mountain top, and heavy mists and fogs obscured the slope from lengthened vision, and so continued until we reached the summit, lifting only momentarily at intervals during, the assault. So impenetrable was this gloom around the enemy's localities, that the movement was so favored as to become a complete surprise to him.
One section of Knap's (Pennsylvania) battery, under Lieutenant McGill, accompanied the column to the point of massing, but was returned and posted on a hill half way between the old mill and Bald Hill, under supervision of Major J. A. Reynolds, my chief of artillery, as it could prove of no service on the other side of the creek. The creek being too deep to ford, I sent my pioneers forward to bridge it, under cover of two companies of the Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania, who crossed,and were deployed on the other side without opposition. I decided to make my crossing at this point in preference to Davis' Mill, as originally intended, as I thereby was enabled to save much time in moving up the mountain. At the same time I sent a small detachment of the Sixty-sixth Ohio to make a demonstration on the path leading from near Davis' Mill up the mountain, thereby diverting the attention of the enemy on top in that direction. Considerable skirmishing occurred, and a large body of their troops was kept there in expectancy of our main attack at that place. I then assembled my brigade and field officers and enlightened them with the project before them, with instructions to communicate it to their company officers.
Simultaneous with the crossing of the skirmishers,our picket line, by previous arrangement, surprised, with sudden movement,the pickets of the enemy in their immediate front, and captured them without firing. A picket of 42 rebels with 1 negro surrendered at the crossing. Major Reynolds placed the two sections of Battery K, First Ohio Artillery (light 12-pounders), Lieutenant Sahm, on Bald Hill near the junction of the creek and river, and put two sections of Battery I, First New York Artillery, on a hill opposite Lookout Point and behind Bald Hill. One section of 20-pounder Parrotts, of Fourth Ohio Battery, was situated in the gap to the right, and one section of howitzers, of First Iowa Battery, commanded the approaches to the lower bridge from the hill on the right of the gap. Two sections of Knap's battery were located on an eminence to the left of the Kelley's Ferry road on the original line of defense, from which it commanded the sides of Lookout.
My column was moved to the creek, and began crossing the bridge at 8.30 a.m. with great celerity. The Second Brigade, Colonel G. A. Cobham, jr., in advance, moved rapidly up the hill-slope by the right flank, in a direct line from the crossing to the wall of the crest, followed by the Third Brigade, Colonel D. Ireland, which joined its left.
General Whitaker's brigade then crossed, and closely afterward the First Brigade, Colonel C. Candy. My line of battle, as formed, faced to the front, was Cobham, with two regiments on the right; Ireland, with four regiments in the center; Candy on the left, in echelon, at about 30 paces interval to the troops on the right, with his Sixty-sixth Ohio and three companies of the Fifth Ohio, en echelon, as reserve. This constituted the front, covering the slopes from the mound of the crest to Lookout Creek. The Eighth Kentucky, Thirty-fifth Indiana, Ninety-ninth and Fortieth Ohio, respectively, in order form the right of Whitaker's brigade, formed the second line in support about 350 yards to the rear of the front line, his right