During the 24th, the division was quiet, remaining in undisturbed possession of the important acquisitions of the previous afternoon. The enemy, in full view and sheltered behind his rifle-pits at the base of Missionary Ridge made no effort to retrieve his losses. An occasional shot from the skirmishers, and the booming of a gun from Orchard Knob, varied the monotony of the day. We had ample opportunity to watch with eager interest the brilliant
operations-though miles from us-of General Hooker's command for the possession of Lookout Mountain. And when the morning sun of Wednesday had dispelled the mist from the mountain top, and displayed to our view the banner of the free and the brave flying from the topmost peak of Lookout Mountain, loud and long were the joyous shouts with which my division made the welkin ring.
Shortly after nightfall Tuesday, the 24th, I received the following order:
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH ARMY CORPS, Chattanooga, November 24, 1863-6.40 p.m.
Third Division, Fourth Corps:
GENERAL: The following instructions have just been received:
"HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND.
"The general commanding department directs that you have everything ready for an offensive movements early to-morrow morning."
"J. J. REYNOLDS,
"Major-General Chief of Staff."
You will make every preparation for such movement.
By command of Major-General Granger:
J. S. FULLERTON,
Lieutenant-Colonel,and Assistant Adjutant-General.
In conformity with these instructions I had, during Tuesday night, 100 rounds of ammunition per man distributed to the troops, and the rations in the haversacks replenished. At dawn Wednesday morning, my division was ready for action, and only awaited the order from the senior officers to commence the onslaught. Early in the forenoon of Wednesday, Orchard Knob became the station of officers of high and signal renown. The commanding general of the Grand Division of the Mississippi was there; and there also was the commander of the Department and Army of the Cumberland. The day wore on. During the forenoon I was ordered to advance my line of skirmishers to the southern edge of the woods intervening between my position and the enemy's line at the base of Mission Ridge. This service was gallantly performed, the enemy's skirmishers being rapidly driven back and compelled to take shelter behind their rifle-pits.
As the day progressed the interest which attracted every eye and absorbed every feeling was that involved in the attempt of General Sherman's command to effect a lodgment on Mission Ridge near the tunnel. Severer opposition than had been expected was evidently being met with. To lessen the opposition General Sherman was encountering, it was determined that a movement should be made against the rebel center. I was ordered to advance and carry the enemy's intrenchments at the base of Mission Ridge and hold them. The signal for the advance was to be six guns, fired in rapid succession from the battery on Orchard Knob. The necessary
17 R R-VOL XXXI, PT II