Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant [Volume Two]
Ulysses S. Grant

Part 1 out of 9

This etext was prepared by Glen Bledsoe.
Additional proofing by David Widger


by U. S. Grant


PREFACE. [To both volumes]

"Man proposes and God disposes." There are but few important
events in the affairs of men brought about by their own choice.

Although frequently urged by friends to write my memoirs I had
determined never to do so, nor to write anything for
publication. At the age of nearly sixty-two I received an
injury from a fall, which confined me closely to the house while
it did not apparently affect my general health. This made study
a pleasant pastime. Shortly after, the rascality of a business
partner developed itself by the announcement of a failure. This
was followed soon after by universal depression of all
securities, which seemed to threaten the extinction of a good
part of the income still retained, and for which I am indebted
to the kindly act of friends. At this juncture the editor of
the Century Magazine asked me to write a few articles for him. I
consented for the money it gave me; for at that moment I was
living upon borrowed money. The work I found congenial, and I
determined to continue it. The event is an important one for
me, for good or evil; I hope for the former.

In preparing these volumes for the public, I have entered upon
the task with the sincere desire to avoid doing injustice to any
one, whether on the National or Confederate side, other than the
unavoidable injustice of not making mention often where special
mention is due. There must be many errors of omission in this
work, because the subject is too large to be treated of in two
volumes in such way as to do justice to all the officers and men
engaged. There were thousands of instances, during the
rebellion, of individual, company, regimental and brigade deeds
of heroism which deserve special mention and are not here
alluded to. The troops engaged in them will have to look to the
detailed reports of their individual commanders for the full
history of those deeds.

The first volume, as well as a portion of the second, was
written before I had reason to suppose I was in a critical
condition of health. Later I was reduced almost to the point of
death, and it became impossible for me to attend to anything for
weeks. I have, however, somewhat regained my strength, and am
able, often, to devote as many hours a day as a person should
devote to such work. I would have more hope of satisfying the
expectation of the public if I could have allowed myself more
time. I have used my best efforts, with the aid of my eldest
son, F. D. Grant, assisted by his brothers, to verify from the
records every statement of fact given. The comments are my own,
and show how I saw the matters treated of whether others saw them
in the same light or not.

With these remarks I present these volumes to the public, asking
no favor but hoping they will meet the approval of the reader.







































Begin Volume Two



The reply (to my telegram of October 16, 1863, from Cairo,
announcing my arrival at that point) came on the morning of the
17th, directing me to proceed immediately to the Galt House,
Louisville, where I would meet an officer of the War Department
with my instructions. I left Cairo within an hour or two after
the receipt of this dispatch, going by rail via Indianapolis.
Just as the train I was on was starting out of the depot at
Indianapolis a messenger came running up to stop it, saying the
Secretary of War was coming into the station and wanted to see

I had never met Mr. Stanton up to that time, though we had held
frequent conversations over the wires the year before, when I
was in Tennessee. Occasionally at night he would order the
wires between the War Department and my headquarters to be
connected, and we would hold a conversation for an hour or
two. On this occasion the Secretary was accompanied by Governor
Brough of Ohio, whom I had never met, though he and my father had
been old acquaintances. Mr. Stanton dismissed the special train
that had brought him to Indianapolis, and accompanied me to

Up to this time no hint had been given me of what was wanted
after I left Vicksburg, except the suggestion in one of
Halleck's dispatches that I had better go to Nashville and
superintend the operation of troops sent to relieve Rosecrans.
Soon after we started the Secretary handed me two orders, saying
that I might take my choice of them. The two were identical in
all but one particular. Both created the "Military Division of
Mississippi," (giving me the command) composed of the
Departments of the Ohio, the Cumberland, and the Tennessee, and
all the territory from the Alleghanies to the Mississippi River
north of Banks's command in the south-west. One order left the
department commanders as they were, while the other relieved
Rosecrans and assigned Thomas to his place. I accepted the
latter. We reached Louisville after night and, if I remember
rightly, in a cold, drizzling rain. The Secretary of War told
me afterwards that he caught a cold on that occasion from which
he never expected to recover. He never did.

A day was spent in Louisville, the Secretary giving me the
military news at the capital and talking about the
disappointment at the results of some of the campaigns. By the
evening of the day after our arrival all matters of discussion
seemed exhausted, and I left the hotel to spend the evening
away, both Mrs. Grant (who was with me) and myself having
relatives living in Louisville. In the course of the evening
Mr. Stanton received a dispatch from Mr. C. A. Dana, then in
Chattanooga, informing him that unless prevented Rosecrans would
retreat, and advising peremptory orders against his doing so.

As stated before, after the fall of Vicksburg I urged strongly
upon the government the propriety of a movement against
Mobile. General Rosecrans had been at Murfreesboro', Tennessee,
with a large and well-equipped army from early in the year 1863,
with Bragg confronting him with a force quite equal to his own
at first, considering it was on the defensive. But after the
investment of Vicksburg Bragg's army was largely depleted to
strengthen Johnston, in Mississippi, who was being reinforced to
raise the siege. I frequently wrote General Halleck suggesting
that Rosecrans should move against Bragg. By so doing he would
either detain the latter's troops where they were or lay
Chattanooga open to capture. General Halleck strongly approved
the suggestion, and finally wrote me that he had repeatedly
ordered Rosecrans to advance, but that the latter had constantly
failed to comply with the order, and at last, after having held a
council of war, had replied in effect that it was a military
maxim "not to fight two decisive battles at the same time." If
true, the maxim was not applicable in this case. It would be
bad to be defeated in two decisive battles fought the same day,
but it would not be bad to win them. I, however, was fighting
no battle, and the siege of Vicksburg had drawn from Rosecrans'
front so many of the enemy that his chances of victory were much
greater than they would be if he waited until the siege was over,
when these troops could be returned. Rosecrans was ordered to
move against the army that was detaching troops to raise the
siege. Finally he did move, on the 24th of June, but ten days
afterwards Vicksburg surrendered, and the troops sent from Bragg
were free to return.

It was at this time that I recommended to the general-in-chief
the movement against Mobile. I knew the peril the Army of the
Cumberland was in, being depleted continually, not only by
ordinary casualties, but also by having to detach troops to hold
its constantly extending line over which to draw supplies, while
the enemy in front was as constantly being strengthened. Mobile
was important to the enemy, and in the absence of a threatening
force was guarded by little else than artillery. If threatened
by land and from the water at the same time the prize would fall
easily, or troops would have to be sent to its defence. Those
troops would necessarily come from Bragg. My judgment was
overruled, and the troops under my command were dissipated over
other parts of the country where it was thought they could
render the most service.

Soon it was discovered in Washington that Rosecrans was in
trouble and required assistance. The emergency was now too
immediate to allow us to give this assistance by making an
attack in rear of Bragg upon Mobile. It was therefore necessary
to reinforce directly, and troops were sent from every available

Rosecrans had very skilfully manoeuvred Bragg south of the
Tennessee River, and through and beyond Chattanooga. If he had
stopped and intrenched, and made himself strong there, all would
have been right and the mistake of not moving earlier partially
compensated. But he pushed on, with his forces very much
scattered, until Bragg's troops from Mississippi began to join
him. Then Bragg took the initiative. Rosecrans had to fall
back in turn, and was able to get his army together at
Chickamauga, some miles south-east of Chattanooga, before the
main battle was brought on. The battle was fought on the 19th
and 20th of September, and Rosecrans was badly defeated, with a
heavy loss in artillery and some sixteen thousand men killed,
wounded and captured. The corps under Major-General George H.
Thomas stood its ground, while Rosecrans, with Crittenden and
McCook, returned to Chattanooga. Thomas returned also, but
later, and with his troops in good order. Bragg followed and
took possession of Missionary Ridge, overlooking Chattanooga. He
also occupied Lookout Mountain, west of the town, which Rosecrans
had abandoned, and with it his control of the river and the river
road as far back as Bridgeport. The National troops were now
strongly intrenched in Chattanooga Valley, with the Tennessee
River behind them and the enemy occupying commanding heights to
the east and west, with a strong line across the valley from
mountain to mountain, and with Chattanooga Creek, for a large
part of the way, in front of their line.

On the 29th Halleck telegraphed me the above results, and
directed all the forces that could be spared from my department
to be sent to Rosecrans. Long before this dispatch was received
Sherman was on his way, and McPherson was moving east with most
of the garrison of Vicksburg.

A retreat at that time would have been a terrible disaster. It
would not only have been the loss of a most important strategic
position to us, but it would have been attended with the loss of
all the artillery still left with the Army of the Cumberland and
the annihilation of that army itself, either by capture or

All supplies for Rosecrans had to be brought from Nashville. The
railroad between this base and the army was in possession of the
government up to Bridgeport, the point at which the road crosses
to the south side of the Tennessee River; but Bragg, holding
Lookout and Raccoon mountains west of Chattanooga, commanded the
railroad, the river and the shortest and best wagon-roads, both
south and north of the Tennessee, between Chattanooga and
Bridgeport. The distance between these two places is but
twenty-six miles by rail, but owing to the position of Bragg,
all supplies for Rosecrans had to be hauled by a circuitous
route north of the river and over a mountainous country,
increasing the distance to over sixty miles.

This country afforded but little food for his animals, nearly
ten thousand of which had already starved, and not enough were
left to draw a single piece of artillery or even the ambulances
to convey the sick. The men had been on half rations of hard
bread for a considerable time, with but few other supplies
except beef driven from Nashville across the country. The
region along the road became so exhausted of food for the cattle
that by the time they reached Chattanooga they were much in the
condition of the few animals left alive there--"on the lift."
Indeed, the beef was so poor that the soldiers were in the habit
of saying, with a faint facetiousness, that they were living on
"half rations of hard bread and BEEF DRIED ON THE HOOF."

Nothing could be transported but food, and the troops were
without sufficient shoes or other clothing suitable for the
advancing season. What they had was well worn. The fuel within
the Federal lines was exhausted, even to the stumps of trees.
There were no teams to draw it from the opposite bank, where it
was abundant. The only way of supplying fuel, for some time
before my arrival, had been to cut trees on the north bank of
the river at a considerable distance up the stream, form rafts
of it and float it down with the current, effecting a landing on
the south side within our lines by the use of paddles or poles.
It would then be carried on the shoulders of the men to their

If a retreat had occurred at this time it is not probable that
any of the army would have reached the railroad as an organized
body, if followed by the enemy.

On the receipt of Mr. Dana's dispatch Mr. Stanton sent for me.
Finding that I was out he became nervous and excited, inquiring
of every person he met, including guests of the house, whether
they knew where I was, and bidding them find me and send me to
him at once. About eleven o'clock I returned to the hotel, and
on my way, when near the house, every person met was a messenger
from the Secretary, apparently partaking of his impatience to see
me. I hastened to the room of the Secretary and found him pacing
the floor rapidly in his dressing-gown. Saying that the retreat
must be prevented, he showed me the dispatch. I immediately
wrote an order assuming command of the Military Division of the
Mississippi, and telegraphed it to General Rosecrans. I then
telegraphed to him the order from Washington assigning Thomas to
the command of the Army of the Cumberland; and to Thomas that he
must hold Chattanooga at all hazards, informing him at the same
time that I would be at the front as soon as possible. A prompt
reply was received from Thomas, saying, "We will hold the town
till we starve." I appreciated the force of this dispatch later
when I witnessed the condition of affairs which prompted it. It
looked, indeed, as if but two courses were open: one to starve,
the other to surrender or be captured.

On the morning of the 20th of October I started, with my staff,
and proceeded as far as Nashville. At that time it was not
prudent to travel beyond that point by night, so I remained in
Nashville until the next morning. Here I met for the first time
Andrew Johnson, Military Governor of Tennessee. He delivered a
speech of welcome. His composure showed that it was by no means
his maiden effort. It was long, and I was in torture while he
was delivering it, fearing something would be expected from me
in response. I was relieved, however, the people assembled
having apparently heard enough. At all events they commenced a
general hand-shaking, which, although trying where there is so
much of it, was a great relief to me in this emergency.

From Nashville I telegraphed to Burnside, who was then at
Knoxville, that important points in his department ought to be
fortified, so that they could be held with the least number of
men; to Admiral Porter at Cairo, that Sherman's advance had
passed Eastport, Mississippi, that rations were probably on
their way from St. Louis by boat for supplying his army, and
requesting him to send a gunboat to convoy them; and to Thomas,
suggesting that large parties should be put at work on the
wagon-road then in use back to Bridgeport.

On the morning of the 21st we took the train for the front,
reaching Stevenson Alabama, after dark. Rosecrans was there on
his way north. He came into my car and we held a brief
interview, in which he described very clearly the situation at
Chattanooga, and made some excellent suggestions as to what
should be done. My only wonder was that he had not carried them
out. We then proceeded to Bridgeport, where we stopped for the
night. From here we took horses and made our way by Jasper and
over Waldron's Ridge to Chattanooga. There had been much rain,
and the roads were almost impassable from mud, knee-deep in
places, and from wash-outs on the mountain sides. I had been on
crutches since the time of my fall in New Orleans, and had to be
carried over places where it was not safe to cross on
horseback. The roads were strewn with the debris of broken
wagons and the carcasses of thousands of starved mules and
horses. At Jasper, some ten or twelve miles from Bridgeport,
there was a halt. General O. O. Howard had his headquarters
there. From this point I telegraphed Burnside to make every
effort to secure five hundred rounds of ammunition for his
artillery and small-arms. We stopped for the night at a little
hamlet some ten or twelve miles farther on. The next day we
reached Chattanooga a little before dark. I went directly to
General Thomas's headquarters, and remaining there a few days,
until I could establish my own.

During the evening most of the general officers called in to pay
their respects and to talk about the condition of affairs. They
pointed out on the map the line, marked with a red or blue
pencil, which Rosecrans had contemplated falling back upon. If
any of them had approved the move they did not say so to me. I
found General W. F. Smith occupying the position of chief
engineer of the Army of the Cumberland. I had known Smith as a
cadet at West Point, but had no recollection of having met him
after my graduation, in 1843, up to this time. He explained the
situation of the two armies and the topography of the country so
plainly that I could see it without an inspection. I found that
he had established a saw-mill on the banks of the river, by
utilizing an old engine found in the neighborhood; and, by
rafting logs from the north side of the river above, had got out
the lumber and completed pontoons and roadway plank for a second
bridge, one flying bridge being there already. He was also
rapidly getting out the materials and constructing the boats for
a third bridge. In addition to this he had far under way a
steamer for plying between Chattanooga and Bridgeport whenever
we might get possession of the river. This boat consisted of a
scow, made of the plank sawed out at the mill, housed in, and a
stern wheel attached which was propelled by a second engine
taken from some shop or factory.

I telegraphed to Washington this night, notifying General
Halleck of my arrival, and asking to have General Sherman
assigned to the command of the Army of the Tennessee,
headquarters in the field. The request was at once complied



The next day, the 24th, I started out to make a personal
inspection, taking Thomas and Smith with me, besides most of the
members of my personal staff. We crossed to the north side of
the river, and, moving to the north of detached spurs of hills,
reached the Tennessee at Brown's Ferry, some three miles below
Lookout Mountain, unobserved by the enemy. Here we left our
horses back from the river and approached the water on foot.
There was a picket station of the enemy on the opposite side, of
about twenty men, in full view, and we were within easy range.
They did not fire upon us nor seem to be disturbed by our
presence. They must have seen that we were all commissioned
officers. But, I suppose, they looked upon the garrison of
Chattanooga as prisoners of war, feeding or starving themselves,
and thought it would be inhuman to kill any of them except in

That night I issued orders for opening the route to
Bridgeport--a cracker line, as the soldiers appropriately termed
it. They had been so long on short rations that my first thought
was the establishment of a line over which food might reach them.

Chattanooga is on the south bank of the Tennessee, where that
river runs nearly due west. It is at the northern end of a
valley five or six miles in width, through which Chattanooga
Creek runs. To the east of the valley is Missionary Ridge,
rising from five to eight hundred feet above the creek and
terminating somewhat abruptly a half mile or more before
reaching the Tennessee. On the west of the valley is Lookout
Mountain, twenty-two hundred feet above-tide water. Just below
the town the Tennessee makes a turn to the south and runs to the
base of Lookout Mountain, leaving no level ground between the
mountain and river. The Memphis and Charleston Railroad passes
this point, where the mountain stands nearly perpendicular. East
of Missionary Ridge flows the South Chickamauga River; west of
Lookout Mountain is Lookout Creek; and west of that, Raccoon
Mountains. Lookout Mountain, at its northern end, rises almost
perpendicularly for some distance, then breaks off in a gentle
slope of cultivated fields to near the summit, where it ends in
a palisade thirty or more feet in height. On the gently sloping
ground, between the upper and lower palisades, there is a single
farmhouse, which is reached by a wagon-road from the valley east.

The intrenched line of the enemy commenced on the north end of
Missionary Ridge and extended along the crest for some distance
south, thence across Chattanooga valley to Lookout Mountain.
Lookout Mountain was also fortified and held by the enemy, who
also kept troops in Lookout valley west, and on Raccoon
Mountain, with pickets extending down the river so as to command
the road on the north bank and render it useless to us. In
addition to this there was an intrenched line in Chattanooga
valley extending from the river east of the town to Lookout
Mountain, to make the investment complete. Besides the
fortifications on Mission Ridge, there was a line at the base of
the hill, with occasional spurs of rifle-pits half-way up the
front. The enemy's pickets extended out into the valley towards
the town, so far that the pickets of the two armies could
converse. At one point they were separated only by the narrow
creek which gives its name to the valley and town, and from
which both sides drew water. The Union lines were shorter than
those of the enemy.

Thus the enemy, with a vastly superior force, was strongly
fortified to the east, south, and west, and commanded the river
below. Practically, the Army of the Cumberland was besieged.
The enemy had stopped with his cavalry north of the river the
passing of a train loaded with ammunition and medical
supplies. The Union army was short of both, not having
ammunition enough for a day's fighting.

General Halleck had, long before my coming into this new field,
ordered parts of the 11th and 12th corps, commanded respectively
by Generals Howard and Slocum, Hooker in command of the whole,
from the Army of the Potomac to reinforce Rosecrans. It would
have been folly to send them to Chattanooga to help eat up the
few rations left there. They were consequently left on the
railroad, where supplies could be brought to them. Before my
arrival, Thomas ordered their concentration at Bridgeport.

General W. F. Smith had been so instrumental in preparing for
the move which I was now about to make, and so clear in his
judgment about the manner of making it, that I deemed it but
just to him that he should have command of the troops detailed
to execute the design, although he was then acting as a staff
officer and was not in command of troops.

On the 24th of October, after my return to Chattanooga, the
following details were made: General Hooker, who was now at
Bridgeport, was ordered to cross to the south side of the
Tennessee and march up by Whitesides and Wauhatchie to Brown's
Ferry. General Palmer, with a division of the 14th corps, Army
of the Cumberland, was ordered to move down the river on the
north side, by a back road, until opposite Whitesides, then
cross and hold the road in Hooker's rear after he had passed.
Four thousand men were at the same time detailed to act under
General Smith directly from Chattanooga. Eighteen hundred of
them, under General Hazen, were to take sixty pontoon boats, and
under cover of night float by the pickets of the enemy at the
north base of Lookout, down to Brown's Ferry, then land on the
south side and capture or drive away the pickets at that
point. Smith was to march with the remainder of the detail,
also under cover of night, by the north bank of the river to
Brown's Ferry, taking with him all the material for laying the
bridge as soon as the crossing was secured.

On the 26th, Hooker crossed the river at Bridgeport and
commenced his eastward march. At three o'clock on the morning
of the 27th, Hazen moved into the stream with his sixty pontoons
and eighteen hundred brave and well-equipped men. Smith started
enough in advance to be near the river when Hazen should
arrive. There are a number of detached spurs of hills north of
the river at Chattanooga, back of which is a good road parallel
to the stream, sheltered from the view from the top of
Lookout. It was over this road Smith marched. At five o'clock
Hazen landed at Brown's Ferry, surprised the picket guard, and
captured most of it. By seven o'clock the whole of Smith's
force was ferried over and in possession of a height commanding
the ferry. This was speedily fortified, while a detail was
laying the pontoon bridge. By ten o'clock the bridge was laid,
and our extreme right, now in Lookout valley, was fortified and
connected with the rest of the army. The two bridges over the
Tennessee River--a flying one at Chattanooga and the new one at
Brown's Ferry--with the road north of the river, covered from
both the fire and the view of the enemy, made the connection
complete. Hooker found but slight obstacles in his way, and on
the afternoon of the 28th emerged into Lookout valley at
Wauhatchie. Howard marched on to Brown's Ferry, while Geary,
who commanded a division in the 12th corps, stopped three miles
south. The pickets of the enemy on the river below were now cut
off, and soon came in and surrendered.

The river was now opened to us from Lookout valley to
Bridgeport. Between Brown's Ferry and Kelly's Ferry the
Tennessee runs through a narrow gorge in the mountains, which
contracts the stream so much as to increase the current beyond
the capacity of an ordinary steamer to stem it. To get up these
rapids, steamers must be cordelled; that is, pulled up by ropes
from the shore. But there is no difficulty in navigating the
stream from Bridgeport to Kelly's Ferry. The latter point is
only eight miles from Chattanooga and connected with it by a
good wagon-road, which runs through a low pass in the Raccoon
Mountains on the south side of the river to Brown's Ferry,
thence on the north side to the river opposite Chattanooga.
There were several steamers at Bridgeport, and abundance of
forage, clothing and provisions.

On the way to Chattanooga I had telegraphed back to Nashville
for a good supply of vegetables and small rations, which the
troops had been so long deprived of. Hooker had brought with
him from the east a full supply of land transportation. His
animals had not been subjected to hard work on bad roads without
forage, but were in good condition. In five days from my arrival
in Chattanooga the way was open to Bridgeport and, with the aid
of steamers and Hooker's teams, in a week the troops were
receiving full rations. It is hard for any one not an
eye-witness to realize the relief this brought. The men were
soon reclothed and also well fed, an abundance of ammunition was
brought up, and a cheerfulness prevailed not before enjoyed in
many weeks. Neither officers nor men looked upon themselves any
longer as doomed. The weak and languid appearance of the troops,
so visible before, disappeared at once. I do not know what the
effect was on the other side, but assume it must have been
correspondingly depressing. Mr. Davis had visited Bragg but a
short time before, and must have perceived our condition to be
about as Bragg described it in his subsequent report. "These
dispositions," he said, "faithfully sustained, insured the
enemy's speedy evacuation of Chattanooga for want of food and
forage. Possessed of the shortest route to his depot, and the
one by which reinforcements must reach him, we held him at our
mercy, and his destruction was only a question of time." But
the dispositions were not "faithfully sustained," and I doubt
not but thousands of men engaged in trying to "sustain" them now
rejoice that they were not. There was no time during the
rebellion when I did not think, and often say, that the South
was more to be benefited by its defeat than the North. The
latter had the people, the institutions, and the territory to
make a great and prosperous nation. The former was burdened
with an institution abhorrent to all civilized people not
brought up under it, and one which degraded labor, kept it in
ignorance, and enervated the governing class. With the outside
world at war with this institution, they could not have extended
their territory. The labor of the country was not skilled, nor
allowed to become so. The whites could not toil without
becoming degraded, and those who did were denominated "poor
white trash." The system of labor would have soon exhausted the
soil and left the people poor. The non-slaveholders would have
left the country, and the small slaveholder must have sold out
to his more fortunate neighbor. Soon the slaves would have
outnumbered the masters, and, not being in sympathy with them,
would have risen in their might and exterminated them. The war
was expensive to the South as well as to the North, both in
blood and treasure, but it was worth all it cost.

The enemy was surprised by the movements which secured to us a
line of supplies. He appreciated its importance, and hastened
to try to recover the line from us. His strength on Lookout
Mountain was not equal to Hooker's command in the valley
below. From Missionary Ridge he had to march twice the distance
we had from Chattanooga, in order to reach Lookout Valley; but on
the night of the 28th and 29th an attack was made on Geary at
Wauhatchie by Longstreet's corps. When the battle commenced,
Hooker ordered Howard up from Brown's Ferry. He had three miles
to march to reach Geary. On his way he was fired upon by rebel
troops from a foot-hill to the left of the road and from which
the road was commanded. Howard turned to the left, charged up
the hill and captured it before the enemy had time to intrench,
taking many prisoners. Leaving sufficient men to hold this
height, he pushed on to reinforce Geary. Before he got up,
Geary had been engaged for about three hours against a vastly
superior force. The night was so dark that the men could not
distinguish one from another except by the light of the flashes
of their muskets. In the darkness and uproar Hooker's teamsters
became frightened and deserted their teams. The mules also
became frightened, and breaking loose from their fastenings
stampeded directly towards the enemy. The latter, no doubt,
took this for a charge, and stampeded in turn. By four o'clock
in the morning the battle had entirely ceased, and our "cracker
line" was never afterward disturbed.

In securing possession of Lookout Valley, Smith lost one man
killed and four or five wounded. The enemy lost most of his
pickets at the ferry, captured. In the night engagement of the
28th-9th Hooker lost 416 killed and wounded. I never knew the
loss of the enemy, but our troops buried over one hundred and
fifty of his dead and captured more than a hundred.

After we had secured the opening of a line over which to bring
our supplies to the army, I made a personal inspection to see
the situation of the pickets of the two armies. As I have
stated, Chattanooga Creek comes down the centre of the valley to
within a mile or such a matter of the town of Chattanooga, then
bears off westerly, then north-westerly, and enters the
Tennessee River at the foot of Lookout Mountain. This creek,
from its mouth up to where it bears off west, lay between the
two lines of pickets, and the guards of both armies drew their
water from the same stream. As I would be under short-range
fire and in an open country, I took nobody with me, except, I
believe, a bugler, who stayed some distance to the rear. I rode
from our right around to our left. When I came to the camp of
the picket guard of our side, I heard the call, "Turn out the
guard for the commanding general." I replied, "Never mind the
guard," and they were dismissed and went back to their tents.
Just back of these, and about equally distant from the creek,
were the guards of the Confederate pickets. The sentinel on
their post called out in like manner, "Turn out the guard for
the commanding general," and, I believe, added, "General
Grant." Their line in a moment front-faced to the north, facing
me, and gave a salute, which I returned.

The most friendly relations seemed to exist between the pickets
of the two armies. At one place there was a tree which had
fallen across the stream, and which was used by the soldiers of
both armies in drawing water for their camps. General
Longstreet's corps was stationed there at the time, and wore
blue of a little different shade from our uniform. Seeing a
soldier in blue on this log, I rode up to him, commenced
conversing with him, and asked whose corps he belonged to. He
was very polite, and, touching his hat to me, said he belonged
to General Longstreet's corps. I asked him a few questions--but
not with a view of gaining any particular information--all of
which he answered, and I rode off.



Having got the Army of the Cumberland in a comfortable position,
I now began to look after the remainder of my new command.
Burnside was in about as desperate a condition as the Army of
the Cumberland had been, only he was not yet besieged. He was a
hundred miles from the nearest possible base, Big South Fork of
the Cumberland River, and much farther from any railroad we had
possession of. The roads back were over mountains, and all
supplies along the line had long since been exhausted. His
animals, too, had been starved, and their carcasses lined the
road from Cumberland Gap, and far back towards Lexington, Ky.
East Tennessee still furnished supplies of beef, bread and
forage, but it did not supply ammunition, clothing, medical
supplies, or small rations, such as coffee, sugar, salt and rice.

Sherman had started from Memphis for Corinth on the 11th of
October. His instructions required him to repair the road in
his rear in order to bring up supplies. The distance was about
three hundred and thirty miles through a hostile country. His
entire command could not have maintained the road if it had been
completed. The bridges had all been destroyed by the enemy, and
much other damage done. A hostile community lived along the
road; guerilla bands infested the country, and more or less of
the cavalry of the enemy was still in the West. Often Sherman's
work was destroyed as soon as completed, and he only a short
distance away.

The Memphis and Charleston Railroad strikes the Tennessee River
at Eastport, Mississippi. Knowing the difficulty Sherman would
have to supply himself from Memphis, I had previously ordered
supplies sent from St. Louis on small steamers, to be convoyed
by the navy, to meet him at Eastport. These he got. I now
ordered him to discontinue his work of repairing roads and to
move on with his whole force to Stevenson, Alabama, without
delay. This order was borne to Sherman by a messenger, who
paddled down the Tennessee in a canoe and floated over Muscle
Shoals; it was delivered at Iuka on the 27th. In this Sherman
was notified that the rebels were moving a force towards
Cleveland, East Tennessee, and might be going to Nashville, in
which event his troops were in the best position to beat them
there. Sherman, with his characteristic promptness, abandoned
the work he was engaged upon and pushed on at once. On the 1st
of November he crossed the Tennessee at Eastport, and that day
was in Florence, Alabama, with the head of column, while his
troops were still crossing at Eastport, with Blair bringing up
the rear.

Sherman's force made an additional army, with cavalry,
artillery, and trains, all to be supplied by the single track
road from Nashville. All indications pointed also to the
probable necessity of supplying Burnside's command in East
Tennessee, twenty-five thousand more, by the same route. A
single track could not do this. I gave, therefore, an order to
Sherman to halt General G. M. Dodge's command, of about eight
thousand men, at Athens, and subsequently directed the latter to
arrange his troops along the railroad from Decatur north towards
Nashville, and to rebuild that road. The road from Nashville to
Decatur passes over a broken country, cut up with innumerable
streams, many of them of considerable width, and with valleys
far below the road-bed. All the bridges over these had been
destroyed, and the rails taken up and twisted by the enemy. All
the cars and locomotives not carried off had been destroyed as
effectually as they knew how to destroy them. All bridges and
culverts had been destroyed between Nashville and Decatur, and
thence to Stevenson, where the Memphis and Charleston and the
Nashville and Chattanooga roads unite. The rebuilding of this
road would give us two roads as far as Stevenson over which to
supply the army. From Bridgeport, a short distance farther
east, the river supplements the road.

General Dodge, besides being a most capable soldier, was an
experienced railroad builder. He had no tools to work with
except those of the pioneers--axes, picks, and spades. With
these he was able to intrench his men and protect them against
surprises by small parties of the enemy. As he had no base of
supplies until the road could be completed back to Nashville,
the first matter to consider after protecting his men was the
getting in of food and forage from the surrounding country. He
had his men and teams bring in all the grain they could find, or
all they needed, and all the cattle for beef, and such other food
as could be found. Millers were detailed from the ranks to run
the mills along the line of the army. When these were not near
enough to the troops for protection they were taken down and
moved up to the line of the road. Blacksmith shops, with all
the iron and steel found in them, were moved up in like
manner. Blacksmiths were detailed and set to work making the
tools necessary in railroad and bridge building. Axemen were
put to work getting out timber for bridges and cutting fuel for
locomotives when the road should be completed. Car-builders
were set to work repairing the locomotives and cars. Thus every
branch of railroad building, making tools to work with, and
supplying the workmen with food, was all going on at once, and
without the aid of a mechanic or laborer except what the command
itself furnished. But rails and cars the men could not make
without material, and there was not enough rolling stock to keep
the road we already had worked to its full capacity. There were
no rails except those in use. To supply these deficiencies I
ordered eight of the ten engines General McPherson had at
Vicksburg to be sent to Nashville, and all the cars he had
except ten. I also ordered the troops in West Tennessee to
points on the river and on the Memphis and Charleston road, and
ordered the cars, locomotives and rails from all the railroads
except the Memphis and Charleston to Nashville. The military
manager of railroads also was directed to furnish more rolling
stock and, as far as he could, bridge material. General Dodge
had the work assigned him finished within forty days after
receiving his orders. The number of bridges to rebuild was one
hundred and eighty-two, many of them over deep and wide chasms;
the length of road repaired was one hundred and two miles.

The enemy's troops, which it was thought were either moving
against Burnside or were going to Nashville, went no farther
than Cleveland. Their presence there, however, alarmed the
authorities at Washington, and, on account of our helpless
condition at Chattanooga, caused me much uneasiness. Dispatches
were constantly coming, urging me to do something for Burnside's
relief; calling attention to the importance of holding East
Tennessee; saying the President was much concerned for the
protection of the loyal people in that section, etc. We had not
at Chattanooga animals to pull a single piece of artillery, much
less a supply train. Reinforcements could not help Burnside,
because he had neither supplies nor ammunition sufficient for
them; hardly, indeed, bread and meat for the men he had. There
was no relief possible for him except by expelling the enemy
from Missionary Ridge and about Chattanooga.

On the 4th of November Longstreet left our front with about
fifteen thousand troops, besides Wheeler's cavalry, five
thousand more, to go against Burnside. The situation seemed
desperate, and was more aggravating because nothing could be
done until Sherman should get up. The authorities at Washington
were now more than ever anxious for the safety of Burnside's
army, and plied me with dispatches faster than ever, urging that
something should be done for his relief. On the 7th, before
Longstreet could possibly have reached Knoxville, I ordered
Thomas peremptorily to attack the enemy's right, so as to force
the return of the troops that had gone up the valley. I
directed him to take mules, officers' horses, or animals
wherever he could get them to move the necessary artillery. But
he persisted in the declaration that he could not move a single
piece of artillery, and could not see how he could possibly
comply with the order. Nothing was left to be done but to
answer Washington dispatches as best I could; urge Sherman
forward, although he was making every effort to get forward, and
encourage Burnside to hold on, assuring him that in a short time
he should be relieved. All of Burnside's dispatches showed the
greatest confidence in his ability to hold his position as long
as his ammunition held out. He even suggested the propriety of
abandoning the territory he held south and west of Knoxville, so
as to draw the enemy farther from his base and make it more
difficult for him to get back to Chattanooga when the battle
should begin. Longstreet had a railroad as far as Loudon; but
from there to Knoxville he had to rely on wagon trains.
Burnside's suggestion, therefore, was a good one, and it was
adopted. On the 14th I telegraphed him:

"Sherman's advance has reached Bridgeport. His whole force will
be ready to move from there by Tuesday at farthest. If you can
hold Longstreet in check until he gets up, or by skirmishing and
falling back can avoid serious loss to yourself and gain time, I
will be able to force the enemy back from here and place a force
between Longstreet and Bragg that must inevitably make the former
take to the mountain-passes by every available road, to get to
his supplies. Sherman would have been here before this but for
high water in Elk River driving him some thirty miles up that
river to cross."

And again later in the day, indicating my plans for his relief,
as follows:

"Your dispatch and Dana's just received. Being there, you can
tell better how to resist Longstreet's attack than I can
direct. With your showing you had better give up Kingston at
the last moment and save the most productive part of your
possessions. Every arrangement is now made to throw Sherman's
force across the river, just at and below the mouth of
Chickamauga Creek, as soon as it arrives. Thomas will attack on
his left at the same time, and together it is expected to carry
Missionary Ridge, and from there push a force on to the railroad
between Cleveland and Dalton. Hooker will at the same time
attack, and, if he can, carry Lookout Mountain. The enemy now
seems to be looking for an attack on his left flank. This
favors us. To further confirm this, Sherman's advance division
will march direct from Whiteside to Trenton. The remainder of
his force will pass over a new road just made from Whiteside to
Kelly's Ferry, thus being concealed from the enemy, and leave
him to suppose the whole force is going up Lookout Valley.
Sherman's advance has only just reached Bridgeport. The rear
will only reach there on the 16th. This will bring it to the
19th as the earliest day for making the combined movement as
desired. Inform me if you think you can sustain yourself until
this time. I can hardly conceive of the enemy breaking through
at Kingston and pushing for Kentucky. If they should, however,
a new problem would be left for solution. Thomas has ordered a
division of cavalry to the vicinity of Sparta. I will ascertain
if they have started, and inform you. It will be entirely out
of the question to send you ten thousand men, not because they
cannot be spared, but how would they be fed after they got even
one day east from here?"

Longstreet, for some reason or other, stopped at Loudon until
the 13th. That being the terminus of his railroad
communications, it is probable he was directed to remain there
awaiting orders. He was in a position threatening Knoxville,
and at the same time where he could be brought back speedily to
Chattanooga. The day after Longstreet left Loudon, Sherman
reached Bridgeport in person and proceeded on to see me that
evening, the 14th, and reached Chattanooga the next day.

My orders for battle were all prepared in advance of Sherman's
arrival (*15), except the dates, which could not be fixed while
troops to be engaged were so far away. The possession of
Lookout Mountain was of no special advantage to us now. Hooker
was instructed to send Howard's corps to the north side of the
Tennessee, thence up behind the hills on the north side, and to
go into camp opposite Chattanooga; with the remainder of the
command, Hooker was, at a time to be afterwards appointed, to
ascend the western slope between the upper and lower palisades,
and so get into Chattanooga valley.

The plan of battle was for Sherman to attack the enemy's right
flank, form a line across it, extend our left over South
Chickamauga River so as to threaten or hold the railroad in
Bragg's rear, and thus force him either to weaken his lines
elsewhere or lose his connection with his base at Chickamauga
Station. Hooker was to perform like service on our right. His
problem was to get from Lookout Valley to Chattanooga Valley in
the most expeditious way possible; cross the latter valley
rapidly to Rossville, south of Bragg's line on Missionary Ridge,
form line there across the ridge facing north, with his right
flank extended to Chickamauga Valley east of the ridge, thus
threatening the enemy's rear on that flank and compelling him to
reinforce this also. Thomas, with the Army of the Cumberland,
occupied the centre, and was to assault while the enemy was
engaged with most of his forces on his two flanks.

To carry out this plan, Sherman was to cross the Tennessee at
Brown's Ferry and move east of Chattanooga to a point opposite
the north end of Mission Ridge, and to place his command back of
the foot-hills out of sight of the enemy on the ridge. There are
two streams called Chickamauga emptying into the Tennessee River
east of Chattanooga--North Chickamauga, taking its rise in
Tennessee, flowing south, and emptying into the river some seven
or eight miles east; while the South Chickamauga, which takes its
rise in Georgia, flows northward, and empties into the Tennessee
some three or four miles above the town. There were now one
hundred and sixteen pontoons in the North Chickamauga River,
their presence there being unknown to the enemy.

At night a division was to be marched up to that point, and at
two o'clock in the morning moved down with the current, thirty
men in each boat. A few were to land east of the mouth of the
South Chickamauga, capture the pickets there, and then lay a
bridge connecting the two banks of the river. The rest were to
land on the south side of the Tennessee, where Missionary Ridge
would strike it if prolonged, and a sufficient number of men to
man the boats were to push to the north side to ferry over the
main body of Sherman's command while those left on the south
side intrenched themselves. Thomas was to move out from his
lines facing the ridge, leaving enough of Palmer's corps to
guard against an attack down the valley. Lookout Valley being
of no present value to us, and being untenable by the enemy if
we should secure Missionary Ridge, Hooker's orders were
changed. His revised orders brought him to Chattanooga by the
established route north of the Tennessee. He was then to move
out to the right to Rossville.

Hooker's position in Lookout Valley was absolutely essential to
us so long as Chattanooga was besieged. It was the key to our
line for supplying the army. But it was not essential after the
enemy was dispersed from our front, or even after the battle for
this purpose was begun. Hooker's orders, therefore, were
designed to get his force past Lookout Mountain and Chattanooga
Valley, and up to Missionary Ridge. By crossing the north face
of Lookout the troops would come into Chattanooga Valley in rear
of the line held by the enemy across the valley, and would
necessarily force its evacuation. Orders were accordingly given
to march by this route. But days before the battle began the
advantages as well as the disadvantages of this plan of action
were all considered. The passage over the mountain was a
difficult one to make in the face of an enemy. It might consume
so much time as to lose us the use of the troops engaged in it at
other points where they were more wanted. After reaching
Chattanooga Valley, the creek of the same name, quite a
formidable stream to get an army over, had to be crossed. I was
perfectly willing that the enemy should keep Lookout Mountain
until we got through with the troops on Missionary Ridge. By
marching Hooker to the north side of the river, thence up the
stream, and recrossing at the town, he could be got in position
at any named time; when in this new position, he would have
Chattanooga Creek behind him, and the attack on Missionary Ridge
would unquestionably cause the evacuation by the enemy of his
line across the valley and on Lookout Mountain. Hooker's order
was changed accordingly. As explained elsewhere, the original
order had to be reverted to, because of a flood in the river
rendering the bridge at Brown's Ferry unsafe for the passage of
troops at the exact juncture when it was wanted to bring all the
troops together against Missionary Ridge.

The next day after Sherman's arrival I took him, with Generals
Thomas and Smith and other officers, to the north side of the
river, and showed them the ground over which Sherman had to
march, and pointed out generally what he was expected to do. I,
as well as the authorities in Washington, was still in a great
state of anxiety for Burnside's safety. Burnside himself, I
believe, was the only one who did not share in this anxiety.
Nothing could be done for him, however, until Sherman's troops
were up. As soon, therefore, as the inspection was over,
Sherman started for Bridgeport to hasten matters, rowing a boat
himself, I believe, from Kelly's Ferry. Sherman had left
Bridgeport the night of the 14th, reached Chattanooga the
evening of the 15th, made the above-described inspection on the
morning of the 16th, and started back the same evening to hurry
up his command, fully appreciating the importance of time.

His march was conducted with as much expedition as the roads and
season would admit of. By the 20th he was himself at Brown's
Ferry with the head of column, but many of his troops were far
behind, and one division (Ewing's) was at Trenton, sent that way
to create the impression that Lookout was to be taken from the
south. Sherman received his orders at the ferry, and was asked
if he could not be ready for the assault the following
morning. News had been received that the battle had been
commenced at Knoxville. Burnside had been cut off from
telegraphic communications. The President, the Secretary of
War, and General Halleck, were in an agony of suspense. My
suspense was also great, but more endurable, because I was where
I could soon do something to relieve the situation. It was
impossible to get Sherman's troops up for the next day. I then
asked him if they could not be got up to make the assault on the
morning of the 22d, and ordered Thomas to move on that date. But
the elements were against us. It rained all the 20th and 21st.
The river rose so rapidly that it was difficult to keep the
pontoons in place.

General Orlando B. Willcox, a division commander under Burnside,
was at this time occupying a position farther up the valley than
Knoxville--about Maynardville--and was still in telegraphic
communication with the North. A dispatch was received from him
saying that he was threatened from the east. The following was
sent in reply:

"If you can communicate with General Burnside, say to him that
our attack on Bragg will commence in the morning. If
successful, such a move will be made as I think will relieve
East Tennessee, if he can hold out. Longstreet passing through
our lines to Kentucky need not cause alarm. He would find the
country so bare that he would lose his transportation and
artillery before reaching Kentucky, and would meet such a force
before he got through, that he could not return."

Meantime, Sherman continued his crossing without intermission as
fast as his troops could be got up. The crossing had to be
effected in full view of the enemy on the top of Lookout
Mountain. Once over, however, the troops soon disappeared
behind the detached hill on the north side, and would not come
to view again, either to watchmen on Lookout Mountain or
Missionary Ridge, until they emerged between the hills to strike
the bank of the river. But when Sherman's advance reached a
point opposite the town of Chattanooga, Howard, who, it will be
remembered, had been concealed behind the hills on the north
side, took up his line of march to join the troops on the south
side. His crossing was in full view both from Missionary Ridge
and the top of Lookout, and the enemy of course supposed these
troops to be Sherman's. This enabled Sherman to get to his
assigned position without discovery.



On the 20th, when so much was occurring to discourage--rains
falling so heavily as to delay the passage of troops over the
river at Brown's Ferry and threatening the entire breaking of
the bridge; news coming of a battle raging at Knoxville; of
Willcox being threatened by a force from the east--a letter was
received from Bragg which contained these words: "As there may
still be some non-combatants in Chattanooga, I deem it proper to
notify you that prudence would dictate their early withdrawal."
Of course, I understood that this was a device intended to
deceive; but I did not know what the intended deception was. On
the 22d, however, a deserter came in who informed me that Bragg
was leaving our front, and on that day Buckner's division was
sent to reinforce Longstreet at Knoxville, and another division
started to follow but was recalled. The object of Bragg's
letter, no doubt, was in some way to detain me until Knoxville
could be captured, and his troops there be returned to

During the night of the 21st the rest of the pontoon boats,
completed, one hundred and sixteen in all, were carried up to
and placed in North Chickamauga. The material for the roadway
over these was deposited out of view of the enemy within a few
hundred yards of the bank of the Tennessee, where the north end
of the bridge was to rest.

Hearing nothing from Burnside, and hearing much of the distress
in Washington on his account, I could no longer defer operations
for his relief. I determined, therefore, to do on the 23d, with
the Army of the Cumberland, what had been intended to be done on
the 24th.

The position occupied by the Army of the Cumberland had been
made very strong for defence during the months it had been
besieged. The line was about a mile from the town, and extended
from Citico Creek, a small stream running near the base of
Missionary Ridge and emptying into the Tennessee about two miles
below the mouth of the South Chickamauga, on the left, to
Chattanooga Creek on the right. All commanding points on the
line were well fortified and well equipped with artillery. The
important elevations within the line had all been carefully
fortified and supplied with a proper armament. Among the
elevations so fortified was one to the east of the town, named
Fort Wood. It owed its importance chiefly to the fact that it
lay between the town and Missionary Ridge, where most of the
strength of the enemy was. Fort Wood had in it twenty-two
pieces of artillery, most of which would reach the nearer points
of the enemy's line. On the morning of the 23d Thomas, according
to instructions, moved Granger's corps of two divisions, Sheridan
and T. J. Wood commanding, to the foot of Fort Wood, and formed
them into line as if going on parade, Sheridan on the right,
Wood to the left, extending to or near Citico Creek. Palmer,
commanding the 14th corps, held that part of our line facing
south and southwest. He supported Sheridan with one division
(Baird's), while his other division under Johnson remained in
the trenches, under arms, ready to be moved to any point.
Howard's corps was moved in rear of the centre. The picket
lines were within a few hundred yards of each other. At two
o'clock in the afternoon all were ready to advance. By this
time the clouds had lifted so that the enemy could see from his
elevated position all that was going on. The signal for advance
was given by a booming of cannon from Fort Wood and other points
on the line. The rebel pickets were soon driven back upon the
main guards, which occupied minor and detached heights between
the main ridge and our lines. These too were carried before
halting, and before the enemy had time to reinforce their
advance guards. But it was not without loss on both sides. This
movement secured to us a line fully a mile in advance of the one
we occupied in the morning, and the one which the enemy had
occupied up to this time. The fortifications were rapidly
turned to face the other way. During the following night they
were made strong. We lost in this preliminary action about
eleven hundred killed and wounded, while the enemy probably lost
quite as heavily, including the prisoners that were captured.
With the exception of the firing of artillery, kept up from
Missionary Ridge and Fort Wood until night closed in, this ended
the fighting for the first day.

The advantage was greatly on our side now, and if I could only
have been assured that Burnside could hold out ten days longer I
should have rested more easily. But we were doing the best we
could for him and the cause.

By the night of the 23d Sherman's command was in a position to
move, though one division (Osterhaus's) had not yet crossed the
river at Brown's Ferry. The continuous rise in the Tennessee
had rendered it impossible to keep the bridge at that point in
condition for troops to cross; but I was determined to move that
night even without this division. Orders were sent to Osterhaus
accordingly to report to Hooker, if he could not cross by eight
o'clock on the morning of the 24th. Because of the break in the
bridge, Hooker's orders were again changed, but this time only
back to those first given to him.

General W. F. Smith had been assigned to duty as Chief Engineer
of the Military Division. To him were given the general
direction of moving troops by the boats from North Chickamauga,
laying the bridge after they reached their position, and
generally all the duties pertaining to his office of chief
engineer. During the night General Morgan L. Smith's division
was marched to the point where the pontoons were, and the
brigade of Giles A. Smith was selected for the delicate duty of
manning the boats and surprising the enemy's pickets on the
south bank of the river. During this night also General J. M.
Brannan, chief of artillery, moved forty pieces of artillery,
belonging to the Army of the Cumberland, and placed them on the
north side of the river so as to command the ground opposite, to
aid in protecting the approach to the point where the south end
of the bridge was to rest. He had to use Sherman's artillery
horses for this purpose, Thomas having none.

At two o'clock in the morning, November 24th, Giles A. Smith
pushed out from the North Chickamauga with his one hundred and
sixteen boats, each loaded with thirty brave and well-armed
men. The boats with their precious freight dropped down quietly
with the current to avoid attracting the attention of any one who
could convey information to the enemy, until arriving near the
mouth of South Chickamauga. Here a few boats were landed, the
troops debarked, and a rush was made upon the picket guard known
to be at that point. The guard were surprised, and twenty of
their number captured. The remainder of the troops effected a
landing at the point where the bridge was to start, with equally
good results. The work of ferrying over Sherman's command from
the north side of the Tennessee was at once commenced, using the
pontoons for the purpose. A steamer was also brought up from the
town to assist. The rest of M. L. Smith's division came first,
then the division of John E. Smith. The troops as they landed
were put to work intrenching their position. By daylight the
two entire divisions were over, and well covered by the works
they had built.

The work of laying the bridge, on which to cross the artillery
and cavalry, was now begun. The ferrying over the infantry was
continued with the steamer and the pontoons, taking the
pontoons, however, as fast as they were wanted to put in their
place in the bridge. By a little past noon the bridge was
completed, as well as one over the South Chickamauga connecting
the troops left on that side with their comrades below, and all
the infantry and artillery were on the south bank of the

Sherman at once formed his troops for assault on Missionary
Ridge. By one o'clock he started with M. L. Smith on his left,
keeping nearly the course of Chickamauga River; J. E. Smith next
to the right and a little to the rear; and Ewing still farther to
the right and also a little to the rear of J. E. Smith's command,
in column, ready to deploy to the right if an enemy should come
from that direction. A good skirmish line preceded each of
these columns. Soon the foot of the hill was reached; the
skirmishers pushed directly up, followed closely by their
supports. By half-past three Sherman was in possession of the
height without having sustained much loss. A brigade from each
division was now brought up, and artillery was dragged to the
top of the hill by hand. The enemy did not seem to be aware of
this movement until the top of the hill was gained. There had
been a drizzling rain during the day, and the clouds were so low
that Lookout Mountain and the top of Missionary Ridge were
obscured from the view of persons in the valley. But now the
enemy opened fire upon their assailants, and made several
attempts with their skirmishers to drive them away, but without
avail. Later in the day a more determined attack was made, but
this, too, failed, and Sherman was left to fortify what he had

Sherman's cavalry took up its line of march soon after the
bridge was completed, and by half-past three the whole of it was
over both bridges and on its way to strike the enemy's
communications at Chickamauga Station. All of Sherman's command
was now south of the Tennessee. During the afternoon General
Giles A. Smith was severely wounded and carried from the field.

Thomas having done on the 23d what was expected of him on the
24th, there was nothing for him to do this day except to
strengthen his position. Howard, however, effected a crossing
of Citico Creek and a junction with Sherman, and was directed to
report to him. With two or three regiments of his command he
moved in the morning along the banks of the Tennessee, and
reached the point where the bridge was being laid. He went out
on the bridge as far as it was completed from the south end, and
saw Sherman superintending the work from the north side and
moving himself south as fast as an additional boat was put in
and the roadway put upon it. Howard reported to his new chief
across the chasm between them, which was now narrow and in a few
minutes closed.

While these operations were going on to the east of Chattanooga,
Hooker was engaged on the west. He had three divisions:
Osterhaus's, of the 15th corps, Army of the Tennessee; Geary's,
12th corps, Army of the Potomac; and Cruft's, 14th corps, Army
of the Cumberland. Geary was on the right at Wauhatchie, Cruft
at the centre, and Osterhaus near Brown's Ferry. These troops
were all west of Lookout Creek. The enemy had the east bank of
the creek strongly picketed and intrenched, and three brigades
of troops in the rear to reinforce them if attacked. These
brigades occupied the summit of the mountain. General Carter L.
Stevenson was in command of the whole. Why any troops, except
artillery with a small infantry guard, were kept on the
mountain-top, I do not see. A hundred men could have held the
summit--which is a palisade for more than thirty feet
down--against the assault of any number of men from the position
Hooker occupied.

The side of Lookout Mountain confronting Hooker's command was
rugged, heavily timbered, and full of chasms, making it
difficult to advance with troops, even in the absence of an
opposing force. Farther up, the ground becomes more even and
level, and was in cultivation. On the east side the slope is
much more gradual, and a good wagon road, zigzagging up it,
connects the town of Chattanooga with the summit.

Early on the morning of the 24th Hooker moved Geary's division,
supported by a brigade of Cruft's, up Lookout Creek, to effect a
crossing. The remainder of Cruft's division was to seize the
bridge over the creek, near the crossing of the railroad.
Osterhaus was to move up to the bridge and cross it. The bridge
was seized by Gross's brigade after a slight skirmish with the
pickets guarding it. This attracted the enemy so that Geary's
movement farther up was not observed. A heavy mist obscured him
from the view of the troops on the top of the mountain. He
crossed the creek almost unobserved, and captured the picket of
over forty men on guard near by. He then commenced ascending
the mountain directly in his front. By this time the enemy was
seen coming down from their camps on the mountain slope, and
filing into their rifle-pits to contest the crossing of the
bridge. By eleven o'clock the bridge was complete. Osterhaus
was up, and after some sharp skirmishing the enemy was driven
away with considerable loss in killed and captured.

While the operations at the bridge were progressing, Geary was
pushing up the hill over great obstacles, resisted by the enemy
directly in his front, and in face of the guns on top of the
mountain. The enemy, seeing their left flank and rear menaced,
gave way, and were followed by Cruft and Osterhaus. Soon these
were up abreast of Geary, and the whole command pushed up the
hill, driving the enemy in advance. By noon Geary had gained
the open ground on the north slope of the mountain, with his
right close up to the base of the upper palisade, but there were
strong fortifications in his front. The rest of the command
coming up, a line was formed from the base of the upper palisade
to the mouth of Chattanooga Creek.

Thomas and I were on the top of Orchard Knob. Hooker's advance
now made our line a continuous one. It was in full view,
extending from the Tennessee River, where Sherman had crossed,
up Chickamauga River to the base of Mission Ridge, over the top
of the north end of the ridge to Chattanooga Valley, then along
parallel to the ridge a mile or more, across the valley to the
mouth of Chattanooga Creek, thence up the slope of Lookout
Mountain to the foot of the upper palisade. The day was hazy,
so that Hooker's operations were not visible to us except at
moments when the clouds would rise. But the sound of his
artillery and musketry was heard incessantly. The enemy on his
front was partially fortified, but was soon driven out of his
works. During the afternoon the clouds, which had so obscured
the top of Lookout all day as to hide whatever was going on from
the view of those below, settled down and made it so dark where
Hooker was as to stop operations for the time. At four o'clock
Hooker reported his position as impregnable. By a little after
five direct communication was established, and a brigade of
troops was sent from Chattanooga to reinforce him. These troops
had to cross Chattanooga Creek and met with some opposition, but
soon overcame it, and by night the commander, General Carlin,
reported to Hooker and was assigned to his left. I now
telegraphed to Washington: "The fight to-day progressed
favorably. Sherman carried the end of Missionary Ridge, and his
right is now at the tunnel, and his left at Chickamauga Creek.
Troops from Lookout Valley carried the point of the mountain,
and now hold the eastern slope and a point high up. Hooker
reports two thousand prisoners taken, besides which a small
number have fallen into our hands from Missionary Ridge." The
next day the President replied: "Your dispatches as to fighting
on Monday and Tuesday are here. Well done. Many thanks to
all. Remember Burnside." And Halleck also telegraphed: "I
congratulate you on the success thus far of your plans. I fear
that Burnside is hard pushed, and that any further delay may
prove fatal. I know you will do all in your power to relieve

The division of Jefferson C. Davis, Army of the Cumberland, had
been sent to the North Chickamauga to guard the pontoons as they
were deposited in the river, and to prevent all ingress or egress
of citizens. On the night of the 24th his division, having
crossed with Sherman, occupied our extreme left from the upper
bridge over the plain to the north base of Missionary Ridge.
Firing continued to a late hour in the night, but it was not
connected with an assault at any point.



At twelve o'clock at night, when all was quiet, I began to give
orders for the next day, and sent a dispatch to Willcox to
encourage Burnside. Sherman was directed to attack at
daylight. Hooker was ordered to move at the same hour, and
endeavor to intercept the enemy's retreat if he still remained;
if he had gone, then to move directly to Rossville and operate
against the left and rear of the force on Missionary Ridge.
Thomas was not to move until Hooker had reached Missionary
Ridge. As I was with him on Orchard Knob, he would not move
without further orders from me.

The morning of the 25th opened clear and bright, and the whole
field was in full view from the top of Orchard Knob. It
remained so all day. Bragg's headquarters were in full view,
and officers--presumably staff officers--could be seen coming
and going constantly.

The point of ground which Sherman had carried on the 24th was
almost disconnected from the main ridge occupied by the enemy. A
low pass, over which there is a wagon road crossing the hill, and
near which there is a railroad tunnel, intervenes between the two
hills. The problem now was to get to the main ridge. The enemy
was fortified on the point; and back farther, where the ground
was still higher, was a second fortification commanding the
first. Sherman was out as soon as it was light enough to see,
and by sunrise his command was in motion. Three brigades held
the hill already gained. Morgan L. Smith moved along the east
base of Missionary Ridge; Loomis along the west base, supported
by two brigades of John E. Smith's division; and Corse with his
brigade was between the two, moving directly towards the hill to
be captured. The ridge is steep and heavily wooded on the east
side, where M. L. Smith's troops were advancing, but cleared and
with a more gentle slope on the west side. The troops advanced
rapidly and carried the extreme end of the rebel works. Morgan
L. Smith advanced to a point which cut the enemy off from the
railroad bridge and the means of bringing up supplies by rail
from Chickamauga Station, where the main depot was located. The
enemy made brave and strenuous efforts to drive our troops from
the position we had gained, but without success. The contest
lasted for two hours. Corse, a brave and efficient commander,
was badly wounded in this assault. Sherman now threatened both
Bragg's flank and his stores, and made it necessary for him to
weaken other points of his line to strengthen his right. From
the position I occupied I could see column after column of
Bragg's forces moving against Sherman. Every Confederate gun
that could be brought to bear upon the Union forces was
concentrated upon him. J. E. Smith, with two brigades, charged
up the west side of the ridge to the support of Corse's command,
over open ground and in the face of a heavy fire of both
artillery and musketry, and reached the very parapet of the
enemy. He lay here for a time, but the enemy coming with a
heavy force upon his right flank, he was compelled to fall back,
followed by the foe. A few hundred yards brought Smith's troops
into a wood, where they were speedily reformed, when they
charged and drove the attacking party back to his intrenchments.

Seeing the advance, repulse, and second advance of J. E. Smith
from the position I occupied, I directed Thomas to send a
division to reinforce him. Baird's division was accordingly
sent from the right of Orchard Knob. It had to march a
considerable distance directly under the eye of the enemy to
reach its position. Bragg at once commenced massing in the same
direction. This was what I wanted. But it had now got to be
late in the afternoon, and I had expected before this to see
Hooker crossing the ridge in the neighborhood of Rossville and
compelling Bragg to mass in that direction also.

The enemy had evacuated Lookout Mountain during the night, as I
expected he would. In crossing the valley he burned the bridge
over Chattanooga Creek, and did all he could to obstruct the
roads behind him. Hooker was off bright and early, with no
obstructions in his front but distance and the destruction above
named. He was detained four hours crossing Chattanooga Creek,
and thus was lost the immediate advantage I expected from his
forces. His reaching Bragg's flank and extending across it was
to be the signal for Thomas's assault of the ridge. But
Sherman's condition was getting so critical that the assault for
his relief could not be delayed any longer.

Sheridan's and Wood's divisions had been lying under arms from
early morning, ready to move the instant the signal was given. I
now directed Thomas to order the charge at once (*16). I watched
eagerly to see the effect, and became impatient at last that
there was no indication of any charge being made. The centre of
the line which was to make the charge was near where Thomas and I
stood, but concealed from view by an intervening forest. Turning
to Thomas to inquire what caused the delay, I was surprised to
see Thomas J. Wood, one of the division commanders who was to
make the charge, standing talking to him. I spoke to General
Wood, asking him why he did not charge as ordered an hour
before. He replied very promptly that this was the first he had
heard of it, but that he had been ready all day to move at a
moment's notice. I told him to make the charge at once. He was
off in a moment, and in an incredibly short time loud cheering
was heard, and he and Sheridan were driving the enemy's advance
before them towards Missionary Ridge. The Confederates were
strongly intrenched on the crest of the ridge in front of us,
and had a second line half-way down and another at the base.
Our men drove the troops in front of the lower line of
rifle-pits so rapidly, and followed them so closely, that rebel
and Union troops went over the first line of works almost at the
same time. Many rebels were captured and sent to the rear under
the fire of their own friends higher up the hill. Those that
were not captured retreated, and were pursued. The retreating
hordes being between friends and pursuers caused the enemy to
fire high to avoid killing their own men. In fact, on that
occasion the Union soldier nearest the enemy was in the safest
position. Without awaiting further orders or stopping to
reform, on our troops went to the second line of works; over
that and on for the crest--thus effectually carrying out my
orders of the 18th for the battle and of the 24th (*17) for this

I watched their progress with intense interest. The fire along
the rebel line was terrific. Cannon and musket balls filled the
air: but the damage done was in small proportion to the
ammunition expended. The pursuit continued until the crest was
reached, and soon our men were seen climbing over the
Confederate barriers at different points in front of both
Sheridan's and Wood's divisions. The retreat of the enemy along
most of his line was precipitate and the panic so great that
Bragg and his officers lost all control over their men. Many
were captured, and thousands threw away their arms in their

Sheridan pushed forward until he reached the Chickamauga River
at a point above where the enemy crossed. He met some
resistance from troops occupying a second hill in rear of
Missionary Ridge, probably to cover the retreat of the main body
and of the artillery and trains. It was now getting dark, but
Sheridan, without halting on that account pushed his men forward
up this second hill slowly and without attracting the attention
of the men placed to defend it, while he detached to the right
and left to surround the position. The enemy discovered the
movement before these dispositions were complete, and beat a
hasty retreat, leaving artillery, wagon trains, and many
prisoners in our hands. To Sheridan's prompt movement the Army
of the Cumberland, and the nation, are indebted for the bulk of
the capture of prisoners, artillery, and small-arms that day.
Except for his prompt pursuit, so much in this way would not
have been accomplished.

While the advance up Mission Ridge was going forward, General
Thomas with staff, General Gordon Granger, commander of the
corps making the assault, and myself and staff occupied Orchard
Knob, from which the entire field could be observed. The moment
the troops were seen going over the last line of rebel defences,
I ordered Granger to join his command, and mounting my horse I
rode to the front. General Thomas left about the same time.
Sheridan on the extreme right was already in pursuit of the
enemy east of the ridge. Wood, who commanded the division to
the left of Sheridan, accompanied his men on horseback in the
charge, but did not join Sheridan in the pursuit. To the left,
in Baird's front where Bragg's troops had massed against
Sherman, the resistance was more stubborn and the contest lasted
longer. I ordered Granger to follow the enemy with Wood's
division, but he was so much excited, and kept up such a roar of
musketry in the direction the enemy had taken, that by the time I
could stop the firing the enemy had got well out of the way. The
enemy confronting Sherman, now seeing everything to their left
giving way, fled also. Sherman, however, was not aware of the
extent of our success until after nightfall, when he received
orders to pursue at daylight in the morning.

As soon as Sherman discovered that the enemy had left his front
he directed his reserves, Davis's division of the Army of the
Cumberland, to push over the pontoon-bridge at the mouth of the
Chickamauga, and to move forward to Chickamauga Station. He
ordered Howard to move up the stream some two miles to where
there was an old bridge, repair it during the night, and follow
Davis at four o'clock in the morning. Morgan L. Smith was
ordered to reconnoitre the tunnel to see if that was still
held. Nothing was found there but dead bodies of men of both
armies. The rest of Sherman's command was directed to follow
Howard at daylight in the morning to get on to the railroad
towards Graysville.

Hooker, as stated, was detained at Chattanooga Creek by the
destruction of the bridge at that point. He got his troops
over, with the exception of the artillery, by fording the stream
at a little after three o'clock. Leaving his artillery to follow
when the bridge should be reconstructed, he pushed on with the
remainder of his command. At Rossville he came upon the flank
of a division of the enemy, which soon commenced a retreat along
the ridge. This threw them on Palmer. They could make but
little resistance in the position they were caught in, and as
many of them as could do so escaped. Many, however, were
captured. Hooker's position during the night of the 25th was
near Rossville, extending east of the ridge. Palmer was on his
left, on the road to Graysville.

During the night I telegraphed to Willcox that Bragg had been
defeated, and that immediate relief would be sent to Burnside if
he could hold out; to Halleck I sent an announcement of our
victory, and informed him that forces would be sent up the
valley to relieve Burnside.

Before the battle of Chattanooga opened I had taken measures for
the relief of Burnside the moment the way should be clear. Thomas
was directed to have the little steamer that had been built at
Chattanooga loaded to its capacity with rations and
ammunition. Granger's corps was to move by the south bank of
the Tennessee River to the mouth of the Holston, and up that to
Knoxville accompanied by the boat. In addition to the supplies
transported by boat, the men were to carry forty rounds of
ammunition in their cartridge-boxes, and four days' rations in

In the battle of Chattanooga, troops from the Army of the
Potomac, from the Army of the Tennessee, and from the Army of
the Cumberland participated. In fact, the accidents growing out
of the heavy rains and the sudden rise in the Tennessee River so
mingled the troops that the organizations were not kept
together, under their respective commanders, during the
battle. Hooker, on the right, had Geary's division of the 12th
corps, Army of the Potomac; Osterhaus's division of the 15th
corps, Army of the Tennessee; and Cruft's division of the Army
of the Cumberland. Sherman had three divisions of his own army,
Howard's corps from the Army of the Potomac, and Jefferson C.
Davis's division of the Army of the Cumberland. There was no
jealousy--hardly rivalry. Indeed, I doubt whether officers or
men took any note at the time of the fact of this intermingling
of commands. All saw a defiant foe surrounding them, and took
it for granted that every move was intended to dislodge him, and
it made no difference where the troops came from so that the end
was accomplished.

The victory at Chattanooga was won against great odds,
considering the advantage the enemy had of position, and was
accomplished more easily than was expected by reason of Bragg's
making several grave mistakes: first, in sending away his
ablest corps commander with over twenty thousand troops; second,
in sending away a division of troops on the eve of battle; third,
in placing so much of a force on the plain in front of his
impregnable position.

It was known that Mr. Jefferson Davis had visited Bragg on
Missionary Ridge a short time before my reaching Chattanooga. It
was reported and believed that he had come out to reconcile a
serious difference between Bragg and Longstreet, and finding
this difficult to do, planned the campaign against Knoxville, to
be conducted by the latter general. I had known both Bragg and
Longstreet before the war, the latter very well. We had been
three years at West Point together, and, after my graduation,
for a time in the same regiment. Then we served together in the
Mexican War. I had known Bragg in Mexico, and met him
occasionally subsequently. I could well understand how there
might be an irreconcilable difference between them.

Bragg was a remarkably intelligent and well-informed man,
professionally and otherwise. He was also thoroughly upright.
But he was possessed of an irascible temper, and was naturally
disputatious. A man of the highest moral character and the most
correct habits, yet in the old army he was in frequent trouble.
As a subordinate he was always on the lookout to catch his
commanding officer infringing his prerogatives; as a post
commander he was equally vigilant to detect the slightest
neglect, even of the most trivial order.

I have heard in the old army an anecdote very characteristic of
Bragg. On one occasion, when stationed at a post of several
companies commanded by a field officer, he was himself
commanding one of the companies and at the same time acting as
post quartermaster and commissary. He was first lieutenant at
the time, but his captain was detached on other duty. As
commander of the company he made a requisition upon the
quartermaster--himself--for something he wanted. As
quartermaster he declined to fill the requisition, and endorsed
on the back of it his reasons for so doing. As company
commander he responded to this, urging that his requisition
called for nothing but what he was entitled to, and that it was
the duty of the quartermaster to fill it. As quartermaster he
still persisted that he was right. In this condition of affairs
Bragg referred the whole matter to the commanding officer of the
post. The latter, when he saw the nature of the matter
referred, exclaimed: "My God, Mr. Bragg, you have quarrelled
with every officer in the army, and now you are quarrelling with

Longstreet was an entirely different man. He was brave, honest,
intelligent, a very capable soldier, subordinate to his
superiors, just and kind to his subordinates, but jealous of his
own rights, which he had the courage to maintain. He was never
on the lookout to detect a slight, but saw one as soon as
anybody when intentionally given.

It may be that Longstreet was not sent to Knoxville for the
reason stated, but because Mr. Davis had an exalted opinion of
his own military genius, and thought he saw a chance of "killing
two birds with one stone." On several occasions during the war
he came to the relief of the Union army by means of his SUPERIOR

I speak advisedly when I saw Mr. Davis prided himself on his
military capacity. He says so himself, virtually, in his answer
to the notice of his nomination to the Confederate presidency.
Some of his generals have said so in their writings since the
downfall of the Confederacy.

My recollection is that my first orders for the battle of
Chattanooga were as fought. Sherman was to get on Missionary
Ridge, as he did; Hooker to cross the north end of Lookout
Mountain, as he did, sweep across Chattanooga Valley and get
across the south end of the ridge near Rossville. When Hooker
had secured that position the Army of the Cumberland was to
assault in the centre. Before Sherman arrived, however, the
order was so changed as that Hooker was directed to come to
Chattanooga by the north bank of the Tennessee River. The
waters in the river, owing to heavy rains, rose so fast that the
bridge at Brown's Ferry could not be maintained in a condition to
be used in crossing troops upon it. For this reason Hooker's
orders were changed by telegraph back to what they were

NOTE.--From this point on this volume was written (with the
exception of the campaign in the Wilderness, which had been
previously written) by General Grant, after his great illness in
April, and the present arrangement of the subject-matter was made
by him between the 10th and 18th of July, 1885.



Chattanooga now being secure to the National troops beyond any
doubt, I immediately turned my attention to relieving Knoxville,
about the situation of which the President, in particular, was
very anxious. Prior to the battles, I had made preparations for
sending troops to the relief of Burnside at the very earliest
moment after securing Chattanooga. We had there two little
steamers which had been built and fitted up from the remains of
old boats and put in condition to run. General Thomas was
directed to have one of these boats loaded with rations and
ammunition and move up the Tennessee River to the mouth of the
Holston, keeping the boat all the time abreast of the troops.
General Granger, with the 4th corps reinforced to make twenty
thousand men, was to start the moment Missionary Ridge was
carried, and under no circumstances were the troops to return to
their old camps. With the provisions carried, and the little
that could be got in the country, it was supposed he could hold
out until Longstreet was driven away, after which event East
Tennessee would furnish abundance of food for Burnside's army
and his own also.

While following the enemy on the 26th, and again on the morning
of the 27th, part of the time by the road to Ringgold, I
directed Thomas, verbally, not to start Granger until he
received further orders from me; advising him that I was going
to the front to more fully see the situation. I was not right
sure but that Bragg's troops might be over their stampede by the
time they reached Dalton. In that case Bragg might think it well
to take the road back to Cleveland, move thence towards
Knoxville, and, uniting with Longstreet, make a sudden dash upon

When I arrived at Ringgold, however, on the 27th, I saw that the
retreat was most earnest. The enemy had been throwing away guns,
caissons and small-arms, abandoning provisions, and, altogether,
seemed to be moving like a disorganized mob, with the exception
of Cleburne's division, which was acting as rear-guard to cover
the retreat.

When Hooker moved from Rossville toward Ringgold Palmer's
division took the road to Graysville, and Sherman moved by the
way of Chickamauga Station toward the same point. As soon as I
saw the situation at Ringgold I sent a staff officer back to
Chattanooga to advise Thomas of the condition of affairs, and
direct him by my orders to start Granger at once. Feeling now
that the troops were already on the march for the relief of
Burnside I was in no hurry to get back, but stayed at Ringgold
through the day to prepare for the return of our troops.

Ringgold is in a valley in the mountains, situated between East
Chickamauga Creek and Taylor's Ridge, and about twenty miles
south-east from Chattanooga. I arrived just as the artillery
that Hooker had left behind at Chattanooga Creek got up. His
men were attacking Cleburne's division, which had taken a strong
position in the adjacent hills so as to cover the retreat of the
Confederate army through a narrow gorge which presents itself at
that point. Just beyond the gorge the valley is narrow, and the
creek so tortuous that it has to be crossed a great many times
in the course of the first mile. This attack was unfortunate,
and cost us some men unnecessarily. Hooker captured, however, 3
pieces of artillery and 230 prisoners, and 130 rebel dead were
left upon the field.

I directed General Hooker to collect the flour and wheat in the
neighboring mills for the use of the troops, and then to destroy
the mills and all other property that could be of use to the
enemy, but not to make any wanton destruction.

At this point Sherman came up, having reached Graysville with
his troops, where he found Palmer had preceded him. Palmer had
picked up many prisoners and much abandoned property on the
route. I went back in the evening to Graysville with Sherman,
remained there over night and did not return to Chattanooga
until the following night, the 29th. I then found that Thomas
had not yet started Granger, thus having lost a full day which I
deemed of so much importance in determining the fate of
Knoxville. Thomas and Granger were aware that on the 23d of the
month Burnside had telegraphed that his supplies would last for
ten or twelve days and during that time he could hold out
against Longstreet, but if not relieved within the time
indicated he would be obliged to surrender or attempt to
retreat. To effect a retreat would have been an
impossibility. He was already very low in ammunition, and with
an army pursuing he would not have been able to gather supplies.

Finding that Granger had not only not started but was very
reluctant to go, he having decided for himself that it was a
very bad move to make, I sent word to General Sherman of the
situation and directed him to march to the relief of
Knoxville. I also gave him the problem that we had to
solve--that Burnside had now but four to six days supplies left,
and that he must be relieved within that time.

Sherman, fortunately, had not started on his return from
Graysville, having sent out detachments on the railroad which
runs from Dalton to Cleveland and Knoxville to thoroughly
destroy that road, and these troops had not yet returned to
camp. I was very loath to send Sherman, because his men needed
rest after their long march from Memphis and hard fighting at
Chattanooga. But I had become satisfied that Burnside would not
be rescued if his relief depended upon General Granger's

Sherman had left his camp on the north side of the Tennessee
River, near Chattanooga, on the night of the 23d, the men having
two days' cooked rations in their haversacks. Expecting to be
back in their tents by that time and to be engaged in battle
while out, they took with them neither overcoats nor blankets.
The weather was already cold, and at night they must have
suffered more or less. The two days' rations had already lasted
them five days; and they were now to go through a country which
had been run over so much by Confederate troops that there was
but little probability of finding much food. They did, however,
succeed in capturing some flour. They also found a good deal of
bran in some of the mills, which the men made up into bread; and
in this and other ways they eked out an existence until they
could reach Knoxville.

I was so very anxious that Burnside should get news of the steps
being taken for his relief, and thus induce him to hold out a
little longer if it became necessary, that I determined to send
a message to him. I therefore sent a member of my staff,
Colonel J. H. Wilson, to get into Knoxville if he could report
to Burnside the situation fully, and give him all the
encouragement possible. Mr. Charles A. Dana was at Chattanooga
during the battle, and had been there even before I assumed
command. Mr. Dana volunteered to accompany Colonel Wilson, and
did accompany him. I put the information of what was being done
for the relief of Knoxville into writing, and directed that in
some way or other it must be secretly managed so as to have a
copy of this fall into the hands of General Longstreet. They
made the trip safely; General Longstreet did learn of Sherman's
coming in advance of his reaching there, and Burnside was
prepared to hold out even for a longer time if it had been

Burnside had stretched a boom across the Holston River to catch
scows and flats as they floated down. On these, by previous
arrangements with the loyal people of East Tennessee, were
placed flour and corn, with forage and provisions generally, and
were thus secured for the use of the Union troops. They also
drove cattle into Knoxville by the east side, which was not
covered by the enemy; so that when relief arrived Burnside had
more provisions on hand than when he had last reported.

Our total loss (not including Burnside's) in all these
engagements amounted to 757 killed, 4,529 wounded and 330
missing. We captured 6,142 prisoners--about 50 per cent. more
than the enemy reported for their total loss--40 pieces of
artillery, 69 artillery carriages and caissons and over 7,000
stands of small-arms. The enemy's loss in arms was probably
much greater than here reported, because we picked up a great
many that were found abandoned.

I had at Chattanooga, in round numbers, about 60,000 men. Bragg
had about half this number, but his position was supposed to be
impregnable. It was his own fault that he did not have more men
present. He had sent Longstreet away with his corps swelled by
reinforcements up to over twenty thousand men, thus reducing his
own force more than one-third and depriving himself of the
presence of the ablest general of his command. He did this,
too, after our troops had opened a line of communication by way
of Brown's and Kelly's ferries with Bridgeport, thus securing
full rations and supplies of every kind; and also when he knew
reinforcements were coming to me. Knoxville was of no earthly
use to him while Chattanooga was in our hands. If he should
capture Chattanooga, Knoxville with its garrison would have
fallen into his hands without a struggle. I have never been
able to see the wisdom of this move.

Then, too, after Sherman had arrived, and when Bragg knew that
he was on the north side of the Tennessee River, he sent
Buckner's division to reinforce Longstreet. He also started
another division a day later, but our attack having commenced
before it reached Knoxville Bragg ordered it back. It had got
so far, however, that it could not return to Chattanooga in time
to be of service there. It is possible this latter blunder may
have been made by Bragg having become confused as to what was
going on on our side. Sherman had, as already stated, crossed
to the north side of the Tennessee River at Brown's Ferry, in
full view of Bragg's troops from Lookout Mountain, a few days


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