The Eighty-fourth Illinois Infantry claimed the right to pass in the advance, but Brigadier-General Cruft ordered me not to wait for any one, but to push forward as soon as possible. After crossing I sent out skirmishers from Companies B and G, and moved in line of battle until I came to the creek. Here I took quite a number of prisoners, which I sent to the rear, near the bridge which we had just crossed, where I saw a guard stationed for that purpose, as I was informed by a staff officer of the brigade. Upon arriving at or near the creek again, I called in my skirmish line and moved my whole command by the right flank across the railroad, over the brow of a hill near a vacant house, where I formed another line of battle. Here Captain Brooks, inspector-general for the brigade, reported to me. I also sent some 25 more prisoners to the rear which were taken at or near the house. Major-General Hooker soon rode up and ordered me to move on the mountain road toward Chattanooga, and, if possible, to go on until I could see that place. I then threw out Company E, under command of its efficient officer, Captain Frost, as skirmishers. Moved on the balance of my command. After we had gained the highest point of the mountain nearest the road, we overtook General Woods' command, who formed on our right. Here I halted and reported to General Hooker for orders, who ordered me to move forward to a point overlooking the road and its approaches, and to hold it at all hazards. I accordingly ordered an advance. My skirmishers were soon engaged with the enemy, but I still maintained my advance movement, and with little difficulty and no loss, I moved my command to a point in the road where it passes between two high rocks, in full view of one of the enemy's forts, quite a distance below and beyond the white house and open fields on the side of the mountain, which are so distinctly seen from Chattanooga. As soon as I could, with safety, I built breastworks across the road and in front of my whole line. I placed two companies on picket, the left resting on the creek at the foot of the mountain. My right did not connect with any one, but the left line of General Woods' pickets were immediately in my rear and to my right. The balance of my command bivouacked for the night, resting on their arms.
On the morning of the 25th of November, I received notice from Colonel Waters, Eighty-fourth Regiment Illinois Infantry, that Major-General Hooker had ordered his regiment and mine to make a reconnaissance into the valley, the Eighty-fourth taking the advance, my regiment acting as reserve. We advanced to near the valley road leading to Chattanooga, found no enemy, and returned to the position we had occupied the evening previous, my pickets during the evening and morning capturing 8 prisoners, which were turned over to the brigade provost-marshall. Here we joined the brigade again, and proceeded with it to Rossville. Finding the enemy in force, Colonel Grose ordered me to form a line of battle at the foot of Missionary Ridge, which I did, my right resting on the line of the Twenty-fourth Ohio Infantry, immediately in the rear of the Thirty-sixth Indiana Infantry and the Eighty-fourth Illinois Infantry. As the advance line of the brigade moved forward, I immediately closed up with it. At dark we went into camp for the night, the enemy being completely routed from Missionary Ridge.
At 10.30 a.m., November 26, in obedience to the order of Colonel Grose, commanding brigade, I moved out with my command in a southeasterly direction on the Graysville road in rear of the Eighty-fourth