corps forward to Brown's Ferry. The division that started under command of Palmer for Whiteside's reached its destination and took up the position intended in the original plan of this movement. These movements, so successfully executed, secured to us two comparatively good lines by which to obtain supplies from the terminus of the railroad at Bridgeport, namely, the main wagon road by way of Whiteside's, Wauhatchie, and Brown's Ferry, distant but 28 miles, and the Kelley's Ferry and Brown's Ferry road, which by the use of the river from Bridgeport to Kelley's Ferry, reduced the distance for wagoning to but 8 miles.