War of the Rebellion: Serial 055 Page 0035 Chapter XLIII. THE CHATTANOOGA-RINGGOLD CAMPAIGN.

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taneously, following closely the retreating enemy, without further orders. They encountered a fearful volley of grape and canister from near thirty pieces of artillery and musketry from still well-filled rifle-pits on the summit of the ridge. Not a waver, however, was seen in all that long of brave men. Their progress was steadily onward until the summit was in their possession. In this charge the casualties were remarkably few for the fire encountered. I can account for this only on the theory that the enemy's surprise at the audacity of such a charge caused confusion and purposeless aiming of their pieces. The nearness of night, and the enemy still resisting the advance of Thomas' left, prevented a general pursuit that night, but Sheridan pushed forward to Mission Mills.

The resistance on Thomas' left being overcome, the enemy abandoned his position near the railroad tunnel in front of Sherman, and by 12 o'clock at night was in full retreat, and the whole of his strong positions on Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga Valley, and Missionary Ridge were in our possession, together with a large number of prisoners, artillery, and small-arms. Thomas was directed to get Granger, with his corps, and detachment enough from other commands, including the force available at Kingston, to make 20,000 men, in readiness to go to the relief of Knoxville, upon the termination of the battle at Chattanooga, these troops to take with them four days' rations, and a steam-boat loaded with rations to follow up the river. On the evening of the 25th November, orders were given to both Thomas and Sherman to pursue the enemy early the next morning, with all their available force, except that under Granger intended for the relief of Knoxville. On the morning of the 26th, Sherman advanced by way of Chickamauga Station, and Thomas' forces, under Hooker and Palmer, moved on the Rossville road toward Graysville and Ringgold. The advance of Thomas' forces reached Ringgold on the morning of the 27th, where they found the enemy in strong position in the gorge and on the crest of Taylor's Ridge, from which they dislodged him, after a severe fight, in which we lost heavily in valuable officers and men, and continued the pursuit that day until near Tunnel Hill, a distance of 20 miles from Chattanooga. Davis' division (Fourteenth Corps), of Sherman's column, reached Ringgold about noon of the same day. Howard's corps was sent by Sherman to Red Clay to destroy the railroad between Dalton and Cleveland, and thus cut off Bragg's communication with Longstreet, which was successfully accomplished. Had it not been for the imperative necessity of relieving Burnside, I would have pursued the broken and demoralized retreating enemy as long as supplies could have been found in the country. But my advices were that Burnside's supplies would only last until about the 3rd of December. It was already getting late to afford the necessary relief. I determined, therefore, to pursue no farther. Hooker was directed to hold the position he then occupied until the night of the 30th, but to go no farther south at the expense of a fight. Sherman was directed to march to the railroad crossing of the Hiwassee, to protect Granger's flank until he was across that stream, and to prevent further re-enforcements being sent by that route into East Tennessee. Returning from the front on the 28th, I found that Granger had not yet got off, nor would he have the number of men, I had directed. Besides, he moved with reluctance and complaints. I therefore determined, notwithstanding the fact that two divisions of Sherman's forces had marched from