Operations About Lookout Mountain. ' 267
Walden's ridge, for the purpose of preventing the use of the road on thie opposite bank by the enemy's wagon trains. As I had but a small force of sharpshooters, I thought it best to send a brigade in addition, as a smaller force would be liable to be cut off and captured. A brigade was thought to be force enough to secure its retreat to the mountains, and finally to make its escape to our main force should a movement be made against it. General Law's brigade was selected for the service, and a sufficient force was ordered to the point indicated as soon as practicable. Pits were sunk and occupied by the troops, and they effectually put a stop to the travel on the road on the opposite bank. We were advised in a few days, however, that the enemy was using another road, a little longer, which avoided this point, and he had several other roads of communication that were entirely beyond our reach, par- ticularly the Poe and Anderson roads. On the 25th, I was ordered to make a reconnoissance in the direction of Bridgeport. This re- connoissance was interrupted by the enemy's making a crossing of the river at Brown's ferry, about three miles below the point, of Lookout mountain.
As soon as the crossing was discovered, the troops near the point assembled and drove back the enemy's advance, but the force was found to be crossing in too much strength to be successfully op- posed* by a brigade. The brigade was therefore concentrated and withdrawn to the foot of the mountain on the west side. The force near the crossing was small, as the duty for which the brigade was ordered was to guard a point some six miles below Brown's ferry. The brigade could not be reinforced, as the enemy's moc- casin batteries commanded the only road across the mountain. If it had been practicable to reinforce, I should not have thought myself authorized to do so by taking my troops that were occu- pying their proper positions in the line of investment for that purpose, as my orders and the disposition of my troops had no reference to any such move on the part of the enemy, and to -have done so would have broken our line and exposed the whole army. Besides the enemy's position was such that he could reinforce from any point of his lines in half an hour, whilst I could only rein- force from my nearest point in about three hours. He would have the benefit of his artillery, and we could not cross the mountain with ours. On the 27th, I received orders to make arrangements and examinations for the purpose of dislodging the enemy from his new position, and with that view was called to meet the Com- manding-General on the mountain on the following day. On the afternoon of the 27th, I received a report from my signal party, near Trenton, that the enemy was advancing in force from Bridge- port. I sent this information up to the Commanding-General, but as it was not confirmed by the cavalry, it was not credited.
On the 28th I met the Commanding General on the mountain in accordance with his appointment. Whilst engaged in an exami- nation of the enemy's new position, one of my . signal party re-