and leaving Colonel Waters, Eighty-fourth Illinois, and Colonel Bennett, Seventy-fifth Illinois, to carry, repair, and hold the bridge when the signal therefor should be given. At 11 a.m. Colonel Waters was ordered to have a sufficiency of poles cut and ready to place on the bridge in his front, so that he could be ready to throw his command across. He was also advised in orders of the manner in which the attack would be made upon the right, and that a section of artillery in position on the hills to his rear and right would open upon the rebel rifle-pits in his front. At this time [11 a.m.], in compliance with orders from Major-General Hooker, dispatches were sent to each detachment of my command, directing that as soon as the enemy were started our forces should pursue to the crest of Lookout slope only, where the lines should be reformed, and that the bridges across Lookout Creek should be made perfect after the troops had passed. These orders reached Colonel Grose and Colonel Waters; but owing to his position on the mountain side, the bearer of them could not deliver them to General Whitaker until the occasion for doing so had passed.
About 11.30 a.m. the troops of General Geary's first line became visible, marching steadily and slowly along the mountain side and gradually ascending it as they advanced. At a signal given the batteries upon Moccasin Point, on the Bald Knob, and the section near General Hooker's position opened fire on the rebel intrenchments in the valley with splendid effect.
The troops on the mountain moved forward as rapidly as possible over the rough and rocky ground. General Osterhaus and Colonel Grose threw their troops rapidly across the stream, the latter forming on the extreme left and commencing the ascent in extension of General Geary's line. The rebel camps and works on the mountain side were swept by our advancing line after a stubborn resistance. The brigade lying at the base of the mountain holding the roads became panic stricken under the terrible effect of the artillery fire and the successful charge of our soldiery upon the mountain above them, and fled from the trenches and scattered in all directions. Colonel Waters immediately seized the bridge and threw two companies of skirmishers across the stream, and occupied the works in the valley, capturing here many prisoners.
The bridge was found to be in a very incomplete state, requiring much labor upon it before even the residue of the column could be passed. This passage was accomplished as rapidly as possible, the men crossing upon a single log, and Colonel Waters' column was dispatched up the main mountain road with instructions to swing on to the left of the attacking line, which he accomplished by the time it had reached the crest of the mountain. He, however, at the suggestion of Major-General Hooker, was passed beyond the crest and to the left of the white house sufficiently far to uncover and protect the mouth of Chattanooga Creek, and allow Brigadier-General Carlin's command, of General Palmer's corps, to pass out from Chattanooga and join our left.
It was deemed a matter of the first importance that the bridge should be repaired so that artillery and ammunition wagons could cross it at the earliest moment. This matter was placed in charge of Captain Scott, Eighty-fourth Illinois, and Lieutenant C. C. Peck, of my staff, who were furnished with a fatigue party of three companies of the Eighty-fourth Illinois. This bridge was over a hundred feet in length, and required several new string timbers and flooring for