The position of the enemy had been on the western slope of the mountain; Walthall's and Maney's brigades, of Walker's division, of Polk's old corps, commanded by Hardee; the former, in fortifications on the side of the mountain abut 1 1/2 miles from our point of crossing; the latter, in works, under and around the peak.
On the eastern slope, adjacent to the old mountain road, to dispute
our passage,. were two of Walker's brigades, strengthened with a portion of Stewart's command, of Breckinridge's corps. One brigade of Stevenson's division was stationed in the works on top, to the rear of the point. Brown's and Cumming's brigades (principally of Vicksburg paroled troops), of the same division, were fortified about 1 1/2 miles from the point, high upon the mountain, overlooking Chattanooga, and near Summertown. Another of Stevenson's brigades was on the descent of the Nickajack trace.
My command was engaged at once in burying our own and the rebel dead, and in collecting the arms tools, and other captured property on the slope of the mountain.
To Brigadier-General Whitaker I take great pleasure in tendering, officially, my warmest acknowledgments for the energetic and soldierly manner in which he and the brave officers and men of his command fulfilled, with ability worthy emulation, the post assigned them in the storming of the rebel stronghold. Though not in the front line during the ascent, they steadily supported it with marked enthusiasm under the raking fire of the enemy and other adverse circumstances. Their conduct, and that of their leader, is worthy of my hearty official approval, which is gratefully tendered.
The list of casualties and report of captures will be found appended to this report. The rebel general, J. H. Lane, of North Carolina, was among the officers killed.*
At shortly after 10 o'clock on the morning of the 25th, pursuant to General Hooker's order, my division, preceded by Osterhaus' and Cruft's divisions, marched down the mountain toward Mission Ridge, upon the left of which the rebel troops, withdrawn from Lookout and Chattanooga Valleys during the night, had been placed in position, in extension of the entire rebel lines, their left resting on the ridge, within 6 miles of Lookout Mountain.
We descended into Chattanooga Valley, and, crossing the road from Chattanooga to McLemore's Cove, and taking the rebel route of retreat as the road to Rossville, crossed Chattanooga Creek, where we were detained nearly three hours in reconstruction of the bridge destroyed by the rebels. The enemy disputed the advance of the column, with artillery from the gap, for a short time, but he was driven back, and one of his guns captured. When near Rossville Gap, at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, my column, by your orders, turned to the left, and followed the base of Mission Ridge in a northeasterly direction, the ridge running northeast and southwest.
The left of our army was then hotly engaged north of us, on the ridge, and the roar of cannon and of musketry was incessant.
While Cruft was getting a foot-hold to sweep along the crest line, and Osterhaus was moving down the eastern base, with my own division and five batteries, under Major Reynolds, I advanced along