When the Seventh and Sixty-sixth Ohio and Twenty-eighth and One hundred and forty-seventh Pennsylvania were relieving Ireland, several very heavy volleys from the enemy were returned by them with interest. An irregular and desultory fire was kept up by the enemy, who could be seen only at long intervals during the afternoon, but my troops were retained by their officers from firing without opportunity,seldom offered, was given to make it effective.
Some of the regiments of my relief, and others on the left, unnecessarily fired continuous volleys into the fog, without response,save from secreted sharpshooters who were busy in front, and from the cliffs until after dark.
At 3 o'clock the enemy were observed massing a force under the cliff of the extreme right held by Cobham. I directed the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania to dislodge this force, which it did with intrepid execution.
Being harassed in this counter move by sharpshooters,a portion of the regiment was detached as sharpshooters, serving with success. It then resumed its place in line for the remainder of the day.
At 3 o'clock Colonel Grose's brigade entered the captured works, and at 3.30 the Thirteenth Illinois and Fourth Iowa relieved regiments of Creighton's (First) brigade. The troops of Whitaker's brigade and several regiments of Osterhaus' division, with Creighton's and Ireland's brigades, relieved each other at different hours of the evening and through the night,at the point d'appui, about 400 yards in front of Craven's house, each of them sustaining several tours of duty.
The troops relieved were partly placed in a second line, which served in the double capacity as reserve to the front and as guard against attack inn the rear. Others were massed between the two lines in readiness to be handled in any emergency. The upper line or right (Cobham's) formed a retrenchment under the cliff, covering the inner line, turning the angle so that it could act independently of it.
General Carlin reported to me at about 7 o'clock in the evening, when I ordered him to relieve Cobham. This necessary relief was not afforded, however, until 9 p.m. when his worn-out men descended the uppermost slope of the pyramid they had gained, and bivouacked at its foot, and,before daylight on the following day, took position on the western slope, faced to the rear, with skirmishers well out, and left close to the nearest accessible point of the summit, in readiness for any attack from the approach to the right of Lookout Valley.
The balance of Carlin's command was placed in the column of reliefs some time after dark. There were several alarms during the night, with no decisive exhibition, of hostility, which drew a number of unnecessary volleys from our troops.
Without fire during the night, the front line suffered considerably from the intensely cold winds that swept around the mountain sides. My own men, wet to the skin from the rain, without blankets and in light blouses, experienced intensely the rudeness of the weather, but bore it with most cheerful fortitude.
The night was one of watchfulness with all that participated in the siege of the rebel stronghold, and, around the myriads of brightly burning fires, reaching form the deep gorges below up to the rocky precipice of the pyramid, and only separated from the enemy's camp fire above by the insurmountable flinty wall, many expressed their