Today in History:

80 Series I Volume XXXI-I Serial 54 - Knoxville and Lookout Mountain Part I

Page 80 KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA. Chapter XLIII.

our place, and thus glided past the enemy's pickets on the left and part of our own on the right without being discovered by the enemy. We were seen by the enemy posted near Lookout Creek, but after some conversation among themselves they concluded it was only drift. I had provided one of the flats for General Hazen, and Captain McElroy, of the steamer, gave me a select crew to man her, and in that I took passage with General Hazen and staff, following the first boat. The moon was so obscured by clouds that we were favored in that respect, but the perfect order and stillness with which we moved prevented discovery.

I had divided the boats into two fleets, one half under direction of Lieutenant McNeal, to make the landing at Brown's Ferry, the other half under Captain Grosvenor to land at the gap above, our guide having pointed out to me the two gaps. I landed on the right shore above the upper one, and gave directions to each as they came down to make the proper landing, which was easily done without alarming the enemy, as the boats came down close to that shore. I was gratified to see how silently they came; how well they had obeyed my order. The leading boat landing, the others quickly followed, all unloading the armed men, who quickly gained the top of the bank, surprising the enemy's pickets, the boats quickly, according to previous arrangements, crossing to the right shore, coming down and up to the Brown's Ferry landing, which point I had also at this time reached, where the remainder of the forces were in waiting, who, being properly counted off into boat loads, were quickly and regularly loaded, and thus the whole force were ferried, 5,000 men, in less than one hour. There was no confusion. Every officer and man did his whole duty, did it fearlessly, willingly, and well, although there was sharp firing by the enemy, and bullets were flying thick both on the river and the shore where we were loading into the boats.

Having thus crossed the whole infantry force, and daylight having come and my men being exhausted with their efforts, the boats were all tied up to shore in line ready. I ordered breakfast for most of the men, keeping, however, a sufficient number of boats running to carry officers' messages, and gave directions to Captain Cable to fit up the ferry-flat, and cross two pieces of artillery, which he did, taking command in person under fire of the enemy's artillery, which had in the meantime commenced throwing shells into our midst. While going over with the first piece of artillery, a shell passed a few feet over their heads; a little farther on another plowed the waters just above and passed under the boat, but neither the enemy's fire nor fatigue detained them from their work. After breakfast and a short rest, I was directed to make a road up the bank, on the south side, to be ready for the bridge, which was in process of construction by Captain Fox. After completing that work, thus relieving the armed men from other than their appropriate duty, I ordered my men to camp, remaining, however, in person until nearly night.

I am much indebted to Captain Grosvenor, to whom I had intrusted much of the details before starting, and the immediate command of the upper fleet, for the perfect manner in which he carried out my orders, and the system and coolness displayed in the crossing and landings. Captain Cable and Lieutenants McNeal, Haddow, and Stephenson were equally cool, ready, prompt, and active. These officers, without exception, obeyed my orders strictly and aided me throughout. Much of the success which characterizes the expedition is owing to their efforts. My thanks and commendation are

Page 80 KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA. Chapter XLIII.