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flag in triumph at Raymond, at Jackson, at Champion Hill, and at Vicksburgh, is no longer a matter of question.
Tunnel Hill had been abandoned by the rebels in the night; and when I left the summit of the Ridge about noon, the right and left wings of our army were advancing, while the centre still held its position. No enemy was visible, but columns of smoke rising from various points told that the enemy was burning the bridges over the Chickamauga, and such of his stores as he could not carry away. Sherman was throwing a shell, occasionally, into some old rebel camps, which came in sight as he advanced. "No use beating those bushes," said old Willich, after closely inspecting these camps, through his field-glass; "the bird has flown."
Estimates of the losses in the last great contest have already been given by telegram. I shall not repeat them here.
In the entire three days' operations, I think our own loss will reach six hundred killed, three thousand wounded, and four hundred prisoners. It cannot, certainly, exceed this; it may fall considerably below.
The rebel loss will not fall short of five hundred killed, two thousand five hundred wounded, five thousand prisoners, seven thousand stands of small arms, twenty stands of colors, and forty pieces of artillery. William S. Furay.
RICHMOND "DESPATCH" ACCOUNT.
General Grant has made an important move upon the military chess-board to-day, and one that is likely to exert an important influence upon military operations in this quarter. At an early hour this morning, when the fog had lifted from the valley below, it was discovered that the Federal Commander was massing a heavy force on his left, and opposite to our right As the morning advanced, this force grew denser and larger, until it covered all the slopes this side of Cemetery Fort, which is near the river above, an'd the last work the enemy has on his left At twelve M., these masses deployed into two lines of battle, with heavy reserves. This movement completed, the guns of the fort opened at two P.m., when tho heavy lines of the Federals advanced rapidly against our pickets, and drove them in, alter a sharp resistance on their part. By three o'clock, the enemy had gained Indian Hill, an eminence which stands about midway between Cemetery Fort and Mission Ridge, being between his left wing and our right He advanced upon no other part of our lines, and rested after gaining possession of the hill.
In the mean time, Major Robertson brought up a few guns of his reserve artillery, and, with other batteries posted on Mission Ridge to the right, opened upon tho enemy, with what effect is not known. We only know that he maintained his new position, notwithstanding our lire. No report has been received of our casualties beyond a surmise in official quarters, that they will reach from one to two hundred in killed and
wounded. Only our pickets were engaged, tho enemy not coming within range of our line of battle.
When this movement was going on, it was observed that the enemy threw a. considerable column up the river further to our right, as if ho intended to overlap our line, and compel us to stretch it out to a length that would render it very long and very weak. Can it be that he means to threaten our depot of supplies at Chickamauga Station, and at the same time to draw us away from Lookout Mountain? The idea that Grant desires to advance his lines in order to get more room and a further supply of firewood, as has been suggested, will not bear the test of reason. A movement on so large a scale looks to ulterior objects, and is intended to initiate operations upon a broad and comprehensive scale.
The first result of such a movement will be to compel General Bragg to weaken his forces on Lookout Mountain, (his left) to reinforce his right, which is comparatively weak. Indeed, orders to this effect have already been given, and are now being executed. It will never do to let the enemy turn our right, and get possession of our depot at Chickamauga.
General Bragg, therefore, must choose between Lookout and Chickamauga. The demonstration to-day was intended, doubtless, to force him to make his election between the two. If he decide to hold Chickamauga, then he must yield the mountain, and throw his army between the enemy's encroaching left wing and the railroad. If he gives the preference to Lookout, then the railroad and his depot of supplies must go.
The natural effect of the afl'aiis to-day, as has already been intimated, will be to force General Bragg to weaken his left, in order to strengthen his right wing, now threatened by a formidable and largely superior force. This, I doubt not was one of the objects of the demonstration. I look, therefore, for an assault upon Lookout tomorrow, when it will be less able to resist an attack than it was to-day. Our artillery on the mountain will be of no assistance after the enemy shall have reached the foot of the mountain, it being impossible to depress the guns sufficiently. The importance of the mountain ceased with the loss of Lookout Valley. The possession of the valley reduces the wagon transportation of the enemy to two or three miles at farthest, and gives him the use of the river besides. The voluntary abandonment of the mountain, therefore, should occasion no regret, since its longer retention is not only of slight importance, but will be attended with much difficulty, on account of the great length of our line.
Mission R'ikik, November 24, midnight.
Well, the enemy has assaulted Lookout Mountain to-day, sure enough, as was intimated in my letter of last night he probably would do. Having accomplished a part of the object of his demonstration yesterday, to wit, the transfer of a portion of our forces on the mountain to tho extrcme right, he attacked the mountain with a confidence which the sequel will show was not misplaced. The great rise in the Tennessee had carried away his pontoon-bridges the night before, but his positions were so well taken, and had been so strongly fortified, that he did not hesitate to make the assault He opened at eleven o'clock with his batteries in Lookout valley, directing his fire against our lines along the western side and northern face of the mountain. Our own batteries on the mountain could take no part in the engagement, owing to a dense fog which enveloped Lookout Point and the crest above. At half-past twelve o'clock, the infantry became engaged, and the battle was then fully joined.
Very few details have been received—too few, indeed, for me to attempt to enter into particulars. The impression prevails in well-informed circles that the affair has not been well conducted by the confederate officers in command on the mountain. Our forces had been much weakened the night before by the withdrawal of Walker's division, which was s«nt to the right, leaving only Stevenson's and Cheatham's divisions behind, both under command of General Stevenson. General Cheatham arrived on the ground late in the afternoon, having just returned to the army. Up to the time of his return, his division was under the command of General Jackson, the senior Brigadier in the division. It was thought that these two divisions would have been sufficient to hold the position against a largely superior force; but not so. The confederates were steadily pushed back from the moment the infantry opened fire until late in the evening, when General Breckinridge went to the assistance of Stevenson with a brigade. The Federals, who had driven the confederates slowly around the north face of the mountain to Craven's house, and thence around almost to the road which leads to the top, were, in their turn, forced back after night some four or five hundred yards. The fight continued until ten P.m., and even now I can hear an occasional shot while I write.
The troops and guns on the mountain were brought down safely, only a few commissary stores being left behind. We lost a considerable number of prisoners, nevertheless, early in the day, and on the western slope of the mountain, the enemy, it is alleged, having got in the rear of Walthall's brigade, under cover of the prevailing fog. One account says that Walthall lost from five hundred to six hundred prisoners, including nearly the whole of one regiment, the Thirty-fourth Mississippi. It is not improb able i what
Orders have been given to evacuate the mountain, and for the whole army to retire across the Chickainauga, in the direction of the station of that name. The loss of Lookout valley and Brown's Ferry removed all doubt as to the ability of General Grant to subsist his arm}' at Chattanooga this winter, and rendered the long
er possession of Lookout Mountain of comparatively littlo importance, and, now that the mountain has passed into his hands, there is no reason left why wo should longer remain in the mud and water around Chattanooga. Besides, General Grant has been throwing a heavy forco up the river, and crossing it over in the boats we neglected to burn, all this afternoon. A portion of this force consists of heavy cavalry, which have been landed above the mouth of tho Chickamauga.
Some infantry had also been landed on the east side of that stream—the remainder, and much more numerous body, on the west side— all up the Tennessee and some distance above our right wing. This movement greatly endangers the depot and railroad, and furnishes an additional reason for withdrawing across the Chickamauga. Another danger, and a still more serious one, is the probability that Grant will turn our right and get between the main army and Longstreet at Knoxville. It is now well ascertained that Sheridan has not gone to the relief of Burnside, as was fully believed a few days ago; but the whole Federal army is here marshalling for our destruction. Perhaps Grant has concluded that he could best succor Burnside by forcing Bragg to retire,
I have just heard that our communications with Knoxville have been cut, probably by tho Federal cavalry that crossed the river above this afternoon, and that the depot buildings at Joyner's Station, on the Chattanooga and East-Tennessee road, have been burnt.
November 25—2 A.m.
Finding that he could not withdraw his army in time, General Bragg has given orders to mass his whole available forco on the right. A battle may be expected to-day. The situation is critical.
Chickamauga, November C5—Midnight.
The confederates have sustained to-day the most ignominious defeat of the whole war—a defeat for which there is but little excuse or palliation. For the first time during our struggle for national independence, our defeat is chargeable to the troops themselves, and not to the blunders or incompetency of their leaders. It is difficult to realize how a defeat so complete could have occurred on ground so favorable, notwithstanding the great disparity in the forces of the two hostilo armies. The ground was more in our favor than it was at Frcdericksburgh, where General Longstreet is said to have estimated th it Lee's army was equal to three hundred thousand men. And yet we gained the battle of Fredericksburg!), and lost that of Missionary Ridge.
But let us take up the piinful narrative at tho beginning, and see how this great misfortune, if not this grievous disgrace, has befallen the confederate arms.
Lookout Mountain was evacuated last night, it being no longer important to us after the loss of Lookout or Will's valley, and "O longer tenabU against such an overwhelming force as General Grant had concentrated around Chattanooga. General Bragg abandoned, also, the whole of Chattanooga valley, and the trenches and breastworks running along the foot of Missionary Ridge and across the valley to the base of Lookout, and moved his troops up to the top of the ridge It was found necessary to extend his right well up toward the Chickamauga, near its mouth, in consequence of the heavy forces which the enemy had thrown up the river in that direction. The Tennessee and Missionary Ridge approach nearer to each other as one goes up, or rather down, the valley, the width of which, at some points, does not exceed one fourth of a mile. Across this valley, now almost an open plain, varying from a fourth of a mile to two miles in width, the Federals advanced to the assault, their ranks exposed to an artillery fire from the ridge, while in the plain, and to the infantry firo when they attempted the ascent of the hill or mountain.
The only objection that can be urged against our line was its length and weakness, the latter being the result of the former, and the former the result of circumstances beyond our control, it being necessary for us to guard the passes in the ridge, and to conform to the length of the line presented by the enemy. The ridge varies in height from four to six hundred feet, and is crossed by several roads leading out from Chattanooga. The western side, next to the enemy, was steep and rugged, and, in sonic places, almost bare, the timber having been cut away for firewood. Our pickets occupied the breastworks below, while the infantry and artillery were distributed along the crest of the ridge from McFarlan's Cap almost to the mouth of the Chickamauga, a distance of six miles or more. In addition to the natural strength of the position, we had thrown up breastworks along the ridge wherever the ascent was easy.
The Federal army was marshalled under Grant, Thomas, Hooker, and Sherman, and did not number less than eighty-live thousand veteran troops. The confederate army, under Bragg, Hardee, and Breckinridge, did not number half so many. Longstrcet's Virginia divisions, and other troops, had been sent to East-Tennessee. Had these been present, with their steady leader at the head of them, we should have won a victory quite as complete as our defeat has been. As it was, we ought to have won the day, and should have done so if our men had done as well as usual. Possibly a mistake was committed when Longstrcet was sent away, and possibly it would have been better not to have accepted battle to-day, but to have retired last night. General Bragg thought, however, that there was not time, after the loss of Lookout, to get his army safely over the Chickamauga last night, and that it would be better, occupying so strong a position, to fight it out But what could he expect from a battle where the odds were so much against him? Not only did Grant have three to one in numbers, but the geographical configuration of the ground, in manoeuvring an army, was as favorable as he could desire. Nature had provided an ample
protection for his flanks and rear, and rendered his front almost impregnable. He possessed the additional advantage of being able to manoeuvre his army upon the chord of a semi-circle, while Bragg could move only upon the arc.
But let us proceed with the battle, the strangest, most singular, and unsatisfactory conflict in which our arms have been engaged.
Grant deployed his immense masses in two heavy lines of battle, and sometimes in three, supported by large reserve forces. The specUclo was magnificent as viewed from the crest of Missionary Ridge. He advanced first against our right wing, about ten o'clock, where he encountered that superb soldier, Lieutcnant-Gcneral Hardee, who commanded on the right, while Major-General Breckinridge commanded on the left. Hardee's command embraced Cleburne's, Walker's, (commanded by General Gist, General Walker being absent,) Cheatham's, and Stevenson's divisions. Breckinridge's embraced his old division, commanded by Brigadier-General Lewis, Stewart's, part of Buckner's and Hindman's, commanded by Patton Anderson. The enemy's first assault upon Hardee was repulsed with great slaughter, as was his second, though made with double lines, supported with heavy reserves. The wave of battle, like the wave of the sea when it dashes against a rock-bound coast, beat and hissed, and struggled in vain; for the brave men who guarded our right were resolved never to yield one foot to the hated invaders. The odds against which they contended were fearful; for while the enemy advanced in two and even three massive lines, their own army consisted of only one long and weak line, without supports.
Yet they not only repulsed every attack, but captured seven flags, about three hundred prisoners, and remained masters of the ground until night, when they were ordered to retire, carrying off all their guns, losing no prisoners, and but a small percentage of killed and wounded. The whole command behaved well, and especially that model soldier, Major-General Cleburne, a true son of the Emerald Isle, and his heroic division. General Hardee saved the army from a disastrous rout, and added fresh laurels to his brow.
The attack on the left wing was not made until about noon. Here as on the right, the enemy was repulsed, but he was obstinate and fought with great ardor and confidence, returning to the charge again and again in the handsomest style, until one of our brigades, near the centre, said to be Reynolds's, gave way, and the Federal flag was planted on Missionary Ridge. The enemy was not slow in availing himself of the great advantages of his new position. In a few minutes he turned upon our flanks and poured into them a terrible enfilading fire, which soon threw the confederates on his right and left into confusion. Under this confusion the gap in our lines grew wider and wider and wider, and the wider it grew the faster the multitudinous foe rushed into the yawning chasm. The confusion extended until it finally assumed the form of a panic. Seeing the enemy in possession of a portion of the heights, the men hastily concluded that the day was gone, and that they had best save themselves.
Just at this time the alarm was increased by an artillery battery, which rushed down the hill to the river for a fresh supply of ammunition; the men, however, supposed they were flying from the field, and that all was lost. Nearly the whole left wing eventually became involved and gave way, a portion of it retiring under orders, but the greater part in unmitigated rout.
General Bragg did all he could to rally the fugitives and re-form the broken line. He exposed himself in the most unguarded manner, and at one time it looked as if he certainly would be killed. His staff-officers were also conspicuous in their efforts to restore our line. They and their chief were the last to leave the ridge.
The day was lost. Hardee still maintained his ground; but no success of the right wing could restore the left to its original position. All men —even the bravest—are subject to error and confusion; but to-day, some of the confederates did not fight with their accustomed courage. Possibly the contrast between the heavy masses of the Federals, as they rolled across the valley and up the mountain ridge, and their own long and attenuated line, was not of a character to encourage them.
Our casualties are small—very small—too small, indeed, to be recorded along with so complete and humiliating a defeat. Inclnded among our losses are some of our best guns—perhaps as niany as thirty or fort}'. The infantry supports, in some instances, fled so precipitately that there was no time left to remove the guns. There were but few roads down the mountain by which they could retreat, and this occasioned further loss. All the artillery behaved well. The men in Cobb's battery stood their ground after their supports had fled, and though they lost their guns, they fought them to the last; and when they could use them no longer", on account of the steepness of the descent, they hurled hand-grenades at the foe as he crawled up the mountain beneath the muzzles of the guns.
The enemy's loss must have exceeded ours ten to one. Our dead and some of the wdTinded were left on the field.
But it is late and bitter cold, and I must close. We cross the Chickamauga to-night, and then proceed to Dalton. I write under the greatest possible disadvantages. Sallust.
NEW-YORK TRIBUNE ACCOUNT.
nKAnqnARTBRS Third Division, Sirra Corps, I Army or Tub Potomac, December 12, 1363. (
At half-past six, on the morning of November t venty-sixth, (Thanksgiving,) the Second corps, Major-General G. K. Warren, left its camp on
Mountain Run and marched to Germania Ford, with a battery of four four and a half-inch guns and one battery of six twenty-pounder Parrott guns from the reserve artillery, with three hundred cavalry, under the command of Captain Schwartz, of the Fourth New-York cavalry, and a pontoon train, under the command of Captain Mendell of the Engineers corps. The head of this column reached the steep embankments at Germania Ford, at half-past eight A.m. Here a thick growth of almost impenetrable woods was met, and considerable time was occupied in felling trees, cutting out roads, and placing the artillery in position. All this was done with the greatest rapidity, and in the face of the enemy's pickets on the opposite bank of the Rapidan. By great exertions, all the necessary preliminaries were completed by eleven o'clock A.m., the men working with a vigor which indicated that their hearts were inspired with hopes of success.
Major-General Meade arrived at this juncture, and ordered a cessation of further operations till General French, Third corps, was heard from. ,
At half-past one, orders were received by General Warren to move forward. Upon the advance guard of the Second corps making its appearance, the rebel cavalry pickets fled in hot haste, and Captain Schwartz, with his cavalry, at once forded the river, and marched some three miles, followed by General Caldwell's First division, Second corps, two brigades of which forded the stream. This force was crossed in this way simply to guard against any sudden surprise movement of the enemy, as well as to protect the crossing of the main body of our troops. The ford was a difficult one to cross, and many of the troops were up to their necks in icy water, so that their rations were saturated, and it required almost superhuman exertions to keep their muskets from being immersed. The artillery and ambulances experienced great difficulty in crossing the ford.
Captain Mendell, of the Engineer corps, who had charge of the laying of the pontoon-bridge, was delayed over an hour by finding that there was not a sufficient number of boats to span the stream. He finally succeeded in constructing a temporary trestle which answered every purpose. This inexcusable blunder in not sending enough boats to meet any contingency, occurred both at Culpeper and Germania Fords, and caused dangerous delays. Captain Mendell was not responsible for this carelessness, and, in justico to him, it is but fair to say that to his industry and ingenuity the safe crossing of our entire army was indebted.
As soon as the infantry and artillery crossed the river, they were marched out on the plankroad, about two and a half miles, .and encamped for the night on Flat Run. At daybreak on the twenty-seventh, the Second corps moved out on the plank-road, and marched to the old macadamized turnpike. From this point, the Second corps, with General Terry's division of the Sixth corps, marched rapidly toward Old Verdiersville, which was the point to be reached. It was expected that the Third corps, General French, would join tho Second at Robertson's Tavern, but owing to General French having lost the road, this part of the programme was not carried out. General Hayes led the advance with his division, followed by General Webb's, then General Caldwell's division. At Robertson's Tavern, General Hayes met a large body of rebels and drove them back. General Webb • happened to be near at hand, and at once deploying his forces to tho right of the road, drove them back in confusion toward Raccoon Ford. It was in this spirited encounter that LieutenantColonel Hesser, a gallant officer, fell mortally wounded. About this time, half-past eleven A.m., our skirmishers ascertained that the rebels were concealed in the thick woods, and were shrewdly extending their skirmishers to such an extent, that nearly all of the Second corps was required to check them.
At this time, rebel deserters and prisoners informed General Warren, that Johnston's rebel division was between him and Raccoon Ford, and that he was confronting Uhodes's rebel division.
General Meade was at once informed of this, and also that General Warren had received no tidings from General French on his right, and General Sykes on his left. General Warren notified General Meade that he was ready and willing to begin the attack, if he so desired, by advancing the centre, which was so weak as to be in a critical condition, and wholly unfit to cope with the superior forces of the enemy. It must be borne in mind that botli wings of our army were then separated four or five miles from General Warren. General Slcade instructed General Warren to wait until the right and left were heard from. Soon after, the roar of artillery was heard, and just then news came of the position of the left wing. The rapid cannonading came from General Gregg's cavalry division, who were engaging the enemy briskly on the plankroad. Heavy firing was heard shortly after at Morton's Ford, where General Custer's cavalry were skirmishing with Stuart's cavalry. During all this time, while General Warren was awaiting further orders and information, the enemy were artfully changing their lines, endeavoring to turn General Warren's right Hank. While manoeuvring our forces, Lieutenant-Colonel Josselyn, commanding the Fifteenth Massachusetts volunteers, was seriously wounded, and fell into the hands of the enemy. This determination on the part of the rebels, induced General Warren to make a feint movement, as though about to offer battle for a general engagement. To do this, it was necessary to advance his line of skirmishers. He was entirely successful in deluding the wily foe, for, in the language of the F. F. V.'s, he fought "right smart" along the front of the .Second corps. Colonel Carroll''? brigade, composed of Western troops, conducted themselves in a manner that cannot be too highly praised. Colonel Carroll evinced considerable skill by draw
ing the enemy to his line of battle down 4he turnpike, where large numbers of Cordon's ori gade, belonging to Early's division, were captured Colonel Carroll had a miraculous escape from instant death, his clothing having ten or twelve bullet-holes in it. Colonel Lockwood, of the samo brigade, had his uniform pierced in several places by Minie balls.
In the afternoon, General Meade ascertained that General French had participated in an engagement, and the enemy had massed a force strong enough to successfully resist him. The exact position of the Third corps, at this time, still continued an uncertainty, although it was known to be four or five miles distant. At sundown General Warren ventured to advance his line of skirmishers, with a strong support. The enemy made a stubborn resistance, and retreated inch by inch, disputing his claim to the soil. Owing to the almost impenetrable woods, it was an impossibility to preserve a perfect line of battle, beside affording a subtle foe concealment, and an excellent opportunity to construct formidable earthworks in addition to those already there.
General Warren evinced his thorough military knowledge by using sufficient military caution in advancing so as to deceive the vigilant enemy, and thereby deter him from hurling his overwhelmingly strong numbers upon our lines. General Warren continued to maintain his position, although no other corps had formed a junction with him.
The First corps, General Newton, which had been ordered from the left in the afternoon, reached the rear of General Wan-en's command half an hour before dark, and, at daylight on the twenty-eighth, they were in line of battle on his left, a little south of the turnpike.
The Sixth corps, General Sedgwick, moved up and took position to the right of the Second corps, at daylight. At sunrise, the First, Second, and Sixth corps proceeded in line of battle simultaneously, but, to* their great chagrin, they found the (leet-footed enemy had decamped during the night. By constant and rapid marching, our advance overtook their retreating rear-guard, and shortly after discovered the main body of the rebel army in a strong position on the west bank of Mine Run, which is about one and three quarter miles from Robertson's Tavern.
Quite a number of deserters were picked up by our advance; and from them we learned that Hill's corps (rebel) had advanced from Orange Court-House down the plank-road, and there united with Swell's corps, thereby concentrating the whole of Lee's army in a position naturally strong, and with formidable intrenchments to protect him.
To add to our numerous disadvantages, a heavy rain-storm set in early in the forenoon, accompanied with a thick fog, that foiled all our attempts, for a time, to continue a close inspection of tho enemy's works and movements. Determined not to be balked by unpropitious weather. General Warren made a minute and personal recon.