wounded, and missing, leaving him but a wreck to retreat beyond our reach, while his own fire dealt severely with Ireland, and overflying shots told considerably upon Whitaker's ranks in the rear, which kept pace with the advance at the prescribed interval.
During this fight the enemy opened with three pieces of light artillery from the crest, and during some twenty minutes made every effort to enfilade our lines, but their guns could not be sufficiently depressed to search our ranks, and their missiles, with very short fuses, burst with trivial effect over the heads of the First Brigade, which, unseen to them, was sweeping up the rough declivity just below the plateau on which were the enemy's works, guiding obliquely for the main point, their right lapping Ireland at nearly right angles and reaching to Whitaker's left.
Being baffled in their intended artillery effect, they hurled shell and hand grenades from the cliffs among my troops in front and in support, but our men moved so rapidly they were mostly ineffective. I halted the First Brigade, and held it in reserve, under the inferior slope of the main hill, as there was no vantage-ground to make them available at this point and period.
Still we pressed the enemy, pushing him with resistless weight and ardor, not affording him time to recover from the amazement caused him by our rapidity of movement, and his front wavered more perceptibly in each stand until it increased to terror and flight, while our men followed with an animation that disdained restraint, and, with the clouds and mist hovering above us, and fogs darkening the hills below, leaving, as it were, our path a well-defined stratum between the lowering elements, like a mighty tide of waters driving from its course the obstructions which inn impeding served to concentrate their strength, our troops breasted the dividing point, or salient angle, and, with admirably preserved line, swept, upon the double-quick around to the northeasterly slope of the mountain, charging the retreating foe.
This was about 12 m. The movement heretofore made, and now practiced, rendered untenable, and outflanked respectively, each of the long and complicated lines of works and rifle-pits which had been evidently constructed with great care, and were of such formidable nature as to almost defy any attack in front.
General Osterhaus' division and Grose's brigade had crossed Lookout Creek and were now seen climbing the mountain side, away down to the left. While my troops were engaged upon the plateau, finding the enemy was massing a heavy line in my front, and on the east side of the mountain, from the cliff to the valley, I directed Cobham to advance about 700 or 800 yards around the point so as to command the enemy's flank and render our own impervious. It was with strenuous effort only that Cobham accomplished this vital movement,as the mountain side was nearly perpendicular, and he passed his command along a narrow path of the slope at the base of the final frontlet of rock which arose perpendicularly from 75 to 100 feet to the summit. The sides were too steep to move in line, and single and double filing were necessary for some distance from the point around the eastward slope, over a narrow ledge. His right reached the desired point, his column was closed up, and, with backs firm against the acclivity,his line presented a hostile front toward Chattanooga Creek. This I instructed to be held at all hazards.
This movement was quickly executed without the least confusion, and in its execution the enemy's skirmishers were driven from the