Sunday, December 1, 2013

November 25, 1863 (Wednesday): "Remember Burnside"

National Cemetary at Chattanooga (Lookout Mountain in Rear)

Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, November 25, 1863-Daylight.
Major-General HOOKER:
     I have the honor to inform you that our flag waves over the peak of Lookout Mountain.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

     JNumbers W. GEARY,
     Brigadier-General, Commanding.

WASHINGTON, November 25, 1863-8.40 a.m.
      Your dispatches as to fighting on Monday and Tuesday are here. Well done. Many thanks to all. Remember Burnside.

     A. LINCOLN,
     President United States.

ORCHARD KNOB, November 25, 1863-10.30 a.m.
Fort Wood:
     The enemy is in force in farther edge of woods below their camp to left of Orchard Knob. Put a few shells in there.

     GEO. H. THOMAS,

ORCHARD KNOB, November 25, 1863-10.45 a.m.
Battery North Side of River:
    Your elevation is too small. Shells fall just in front of our troops. Fire at enemy's camp and top of ridge.

      GEO. H. THOMAS,

ORCHARD KNOB, November 25, 1863-11 a.m.
Fort Wood:
     You are firing in the wrong direction. Fire near the tunnel north of Orchard Knob.

      GEO. H. THOMAS,

Major General U. S. GRANT.
Washington, November 25, 1863-11.30 a.m.
     I congratulate you on the success thus far of your plans. I fear that General Burnside is hard pressed and that any further delay may prove fatal. I know that you will do all in your power to relieve him.

    H. W. HALLECK,

CHICKAMAUGA, November 25, 1863-7 p. m.
General S. COOPER:
     After several unsuccessful assaults on our lines to-day, the enemy carried the left center about 4 o'clock. The whole left soon gave way in considerable disorder. The right maintained its ground, repelling every attack. I am withdrawing all to this point.


CHATTANOOGA, November 25, 1863.
Maj. General J. G. FOSTER,
Cumberland Gap:
    The great defeat Bragg has sustained in the three days' battle, terminating at dark this evening, and a movement which I will immediately make, I think will relieve Burnside, if he holds out a few days longer. I shall pursue Bragg to-morrow and start a heavy column up the Tennessee Valley the day after. Use your force to the best advantage for Burnside's relief, and for regaining what has been lost in East Tennessee.

     U. S. GRANT,

CAMP NELSON, November 25, 1863.
Major-General GRANT:
     Your dispatch forwarded to me. No late news from Burnside. I am on my way to Knoxville by way of Cumberland Gap. If I find Burnside invested shall take troops from the gap and try to break the investment.

     J. G. FOSTER,

CUMBERLAND GAP, Tennessee, November 25, 1863. (Received 7.25 p.m.,27th.)
Maj. General H. W. HALLECK,
     I have in contemplation a movement either toward Abingdon and Saltville, or across the Clinch River toward Knoxville, with what mounted force I have. Would it not be well to order Averell forward at once, to divert the enemy's attention, in case the move is made from here toward Abingdon and Saltville? I shall be ready day after to-morrow morning, by which time I expect to hear from General Grant. I have not been able to do anything beyond Clinch River, because it has been impassable, and for want of subsistence.

    O. B. WILLCOX,


No. 32. Knoxville, Tennessee, November 25, 1863.
     In accordance with the proclamation of the President of the United States, Thursday, the 26th instant, will, so far as military operations will permit, be observed by this army as a day of thanks-giving for the countless blessings vouchsafed the country and the fruitful successes granted to our arms during the past year.
     Especially has this army cause for thankfulness for the divine protection which has so signally shielded us; and let us with grateful hearts offer our prayers for its continuance, assured of the purity of our cause and with a firm reliance on the God of Battles.
     By command of Major-General Burnside:

     Assistant Adjutant-General.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 31, Part 3, Pages 25, 115, 247, 248, 336, 679.

Having lost Lookout Mountain the previous day, Bragg held rifle pits along Missonary Ridge.  During the morning Sherman launched a series of assaults against Cleburne's line on Tunnel Hill.  At the other end of the line, Hooker's advance was slowed by burned bridges on Chattanooga Creek.  Around 3:30 Grant ordered Thomas forward and his men quickly pushed the Confederates from their rifle pits, although subjected by punishing fire from Confederates further up on the ridge.  Bragg's lines were misplaced along the actual crest of the ridge and not the military crest, so they were unable to provide effective fire.  By 4:30 the masses of the Army of the Cumberland overwhelmed the Confederate lines, which broke in panic.  Grant had Chattanooga, Bragg retreating South.  Burnside had only to hold out a little longer and the Confederate threat in Tennessee would be effectively blunted.  A great opportunity had been lost by Bragg and Longstreet, one such as would not present itself again.

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