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Chattanooga or Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge from Moccasin Point   By:

Chattanooga or Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge from Moccasin Point by Bradford Ripley Wood

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Lookout Mountain


Missionary Ridge




Brevet Captain, late U.S.A., Brevet Major U.S.V. Albany, N.Y.

A paper read at the Thirty second Annual Meeting of the U.S. Veteran Signal Corps Association, held at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., September 10, 1907.

MAJOR WOOD, when introduced, said:

I wish to describe to the comrades present a great battle which resulted in a victory for the Union, and to introduce you to some of our Western soldiers. If I can give you one or two new facts, or increase your love for the West or for all of our great and glorious country, I shall be well pleased. My story is not all original, but what is not I have taken from official and reliable records, so that I can say that it is all true to the best of my knowledge and belief.

Published November, 1907 By The U.S. Veteran Signal Corps Association


In the fall of the year 1863, during the Civil War, while serving in the signal corps attached to the fourth corps of the army of the Cumberland, it was my privilege to have a good station on Moccasin Point, opposite Lookout Mountain, on the north side of the Tennessee river, from which to witness the assault of the Union troops under Gen. Hooker up the north face of the mountain, and also the charge of the army of the Cumberland under Gen. Thomas up the western slope of Missionary Ridge.

Moccasin Point is about three miles below Chattanooga and is formed by a bend in the Tennessee, which turns to the east and north at Lookout Mountain, continuing in that direction to a little north of Chattanooga, when it inclines to the northwest and then again to the southwest. The eastern side of Moccasin Point near the river is quite steep and from 100 to 150 feet above it, the crest of the ridge being covered with trees. The western side and the point slope gently to the river bank and contain some cultivated fields and farm houses, the peninsula being about a mile wide in the widest part. From the summit of Lookout Mountain it bears some resemblance to an Indian's foot clad in a moccasin, from which it derives its name. Lookout Mountain is an elevated plateau extending from the Tennessee river about forty miles southwest into Georgia and Alabama, its sides and summit being covered with trees, with some open fields and cultivated farms. Near Chattanooga its height is about 1500 feet above the river. The northern slope from the Tennessee is rocky and steep for about 600 feet, when the ascent is more gradual and contains an open space of a few acres cultivated as a farm. A white farm house, known as Craven's, is situated on the upper margin of the farm and near the western point. From the southern side of the farm the ascent to the summit is very rocky and almost perpendicular. The house was occupied by the confederate general E. C. Walthall as his headquarters. Around the point of the mountain, a little above the river, is the track of the Nashville and Chattanooga railroad cut in the side of the rock, and above it, across the open field, was a wagon road leading into Lookout valley. On the eastern side of the mountain and connecting with this was the road to Summertown, the only wagon road to the summit of the mountain for many miles. Chattanooga creek, a good sized stream, flows into the Tennessee at the foot of the mountain on the eastern side, and Lookout creek from Lookout valley on the western.

After the battle of Chickamauga the center of the army of the Cumberland withdrew from the field in good order on the night of Sept. 20, 1863, to Rossville, a few miles south of Chattanooga, and was ready to give battle on the following day, the right and left wings being again in position. It was not however closely followed or attacked by the enemy, but as Chattanooga was considered a much better position for defense, on Sept... Continue reading book >>

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