War of the Rebellion: Serial 055 Page 0132 KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA. Chapter XLIII.

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General Sherman was unable to make any progress in moving along the ridge during the day, as the enemy had massed in his front; therefore, in order to relieve him, I was ordered to make a demonstration upon the works of the enemy directly in my front, at the base of Mission Ridge. I accordingly directed Major-General Sheridan and Brigadier-General Wood to advance their divisions at a given signal, moving directly forward simultaneously and briskly, to attack the enemy, and, driving him from his rifle-pits, to take possession of them. At twenty minutes before 4 p.m. six guns, the signal agreed upon, were fired in rapid succession, and before the smoke had cleared away these two divisions [Sheridan on the right and Wood on the left] had cleared the breastworks that had sheltered them for two days, and were moving forward. They were formed in the following order; First, a double line of skirmishers, that covered the troops behind; then the line of battle by brigades, commencing on the extreme right with Colonel Sherman's brigade, then Colonel Harker's, then Brigadier-General Wagner's, then Brigadier-General Hazen's, then Brigadier-General Willich's, and next, on the extreme left, Brigadier-General Beatty's; following this line were the reserves in mass. It pleases me to report that scarcely a straggler could be seen as this magnificent line, stretching 1 mile from end to end, swept through the valley up to the assault. At the moment of the advance of these troops Mission Ridge blazed with the fire from the batteries which lined its summit. Not less than fifty guns opened at once, throwing a terrible shower of shot and shell. The enemy, now taking the alarm, commenced to move troops from both extremities of the ridge for the purpose of filling up the works below and around these batteries. In the meantime the troops holding the woods were driven back to the works at the base of the ridge, their pursuers rapidly following. Here they halted and made a stout resistance, but our troops, by an impetuous assault, broke this line in several places; then, scaling the breastworks at these points, opened a flank and reverse fire upon them, which, throwing them into confusion, caused their precipitate flight. Many prisoners were left in our hands, and we captured a large number of small-arms. My orders had now been fully and successfully carried out, but not enough had been done to satisfy the brave troops who had accomplished so much. Although the batteries on the ridge, at short range, by direct and enfilading fire, were still pouring down upon them a shower of iron and the musketry from the hill-side was thinning their ranks, they dashed over the breastworks, through the rifle-pits, and started up the ridge. They started without orders along the whole line of both divisions from right to left and from left to right, simultaneously and with one accord, animated with one spirit and with heroic courage. Eagerly they rushed forward to a danger before which the bravest, marching under orders, might tremble. Officers caught the enthusiasm of the men, and the men in turn were cheered by the officers. Each regiment tried to surpass the other in fighting its way up a hill that would try those of stout limb and strong lungs to climb, and each tried first to plant its flag on the summit. Above these men was an additional line of rifle-pits filled with troops. What was on the summit of the ridge they knew not, and did not stop to inquire. The enemy was before them; to know that was to know sufficient. At several points along the line my troops were ascending the hill and gaining positions less exposed to the enemy's artillery fire,