War of the Rebellion: Serial 055 Page 0508 Chapter XIIII. KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N. ALA.,AND N.GA.

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nooga Creek, and I sent out parties to feel in that direction, so as to ascertain to what extent he had withdrawn. While engaged in this way orders were brought me, directly from department headquarters, directing me to pass with my division to the extreme left to the assistance of General Sherman, then hotly engaged in the vicinity of Tunnel Hill. The road I was required to take led along the river, and it was several miles to the point where I struck the rear of General Sherman's command. I had barely reached this point with the head of my column when a messenger reached me with orders to return toward the center, and to form my division on the left of the troops occupying that position. I would thus prolong the line formed by General Granger's corps toward the left, and partially fill up the long interval between him and General Sherman. It was then about noon, and owing to the difficult character of the ground, intersected by streams, marshes, and thickets, it was some time before I could reach the spot and get the division into position. When established, my right joined the left of General S. Beatty's brigade, of Wood's division, at a point not far to the north of Orchard Knob, my left extending well off toward the tunnel. My brigades were posted in their order from right to left, General Turchin on the right, Colonel Van Derveer in the center, and Colonel Phelps on the left, and the division was in two lines, the first deployed, with a heavy skirmish line in front and on the left, which was otherwise uncovered. The interval between my left and General Sherman was perhaps 2 miles in extent, communication being open between us by passing round to the rear, but on the direct line lay the rebel masses which were opposing him. I had just completed the establishment of my line, and was upon the left of it, when a staff officer from Major-General Thomas brought me verbal orders to move forward to the edge of the open ground which bordered the foot of Mission Ridge within striking distance of the rebel rifle-pits at its base, so as to be ready at a signal, which would be the firing of six guns from Orchard Knob, to dash forward and take those pits. He added, this was intended as preparatory to a general assault on the mountain, and that it was doubtless designed by the major-general commanding that I should take part in this movement, so that I would be following that I should take part in this movement, so that I would be following his wishes were I to push on to the summit. I gave the necessary orders to the Third Brigade, and, passing on to the right, was in the act of communicating them to Colonel Van Derveer, of the Second, when firing from Orchard Knob began. Many more than six shots were fired, and it was impossible to determine whether it was the signal fixed upon or not. Nevertheless, I hastened to the First Brigade, when I found the troops of General Wood's division already in motion, going forward. I at once directed General Turchin to push to the front, and without halting to take the rifle-pits; then conforming his movements to those of the troops on his right, to endeavor to gain the summit of the mountain along with them. I then passed back toward the left to see how things were progressing there, and found the first line of both the Second and Third Brigades in possession of the rifle-pits, from which the enemy had been handsomely dislodged, the second line lying down some short distance in the rear.

The rebel troops which had occupied the works were in retreat up the mountain, while numerous batteries, both in our from and far to our right and left, opened upon us a heavy cross-fire from the crest. For a time this cannonade was indeed severe; the atmos-