Report of Maj. Clayton Hale, Fifty-ninth Illinois Infantry.
HDQRS. FIFTY-NINTH REGIMENT ILLINOIS INFANTRY, Whiteside's, Tennessee, December 3, 1863.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with orders received from Colonel Grose, commanding Third Brigade, First Division, Fourth Army Corps, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Fifty-ninth Regiment of Illinois Infantry in the recent operations near Chattanooga:
On the 23rd day of November, the regiment left camp at this place and marched, with the others of the brigade, on the road to Chattanooga, and camped that night within General Hooker's lines, near Lookout Mountain.
On the 24th, at about 6 a.m., after supplying each man with 50 rounds of ammunition, I moved the regiment out and marched directly toward Lookout Mountain. When near Chattanooga Creek the brigade was halted, and an additional supply of 30 rounds of ammunition to each man was issued. At this point the Seventy-fifth and Eighty-fourth Illinois and Thirty-sixth Indiana were sent to the left, subsequently followed by the Twenty-fourth Ohio, the Fifty-ninth Illinois and the Ninth Indiana remaining where the brigade was first halted until after 12 m., when, in compliance with orders from Colonel Grose, I moved my regiment in a southwesterly direction, followed by the Ninth and Thirty-sixth Indiana and the Twenty-fourth Ohio, on to the railroad, down which I followed about one-third of a mile; then, filing to the left, passed over a hill covered with fallen timber, and over intrenchments occupied by a portion of the Twelfth Corps, and by a circuitous route through a dense thicket to Lookout Creek, where I was joined by Colonel Grose, from whom I received definite instructions, and by whose direction I crossed the creek on a narrow bridge, which had been previously constructed, and, moving down the bank a short distance, filed the regiment to the left and entered a deep ravine, through which it passed, and debouched upon the mountain side. I then marched by the right flank straight up the mountain, which was so steep and difficult that the men were frequently compelled to cling to the rocks and bushes to enable them to maintain their footing. Continuing to march in this manner until I had passed a portion of the First Division of the Fifteenth Army Corps, and until a sufficient interval had been obtained to enable the other regiments of the brigade to prolong their lines on my left, I then caused the regiment to march by the left flank, having previously thrown Companies A and C forward as skirmishers. In this manner the regiment, with the others of the brigade, advanced in line of battle under a heavy fire of musketry from the enemy, concealed behind rocks, and from one or more pieces of artillery planted on the summit of the mountain. Sweeping around the point of the mountain, the men moved steadily forward, capturing the enemy's camps and intrenchments, almost their entire picket guard, their officer of the day, and a large number of prisoners, until we reached the enemy's intrenchments near the white house, which had been hastily abandoned by them with two pieces of artillery. I then, by order of Colonel Grose, halted the regiment, remaining in position over two hours, during a part of which time the men were engaged in constructing