Colonel Buell arrived with his command between 8 and 9 p.m.. and his wagons, with chess-plank and balks, about one hour afterward.
The timber for the remaining portions of the bridge was cut down, and had to be carried to where the bridge was to be constructed. Orders were given to commence work at about 9 p.m., and the bridge was completely finished by half past 6 the next morning.
Owing to the cold, the Pioneers were divided into three reliefs, each taking one-third of the night. Taking this fact into consideration, and also considering the depth of the stream (in some places over 5 feet), the building of this bridge reflects credit on the Pioneer Brigade, officers and men. I would state that it was originally intended to throw a pontoon bridge over the Chickamauga, but owing to some mismanagement of Colonel Stanley, who had charge of the boats, this object was defeated.
In conclusion, I would call your attention to the excellent conduct of Colonel Buell, who ever present with the working parties, aided me greatly in the completion of the bridge.
Lieutenants Huntington and Turner, and also Sergeant Myers, of the Pioneers, were particularly efficient.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HENRY C. WHARTON,
Lieutenant of Engineers.
Major General JOSEPH HOOKER,
Lookout Valley, Tennessee
Report of Major General Oliver O. Howard, U. S. Army, commanding Eleventh Army Corps, including march to the relief of Knoxville, with complimentary orders.
HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH CORPS,
Lookout Valley, Tennessee, December 28, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report upon the operations of this corps during the battle of Chattanooga,and during the march that followed, until its return to this camp.
In accordance with instructions received through your headquarters, the infantry, with three batteries, left this point at 1 p.m.,
November 22, ultimo. The remaining two batteries. Wiedrich's (Battery I, First New York) and Heckman's (K, First Ohio), were left behind and established under General Hooker's directions. They participated to some extent in the glorious work of getting possession of Lookout Mountain. My original instructions contemplated placing the Eleventh Corps in reserve on the peninsula between the bridges of Brown's Ferry and Chattanooga, in order to act with General Thomas at Chattanooga or with General Sherman, as the exigencies of the battle should determine. Subsequent instructions from your headquarters, dated November 22, directed me to cross the pontoon bridge at Brown's Ferry at 2 p.m. of that day, and move thence to Chattanooga direct. This change, as I understand,was based on the report of the chief engineer of the department that it was practicable to re-enforce Sherman along the south bank of