At daylight on the morning of the 25th my command lay along the crest of the mountain in the position heretofore indicated. A cessation of picket firing during the night, confirmed by the best observation that could be made during the darkness, led to the belief that the enemy had evacuated the top of the mountain as well as the east slope of it and his works in the valley upon the left of his line. This result was anticipated by Major-General Hooker on the evening previous as the effect of the occupancy and holding of the crest. Arrangements therefore were made before the dawn of day by Brigadier-General Whitaker and Colonel Grose to send a party from each brigade at daylight to endeavor to scale Lookout Point and plant the national flag upon it.
Volunteers from the Eighth Kentucky [Colonel Sidney M. Barnes] and the Ninth Indiana [Colonel I. C. B. Suman] started with a noble emulation to see which should first attain the summit, plant the national colors upon it, and make reconnaissance of the upper plateau of the mountain. The Eighth Kentucky was the successful competitor for the honor.
As the morning sun rose it discovered the national banner floating out in the mountain air from Lookout Point, and the soldiery below caught up a shout from the regiment on the summit which rang through the crags and valleys and was borne to their comrades below, who were standing to arms behind the defenses of Chattanooga.
About 8.30 a.m. the distant sound of artillery was heard upon our left in the direction of Mission Ridge, which indicated the commencement of Major-General Sherman's attack in that quarter, and prepared the troops upon the mountain to anticipate the scenes of the day. About 10 a.m. orders were received from Major-General Hooker-two regiments of Major-General Sherman's attack in that quarter, and prepared the troops upon the mountain to anticipate the scenes of the day. About 10 a.m. orders were received from Major-General Hooker-two regiments to be placed upon the point of the mountain, with instructions to intrench themselves and hold it at all hazards. Under orders these regiments were also further instructed to make proper details to explore the late battle-field, bury the dead, and collect and secure all abandoned arms and property, and to make reports of the same to the headquarters of Major-General Hooker. This duty was assigned to the Eighth Kentucky Volunteers [Colonel S. M. Barnes] and the Ninety-sixth Illinois Volunteers [Colonel Champion], who were henceforth detached from their commands, and held the point until the morning of the 2nd instant, when they were relieved by troops from General Geary's command.
About 10 a.m. orders were received from Major-General Hooker, commanding an advance on the Rossville road in the direction of Mission Ridge.
General Osterhaus' division was ordered to lead the column, this command to follow, and General Geary's command to bring up the rear.
About 11 a.m. this command moved out in the direction indicated and reached the foot of the mountain about 12 m., closely following General Osterhaus. The march was made in the direction of Rossville to Chattanooga Creek, a distance of about 5 miles, with promptness and without incident.
Upon reaching Chattanooga Creek it was found that the enemy had destroyed the bridges across it. General Osterhaus threw a regiment speedily across the creek, which passed to the gorge in the ridge and had some brisk skirmishing with the enemy. A section of the enemy's artillery was posted so as to command the gorge and part of the plain beneath, and was used freely in firing upon it, but