the point of the mountain. It was much fatigued from the long march of the day, which, owing to the heavy condition of the roads and the rains, was arduous.
The transportation did not arrive until late in the night, and then brought only the barest necessities in the way of ammunition, forage, and rations, all tents and camp equipage having been left behind.
Upon reporting to Major-General Hooker, it was stated by him that the command would probably be held in reserve, and orders were given to make the men as comfortable as possible with this view.
About a quarter past 3 a.m. of the 24th ultimo, orders were received from Major-General Hooker to have the command in readiness to march at the earliest dawn of day, and to detach Brigadier-General Whitaker's brigade to march back to Wauhatchie and report to Brigadier-General Geary to cross Lookout Creek near that place and co-operate with him. This order at once severed my command. It was, however, promptly executed. Brigadier-General Whitaker marched from his bivouac at 6 a.m., with his column, most cheerfully, though much worn by its march of 21 miles the day previous, and Colonel Grose's brigade was standing to arms at that time ready to march, and so reported.
At half past 6 a.m. orders from the major-general commanding were received to move the remaining brigade rapidly to seize two bridges over Lookout Creek, in our front, and place skirmishers in front of them and hold and repair them. The orders stated that Lieutenant Oliver, of Major-General Hooker's staff, who bore them, would guide the brigade commander to the bridges. He exhibited also a written paper, stating what the condition of the bridges was supposed to be, and the repairs necessary to be made to cross the column, which were trifling and much less than were found to be required.
Colonel Grose was ordered to provide himself with the few tools supposed to be requisite for the purpose, and to move straightway, and his column moved out at 6,45 a.m. Before reaching the bridges Colonel Grose's column was halted, and some time spent in sending back for tools. At 9 a.m. Colonel Grose was moved to position opposite the unfinished bridge, just below the railroad bridge across Lookout Creek.
Upon nearing the west bank of the creek, it was found that the enemy's skirmishes occupied the opposite bank in strong force, and it was impossible to reconnoiter it satisfactorily until these were driven away. They were strongly posted in rifle-pits near the bridge-head and in line upon a banquette back of the railway embankment completely commanding the bridge, and rendering it impossible for the working party to approach it.
Some very spirited skirmishing was had from 10 to 10.30 a.m. along the front of Colonel Grose's line. It was, however, held in check by orders from the major-general commanding, until he could be apprised of the approach of General Geary's column, advancing on the mountain side from Wauhatchie. About 10.30 a.m. orders were received to leave but two regiments of the brigade at the bridge and send the other four half a mile farther up the creek, there to construct a crossing if possible, and be ready to throw them across to join the left of General Geary's line of attack as it approached, and press up the mountain with it. This movement was promptly executed by Colonel Grose, he personally marching with the four regiments,