War of the Rebellion: Serial 055 Page 0180 KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA. Chapter XLIII.

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No. 23.

Report of Colonel Louis H. Waters, Eighty-fourth Illinois Infantry.


CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit for the information of the colonel commanding the following report of the participation of the Eighty-fourth Illinois Infantry, under my command, in the recent battles before Chattanooga:

On the 23rd instant, we left our camp at Whiteside's with 260 men and 19 officers, arriving at the camp of Major-General Hooker on the evening of that day. Early next morning we moved with our brigade to the front and were soon, with the Seventy-fifth Illinois, commanded by Colonel Bennett, detached from our brigade and ordered to take the bridge across Lookout Creek, near the point at which the railroad crossed that stream, and to drive the enemy from their rifle-pits along its east bank. We moved around the ridge lying between us and the creek, and at the east base deployed Companies F and G as skirmishers and pushed them forward to the creek, following with the Eighty-fourth in the first line and the Seventy-fifth in the second. Running parallel with the creek and some 75 yards from it we came upon a pond, varying in depth from 2 to 4 feet, through which, to gain the bank of creek, where we soon constructed some log works that afforded us much protection. In addition to my skirmishers, I sent forward the best shots of each of my companies, and had in a few minutes the satisfaction of knowing that the rifle-pits across the creek were useless to the enemy, as he could not peer above them to shoot at us without being hurt. As soon as my command was in position a detail from the Thirty-sixth Indiana, under Captain Chambers, reported to me to repair the bridge. The enemy from the slope of Lookout Mountain, seeing this movement and suspecting that an effort was to be made to repair the bridge, immediately made dispositions to drive off the working parties. Nearly a regiment of the enemy was moved up to the railroad, which, on the east side, diverges from the creek at an angle of about 40, and completely covered the bridge and opened a brisk fire upon Captain Chambers' party and such others as appeared in sight. Satisfied that no work could be done on the bridge until the enemy was dislodged from the railroad, I asked Colonel Grose to send such force as he might think necessary to my right and beyond the railroad. Four companies of the Seventy-fifth Illinois, under Major Watson, were promptly sent. About this time the working party was recalled, and I was informed by Lieutenant Boice, of Colonel Grose's staff, that our forces were to cross farther up the creek to flank the enemy, and that I was informed by Lieutenant Boice, of Colonel Grose's staff, that our forces were to cross farther up the creek to flank the enemy, and that I was expected to divert their attention from this movement as much as possible. To do this I kept up a brisk fire along my skirmish line, and delivered an occasional volley whenever a squad of the enemy could be seen, and went actively to work felling trees. At 11.30 a.m. I received the accompanying orders, marked A and B. At about 11.45 a.m. the forces which had crossed above us began to drive the enemy along the mountain side before them, and the enemy's forces in our front, changing front to meet this advance, exposed their lines to an enfilading fire from my command,