War of the Rebellion: Serial 055 Page 0340 KY., SW., VA.,Tennessee, MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter XLIII.

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the right of the enemy's position on Missionary Ridge that he appears to have regarded it as a matter of no moment to him. Meantime, I received a request from General Thomas to remain in Lookout Valley, I presume for the reason that he apprehended some demonstrations of the enemy in this direction, as at the time of making it it was not known that any force would be left me to make an aggressive movement. Things began to look squally for me. I said to Butterfield that it was cut and dried for me to be a spectator to the fight, but though that I would have a toe in the stirrup somehow before it was over; that it had been my fortune to take a leading part in every battle, except that of the first Malvern, from the beginning of the rebellion; that man proposed and God disposed in this matter of battles, and went about my business, obeying orders as usual to the best of my ability. Monday night came and found three of Sherman's division over the river at Brown's Ferry, when, lo,and behold! the pontoon bridge parted and left Osterhaus' division on my side in Lookout Valley. Near midnight I received orders, as you will read, that in the event that division could not cross that night, I would consider it of my command and attack Lookout Mountain. Immediately I dispatched a staff officer to the bridge, and found it could not be repaired before the following night, and at once ordered the troops to be in position for the assault on Lookout at daylight, and at the earliest dawn set about my business. You know the rest. That day I crossed Lookout, and the night of that day, and the following morning Sherman crossed the Tennessee with his command. Those that crossed first took possession of high ground and commenced throwing up defenses, the enemy doing the same thing on a continuation of the same ridge, a broad ravine or depression dividing them. The morning found the former with one line and the latter with two lines of hastily thrown-up defenses, not so long, however, but that they could readily be turned either to the right or the left. Sherman attacked them in front and was repulsed., and only abandoned it after the fourth trial; not, however, until he had carried the advanced line, but with losses more severe than those experienced by that officer in his attacks on Vicksburg, the 28th and 29th of December, 1862. The enemy's supports were placed behind his second line, and on that was placed his main reliance. All of Sherman's attacks were made long after I had carried Lookout, which had enabled me to command the enemy's defenses across Chattanooga Valley, and which my success had compelled him to abandon. This placed me on the direct line to cut off his retreat, while Sherman, had he been successful, could only have pushed him back over the only line he had to retreat on. This attack on the left, after I had taken Lookout, which was well known to all the army, can only be considered in the light of a disaster. Sherman is an active, energetic officer, but in judgment is as infirm as Burnside. He will never be successful. Please remember what I tell you. It was natural for Grant to feel partial to his old companions, and do al in his power to enhance their renown. Nevertheless, you will, appreciate my nervousness in being placed in the situation in which this partiality was manifested, almost wholly at my expense. I will do Grant the justice to believe that he was honestly of the opinion that the plan he adopted was the most likely to insure success to our arms. He aimed for the battle to commence and end on the left, while it commenced and ended on the right. I am informed that he has since said, "Damn the battle; I had nothing to do with it."