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History of Cambria County, V.2

and during the night strengthened the fortifications materially and turned the guns on the enemy. This was the work of the first day's battle.
    On the 24th, at 1 p. m., Sherman attacked Bragg at the north end of Missionary Ridge, and by 3:30 had possession of it. Horses could not be used, and the artillery was drawn up by the men. While Sherman was taking Missionary Ridge, Hooker was attacking on the west side of Lookout Mountain, with Geary's division in the lead, which reached the summit by noon. Bragg had evacuated it during the night of the 23d. This gave Grant a continuous line with Sherman on the left. Palmer (Co. C) in the center, and Hooker on the right. At 5 p. m. Grant's line was perfected, and fighting ceased for the day.
    On the 25th of November, Grant and Thomas were on Orchard Knob, which also overlooked the valley and the ridges, and where they could observe every move of the entire line. Sherman attacked at a very early hour and made progress, but he met formidable defenses, and a vigorous attack from Bragg checked him. Grant, observing this conflict and seeing that Sherman needed assistance, directed the Fourteenth Corps (Co. C) to atttack Bragg on the west side of Missionary Ridge. This was done with a hurrah, and the troops could not be stopped until they reached the summit of that ridge, and found the enemy fleeing down the eastern slope. Hooker came down the eastern slope of Lookout Mountain, and about 3 p. m. was at Rossville Gap, in the Missionary Ridge. Bragg was in full retreat, going toward Dalton, Georgia, where he remained until the spring campaign of 1864.
    It was Gen Grant's opinion that the victory was won against great odds, considering Bragg's advantages in holding the two ridges and the roads leading to the north. It was accomplished more easily than was expected because Bragg made several mistakes ----first in sending away over 20,000 troops under Longstreet, his most able lieutenant; second, in sending a division of his troops away on the eve of the battle; third, in placing so much of a force on the plain in front of his impregnable position. The result was a double victory, first in defeating Bragg, and second, in relieving Burnside at Knoxville by raising the siege, and giving Mr. Lincoln peace of mind for Burnside's relief. Grant had about 60,000 troops, and Bragg about 40,000. The losses of the former were: Killed, 757; wounded, 4,529; missing, 330, an aggregate of 5,616. The Confederates

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Created: 16 Mar 2003, Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury, Diann Olsen and contributors