more precipitous and well covered with timber upon its summit. During the afternoon and night previous, and up to the time of our arrival,the whole of Bragg's retreating forces had passed through the gap toward Dalton, leaving Cleburne's division, of Hardee's corps, in position upon the ridge to dispute our passage and enable their trains and artillery to get well on their way, as they were now closely pressed. The rebel division was reputed as the best in Bragg's army-its position was a very strong one, the rebel lines extending both ways from the gap.
At 7.30 am. Osterhaus had formed his lines at the foot of the hill, and pushing forward heavy lines of skirmishers, assaulted the ridge under severe fire from the enemy.
Shortly after 8 o'clock, Osterhaus being warmly engaged, I received orders from General Hooker to send a brigade to the left to scale the mountain, gain the summit,if possible, attack the enemy in flank, and to charge with vigor along the ridge. I immediately dispatched Creighton's brigade past Osterhaus' left, which it unmasked about a quarter of a mile, and it was formed about three-quarters of a mile from the gap, parallel with the railroad,in two lines en echelon, the Sixty-sixth Ohio and Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania in front, and the Seventh Ohio and One hundred and forty-seventh Pennsylvania 100 yards in rear.
Creighton's movements were made with rapidity. He marched across a large open fired to the foot of the ridge under a severe fire from the summit. The two lines were here deployed into a single line of battle, throwing the Seventh Ohio and One hundred and forty-seventh Pennsylvania on the left to prevent the enemy from having the advantage of a concentration of fire, and to cause an extension of his line and weakening of his front.
Under an accurate and galling fire poured down upon them from the heights 500 feet above with effect that began to tell upon his ranks, Creighton steadily ascended the steep sides of the hill, resolutely determined to carry it with that sanguineness which prowess had in its many engagements inspired that gallant command. Our fire was withheld until half way up and within close range, when the whole line opened upon the rebels on the summit, the carcasses of many of whom attested to its accuracy and effect. Volley after volley was poured into the opposing hosts above, and a murderous fire swept back into our own lines. The men regarded not the fatigue consequent upon climbing the precipitous hill-side, but with the proverbial coolness of that gallant organization, it sustained the shock of battle, and for half an hour dealt destruction to the foe, who was formidable engaged with like intent.
Observing the enemy to be massing in Creighton's front, and re-enforcements against us arriving. I directed him to make a final attempt to carry the point and execute the mission of so much importance bearing upon our success, keeping the troops as much sheltered as possible. The brigade continued the assault, protected as much as could be with rocks and trees, delivering its fire with precision as it advanced.
The ascent was necessarily slow, as it would have been a severe task to have mounted the abrupt acclivity even without opposition in front.
The Seventh Ohio,on the right of the regiment of the extreme left, wrs compelled to move through a ravine, through which it was