Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 08.djvu/476

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464 Southern Historical Society Papers.

Cleburne and his Division at Missionary Ridge and Ring-gold Gap..

By Capt. IRVING A. BROCK, formerly A. A. General of Cleburne's Division.

[NOTE. I have been unable, after diligent search and inquiry, to find any official reports of the battle of Missionary Ridge. This will account for the absence of detail in the statement of my recollection of the service of Cleburne's division.

It is to be hoped that survivors of that division, especially the brigade commanders, will contribute such facts within their respective knowledge as will in the aggregate amount to a history of its share in that much-misunderstood engagement. It is principally in this view that I make my modest contribution.]

After the battle of Chichamauga the Army of Tennessee, under General Bragg, occupied the line of Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain, confronting, at a distance of some two or three miles be- tween the main lines, the army of General Grant, entrenched and en- camped in and around Chattanooga.

Missionary Ridge proper, or that portion of it here referred to, rises abruptly to the height of from four to six hundred feet, and extends from McFarland's gap, on the south, to the mouth of Chickamauga river on the north, a distance of some six miles. Rifle-pits were con- structed along its western base, with pickets thrown out in front, and some slight defences were constructed at the weaker point on the crest. It is intersected at several points of greatest depression by wagon roads leading from Chattanooga to- the railroad in rear. In front, or to the west, broken by occasional hills, or, more properly speaking, knobs, with here and there some thin belts of timber, was a level plain, where Grant's army was encamped. The rising ground immediately about the town of Chattanooga was dotted with strong earth-works. From the crest of the Ridge, at night, could be seen the camp-fires of both armies spread out in full view.

Such were the relative positions on the 22d of November, 1863. Cleburne's division was encamped on the top and western slope of the Ridge. On the night of the 22d Cleburne was ordered to move to Chickamauga Station, to assume command of his own and General Bushrod Johnson's division and proceed via Dalton to East Tennessee, there to report to General Longstreet. The division moved at dawn the following morning. Johnson, having preceded, was first to take