the march from Bridgeport, Ala., by the heavy rains and the bad roads, could not get up in time for it. On the night of November 22. acting under orders similar to those above mentioned, I bridged Citico Creek and placed my command in readiness to cross it, but did nothing further, as I received a note, after dark, from department headquarters informing me that as an accident had happened to the bridge at Brown's Ferry Major-General Sherman would be there detained, and that consequently immediate action was to be suspended.
The disposition of the troops of this corps on the morning of November 23 was as follows: The Second Division, under command of Major-General Sheridan, and the Third Division, under Brig. General Thomas J. Wood, were camped within our advanced line of rifle-pits in front of Chattanooga, the right of Major-General Sheridan's division resting on the Rossville road, and the left joining General Wood's right, while the left of General Wood's division rested on the right bank of the Tennessee River northeast of the town. The First Brigade of the First Division was at Bridgeport, Ala., and the Second and Third Brigades of the same division-the Second commanded by Brigadier-General Whitaker, and the Third commanded by Colonel Grose, and both under the temporary command of Brigadier-General Cruft-were marching from Shellmound and Whiteside's, en route to join Major-General Hooker's command, on the south side of the Tennessee River, near Brown's Ferry. On the night of November 22 there were movements in the enemy's camp indicating that he was advised of our intentions, which by reason of delays and accidents had become somewhat apparent, and that he was either withdrawing or concentrating his forces. His front, however, remained unchanged. At 11 o'clock on the morning of the next day, November 23, I received a dispatch, of which the following is a copy:
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 23, 1863.
Commanding Fourth Army Corps:
The general commanding department directs that you throw one division of the Fourth Corps forward in the direction of Orchard Knob, and hold a second division in supporting distance, to discover the position of the enemy, if he still remain in the vicinity of his old camp. Howard's and Baird's commands will be ready to co-operate if needed.
J. J. REYNOLDS,
Major-General, Chief of Staff.
Orchard Knob is a rugged hill rising 100 feet above the Chattanooga Valley, lying between Fort Wood, a work on our exterior line of defense northeast of Chattanooga and Mission Ridge, being distant from the former point 1 1/4 miles, and about 1 mile from the ridge. The ascent of the knob is very steep, save on the side to the right, looking south, where the ground, gradually sloping from the summit, makes a dip or gorge, and rises on the other side to nearly the same height as the knob; from this point, running off in a southwestern direction for over one-half of a mile, turning to the right, is a rough, rocky ridge, which is covered with a sparse growth of timber. Along the crest of this ridge the enemy had made breastworks of logs and stone and a line of rifle-pits. Along the base of Orchard Knob, on the side toward Chattanooga, was another line of rifle-pits, which extended beyond the knob, on our left, for more than 1 mile, following the curvature of Citico Creek, and yet to the left of its termination, and on the other side of the creek ran