resting opposite Cobham's center. About 100 yards in rear of the supporting line were placed the Ninety-sixth Illinois and Fifty-first Ohio, also of Whitaker's brigade. This formation, with admirable maintenance of distances, was observed throughout the movement to the farthest point gained on the mountain, with the exception of necessary changes in Candy's attitude on the left.
The inclination of the mountain was from north by east to south by west. We swept the westerly slope from this point about 3 miles south of the dividing ridge between the east and west sides of the mountain known as Point Lookout.
A heavy line of skirmishers had been advanced, and covered the entire front throughout the day's movements, and the flanks were so intact that the supporting line was, by this guarded measure of the front likewise perfectly secure from hostile demonstration, on the part of the enemy, excepting from sharpshooters on the crest.
At shortly after 9 o'clock, the whole line moved forward, the right held by the Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania, kept in close contact with the rugged precipice of the summit, the necessity for which gradually swerved our advance in an oblique direction from the creek, which lengthened the line for cover on the left, so as to change Candy's formation, a mile after starting, from echelon to two lines. The left was instructed to govern its movements by those of the front line on the right, the extreme left resting near the creek, and the guide being the upper curvature of the mountain.
The right, center, and right of the left brigade made rapid headway over the very steep sides of the mountain, which sloped throughout its length at nearly an angle of 45, and breaking into numerous successive ravines, varying from 50 to over 100 feet in depth, overcame, by clambering, almost perpendicular ascents and descents, with hands as well as feet, in many places. As the skirmishers had reported a hostile movement from above toward the flats, I took measures to obtain mastery of the enemy's rifle-pits, at the base of the mountain, not far from the mouth of Lookout Creek, which resulted in their capture and thus uncovered the fords where Colonel Grose's brigade, of Cruft's division, was to cross, as noted in your order, and the one near the mouth of the creek where Osterhaus was to come up in reserve.
After uncovering the fords, and the troops in reserve seen to have a footing, Candy's brigade was ordered forward at a "half wheel," and, for a convergence on the offensive point, swept up the mountain with celerity at an oblique angle to the main line,heading for Point Lookout.
When the right and center had progressed 1 1/4 miles, the enemy pickets were encountered, and, though they were well covered will natural defenses, my skirmishers at once engaged them, and drove them back upon their main body,which was formed about 1 mile beyond, within a camp covering the whole plateau in front of the left of my right and my center, formidable in natural defense and seemingly impregnable with rocks, stone, and earth breastworks, surrounded with tangled slashing. These were the advanced works of a continuous net-work of fortifications, rugged, natural and artificial, irregular polygons, of the enemy, within which was Walthall's brigade of Mississippians, in battle array.
My skirmishers engaged them, and the whole line, with unbroken front and bayonets fixed, charged on the "double-quick" over obstructions which, without excitement, would have greatly impeded