Saturday, November 23, 2013

November 23, 1863: Union forces seize Orchard Knob

Missionary Ridge as seen from Orchard Knob
After months of preparations, Ulysses S. Grant begins his movement against Bragg at Chattanooga. George Thomas' Army of the Cumberland lunged forward to seize the Confederate advanced position at Orchard Knob. Grant's chief of staff, John Rawlins, let William Tecumseh Sherman know in a terse note.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 23, 1863.

Major General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN,

Commanding Department of the Tennessee:

GENERAL: General Thomas to-day advanced his lines about 1,200 yards, carrying the enemy's first line of rifle-pits, and now occupied Orchard Knoll, in front of Fort Wood, and the rifle-pits and range of hills to the right of it. He will fortify and hold the ground thus taken. General Howard's corps is advanced to the railroad bridge next to the river and to the left of Fort Wood, and will occupy this advanced position to-night, and from there move early in the morning, hugging the river closely, to form a junction with you. Our loss was light; the enemy's, in killed and wounded, supposed to be small. We captured full 200 prisoners.

By order of Major General U. S. Grant:

JNO A. RAWLINS,

Brigadier-General, and Chief of Staff.

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