without effect. This was driven off by General Osterhaus' skirmishers.
Some delay was occasioned here in the construction of a bridge sufficient to cross the infantry column. This was, however, accomplished, and General Osterhaus' column was thrown across and a portion of it advanced in the direction of Mission Ridge, on the left of the Rossville road, striking the ridge about half a mile to the northward of McFarland's house, without encounter with the enemy.
My command was now ordered forward and was pressed rapidly out the Rossville road. Upon reaching the gorge at McFarland's house the column of General Osterhaus was met coming down the ridge with the intention, as the general stated, of passing down from the valley along the road at the base of the ridge in the direction of Chattanooga. Upon request of General Osterhaus, the head of my column was halted long enough to communicate with General Hooker, who was but a short distance to the rear. His answer came in a few moments in the shape of an order borne by Major-General Butterfield, chief of staff, to occupy the ridge immediately and engage the enemy vigorously in case he should be met, pressing the line rapidly northward along the ridge until the enemy was encountered, and that General Osterhaus would support it in the valley on the right and General Geary in the valley on the left. The head of the column was turned immediately up the ridge from near McFarland's house at 4 p.m. In riding to the front in advance of the column to select the line of battle, myself, staff, and escort rode upon a line of the enemy's skirmishers advancing down the ridge and were subjected for a few moments to a sharp fire from them. Two regiments from the head of the column, Ninth and Thirty-sixth Indiana, were ordered up on double-quick, and running into line under fire of the enemy's skirmishers, instantly charged and drove them. The residue of the column was soon formed in line, the Third Brigade [Colonel Grose] in advance, Second Brigade [Brigadier-General Whitaker] within supporting distance except two regiments [Fifty-first Ohio and Thirty-sixth Indiana], which were thrown to the front on Colonel Grose's left flank. A delay of a few moments occurred while the troops of the other commands upon the right and left were getting into position.
The ridge at the point of ascent, and, in fact, along the whole extent, was so narrow on top as not to admit of full brigade formation. The assault, therefore, was made in a column of four lines of three regiments front, at supporting intervals.
It is a coincidence worthy of remark that my command first encountered the enemy on the ridge behind intrenchments, which had been constructed by this division on the 21st of September last, and behind which it lay the day after the battle of Chickamauga. Everything being in readiness, and the supporting lines in position, the advance was sounded, and the lines moved steadily up and encountered the enemy with great spirit and enthusiasm, and, after a few moments, broke his line and started him in a total rout. The column marched on, with a steady fire from the front line, without scarcely breaking step, and drove the enemy before them, completely clearing the ridge for a distance of between 2 and 3 miles, and until it intersected the column of Major-General Palmer, moving out from Chattanooga on a line at right angles to our advance. Here the troops were halted and bivouacked for the night. So sudden and well conceived was this flank movement that it seemed to have taken the