the Tennessee without trusting to the treacherous pontoons. The north bank of the river is high, and intermediate between the Chattanooga bridge and the point 3 miles above, selected for Sherman's crossing, is a prominent knoll in the river bank, which overlooks the broad interval on the other shore spread out between the heights of Chattanooga and Mission Ridge. The ridge springs from this interval land between the Chickamauga and the Tennessee and stretches off for miles i a southwesterly direction, leaving the Chickamauga on the left. I sent a battery (Wheeler's, Thirteenth New York) to the knoll described. He commanded the low ground as far as his guns would reach, and, in conjunction with Fort Wood, situated on the south bank and near to Chattanooga, prevented any large force from occupying such points as might separate Sherman from the main body. My remaining force, about 6,000 strong, moved over the bridge into Chattanooga and took post to the right of Fort Wood. The rebel signal officer's report from Lookout, read by one of our officers, was that a large force, apparently a corps, had passed into Chattanooga. This, taken in connection with the fact that General Sherman's troops had been and were still passing along Lookout Valley, now in plain view and now hidden by hills, makes it probable that Bragg took my force for a part of Sherman's,and therefore was in doubt as to the principal point of attack, if, indeed, he believed yet that any attack at all was intended. Bad roads, and, perhaps, other unforeseen hindrances, delayed the march of the troops that were to operate on our left, so that Sunday night, November 22, the general movement intended for the morrow was postponed. I received the order direct from General Thomas, and also through your headquarters. My command remained during the night as posted.
Monday, November 23, deserters reported that the enemy intended to retreat, and some deserted camps visible from Fort Wood gave rise to the rumor that the retreat had begun. During the morning a reconnaissance was ordered, General Granger's corps being selected to make the movement and mine held in readiness for support.
At 1 p.m., General Granger deployed to the east and south of Fort Wood, facing toward Mission Ridge. The enemy on the ridge and on the few high intermediate points were gazing on the magnificent display,and apparently without thinking that so fine a parade without any attempt at concealment was a demonstration against them.
As soon as formed, the lines moved briskly forward, driving in the enemy's outposts and taking Orchard Knob, a small hill little more than half way to the ridge,and 1 mile south from the Tennessee.
The enemy had here a small epaulement for two guns and rifle-pits. During this operation I had, by General Thomas' directions, sent a battery (Company G, Fourth Regulars) to the next height, Brush Hill, southeast of Fort Wood, nearly opposite the center of Granger's line. Afterward, during the battle this battery was moved forward to Sheridan's front line on Granger's right, having been replaced by Dilger's (Company I, First Ohio). Lieutenant Merkle, commanding the regular battery, was highly complimented for good firing.
General Grant determined to hold Orchard Knob. A creek, the Citico, having two small branches, bends around in the low ground, its general direction northwest, and flows into the Tennessee half a mile north of Fort Wood. The western branch passes near Orchard Knob.
I was directed to move up to this creek, covering the approaches