In honor of Pvt. Nathan R. Oakes, CSA
150 years ago, my great grandfather, Nathan Richardson Oakes, served as a private in Company D of the distinguished 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment in the Army of Tennessee. He participated in the great Civil War campaigns, including the battles of Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Atlanta, Franklin, Nashville, and Bentonville. I am writing about his engagements as well as some details about fighting for the Lost Cause. I hope to honor him and commemorate the events and individuals that contributed to making this a renowned unit in the Confederate Army of Tennessee.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Source: Mountains Touched With Fire, Wiley Sword
Friday, November 29, 2013
Area of the Confederate encampment around Dalton,
Georgia, during the winter of 1863-1864
Source: The USGenWeb Archives Project
|Tunnel Hill, Georgia Cir. 1905|
Source: Georgia Archives
In the organization of the Army of Tennessee, on December 10, temporarily commanded by Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee following Bragg's resignation, the 32nd and 45th Mississippi Consolidated Regiment was commanded by Col. Aaron B. Hardcastle. The regiment remained in Brig. Gen. Mark Lowrey’s Brigade of Cleburne’s Division, in Hardee’s Corps (commanded by Maj. Gen. Benjamin Cheatham). Also in the Brigade are the 16th Alabama (Maj. Frederick A. Ashford), 33rd Alabama (Col. Samuel Adams), 45th Alabama, Lieut. Col. H. D. Lampley), and the 15th Battalion Mississippi Sharpshooters (Capt. Daniel Coleman).
Thursday, November 28, 2013
By the President of the United States of America.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
* See the history of the proclamation and a copy of the document at the National Archives websiteBy the President: Abraham Lincoln
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
|Photo by Mark Dolan, June 2010|
Following the unexpected victory at Missionary Ridge on the evening of the 25th, Union Gen. U.S. Grant's attention turned towards how to send relief to Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside, supposedly under siege at Knoxville. Consequently, he let slip the opportunity to do serious damage to Braxton Bragg's fleeing and disorganized army. Although some pursuit was attempted right after the Confederates fled, it was turned back largely by Patrick Cleburne's command. The hesitation afforded Bragg's army a slim margin of time to make its escape the next day southeast to the town of Ringgold, with Dalton, Georgia as its final destination.
|Maj. Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne|
Shortly after receiving his instructions, Cleburne ordered his men to wade the stinging cold, waist-high South Chickamauga Creek. Volunteers had been sent ahead to light campfires on the opposite bank so the soldiers could warm and partially dry themselves before being deployed to defend the gap. Cleburne had already crossed the creek ahead of his men to make a quick examination of the ground he was ordered to defend.
|Source: The Wild Geese|
The Confederate army's train of wagons was still in full view, struggling to pass over the winding creek through and beyond the gap toward Dalton, as Hooker's force approached the town. Cleburne's men were the only barrier between the tail of the Army of Tennessee and the pursuing Federal army.
Farther to the Federal left, soldiers began moving north up the ridge of White Oak Mountain to seek a way around the Confederates' right. Earlier that morning, Cleburne had ordered Brig. Gen. Lucius Polk to form his brigade in the gap along the road running to the rear and to maintain contact with Granbury's force on the ridge. Polk's Brigade fought with the Federal skirmishers who had ascended nearly to the top of the ridge, and after a half-hour of skirmishing, the Federals were driven back. However, the attackers reformed, and being heavily reinforced, began to move back up the crest.
I ordered General Lowrey to move his command up the hill and assist General Polk in defending that position. Moving rapidly ahead of his command General Lowrey found the First Arkansas again heavily engaged, but heroically holding its ground against great odds. Assuring the regiment that support was at hand, he brought up the Thirty-second and Forty-fifth Mississippi in double time, and threw them into the fight at the critical moment. The enemy gave way and went down the ridge in great confusion. Lowrey now brought up the two remaining regiments of his brigade and Polk up the two other regiments of his command. The enemy, constantly re-enforcing, made another powerful effort to crown the ridge still farther to the right.
I moved my brigade at once by the right flank, and after ascending the hill I heard firing several hundred yards to the right, and, leaving a staff officer to bring up the command, I went in haste to see what it meant. I found the First Arkansas Regiment engaging the enemy´s skirmishers, who had already gained the top of the hill. After assuring this regiment that support was at hand, and directing them to hold their position, I hastened to the head of my brigade, which was coming up the ridge at a double-quick with the right flank to the enemy, and the bullets from the enemy's guns already flying down the line, I knew that nothing but the most prompt and rapid movement could save the position, and that I could not take time to put the whole brigade in position before moving upon the enemy. Hence, on reaching the head of the column, composed of Hawkins' sharpshooters and the Thirty-second and Forty-fifth Mississippi Regiments, I commanded, by company into line, and deployed the column on the tenth company, continuing the movement to the front with all possible rapidity at the same time. I sent Lieutenant Hall, my aide-de-camp, to bring up the next regiment in the same manner, and I went with the first to their important work, and nobly did they perform it. Our spirited fire, the sight of re-enforcements, and a terrific rebel yell combined to strike terror to the foe, and he fled in confusion.
On arriving on the top of the ridge, Brigadier-General Lowrey gave the command, "by company into line," and then, "on the tenth company deploy column, and move rapidly forward, obliquing [sic] to the right, and take position on the crest of the ridge to the front," which movements were executed rapidly, and under a hot fire of the enemy at short range, and, from the fatigue occasioned by the toilsome ascent of the steep ridge, some little confusion occurred, and the four right companies formed on the right and the remainder of the regiment on the left of the First Arkansas Regiment, which was in position on the ridge The enemy were near gaining the tip of the ridge when we arrived and drove them back in disorder and confusion, inflicting a heavy loss on the enemy.
In about three-quarters of an hour the First Arkansas Regiment moved to the right, and I then formed my left on the right wing, and reformed my regiment in good order while subject to a heavy fire from the enemy.
After a considerable delay, about 12 m., the enemy commenced moving a column rapidly by the left flank on a road running some 200 yards from the foot of the ridge. I again moved by the right flank and watched their movements. Having moved by the left flank some half mile, the enemy by a rapid movement threw their line in a column of regiments and advanced up the hill. They were again met by the same stubborn resistance that before repulsed them. General Lowrey coming to my assistance with one of his regiments, I had it moved in rear of my line until the enemy had advanced within 40 yards of my line, when I ordered it up in line with First Arkansas Regiment, and at the same time throwing Second Tennessee down the hill upon the left flank of the enemy, they were again driven back to the foot of the hill in great confusion.
The Thirty-third Alabama Regiment was soon brought up and formed on the left of the Thirty-second and Forty-fifth Mississippi, and the Forty-fifth Alabama on their left, while Brigadier-General Polk came up with two regiments and formed them on the right. The enemy, in the meantime, was pressing up the hill with great, determination, but the heavy fire from our advantageous position rendered their ascent impossible. But as they continued to move to the right, it was necessary for our line also to move to the right and to leave a bare line of skirmishers to hold the crest of the hill on the left. When Brigadier-General Polk was severely pressed, he sent to me in great haste for assistance, when I moved the Forty-fifth Alabama Regiment in double-quick to his support, and the general said as his ammunition was nearly exhausted they were just in time to save the position. When my ammunition was nearly exhausted and I had sent for more, my men and officers gave me assurance with great enthusiasm that they would hold the position at the point of the bayonet and with clubbed muskets if the enemy dared to charge them. The position was held until I was ordered to retire from it, which was done in good order.
A peculiarity of Taylors Ridge is the wavy conformation of its north side. The enemy, moving up in a long line of battle, suddenly concentrated opposite one of the depressions in this wavy surface and rushed up it in heavy column. General Polk, with the assistance of General Lowrey, as quickly concentrated a double line opposite this point, at the same time placing the Second Tennessee in such a position as to command the flank of any force emerging from it. The attack was again defeated and the enemy hurled down the hill, with the loss of many killed on the spot, several prisoners, and the colors of the Seventy-sixth Ohio Regiment. The colors and most of the prisoners were captured by the First Arkansas.
The victory was ours and the enemy was gone down the hill in perfect confusion. A deafening shout of triumph went through our line, and General Polk, as if enwrapped in the glory of our success dashed up to me, and seizing me by the hand exclaimed, "Just in time to save us, General!" The men, observing the rapture of their brigade commanders, again pierced the heavens with their shouts of triumph, greatly to the annoyance, no doubt, of the discomfited columns of the enemy.
Brig. Gen. Mark P. LowreyLowrey went on call the defense at Ringgold Gap "the most glorious triumph I ever witnessed on a battle field." Due to his role on this date, perhaps he should be allowed a little poetic license. Certainly, the division deserved the same high praise for its triumph at Tunnel Hill only 2 days before, when the odds against it were nearly twice as high.
|Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker|
Thankfully for the Confederates, at noon Cleburne received word from Lt. Gen. Hardee that the Confederate supply wagons were now well beyond Ringgold, so he could withdraw his division from the gap. Cleburne made plans for a staged withdrawal. By 1:00 PM, the Rebels began withdrawing both cannon by hand under a rough screen constructed of brush. An hour later, Cleburne withdrew his skirmishers, burnt the bridges, and began forming a new line a mile in his rear. Col. Hardcastle reported that he left behind a small picket force of men from the 32nd/45th Regiment behind to watch the enemy. Other regiments did the same.
Gen. U.S. Grant arrived at Ringgold at 11:30 AM, in time to witness the Confederate triumph. He soon ordered Hooker to break off his attack and allow Cleburne's Division to withdraw. Professional army Gen. Joseph "Fighting Joe" Hooker, victorious in his assault of Lookout Mountain only 3 days before, was entirely outgeneraled by his volunteer army counterpart, Gen. Patrick "Stonewall of the West" Cleburne at Ringgold Gap. Although Hooker will be severely criticized for his leadership at the Battle of Ringgold Gap, he will retain his position through the Atlanta Campaign.
With the Federals showing no further signs of attacking, Cleburne ordered his men to bivouac behind Ringgold Gap and to build fires to fool the enemy. That night, he ordered his division to march southward where it will take up outpost duty at the town of Tunnel Hill, just north of Dalton, Georgia. The final stage of the fall campaign is now at an end.
Photo by Mark Dolan, June 2010Maj. Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne's Statue, Ringgold, Georgia
Unveiled October 9, 2009
On February 9, 1864, the Confederate Congress at Richmond passed a Joint Resolution of Thanks to Cleburne and his men for their "distinguished service" performed at the Battle of Ringgold Gap:
Resolved, That the thanks of Congress are due, and are hereby tendered, to Maj. Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne, and the officers and men under his command, for the victory obtained by them over superior forces of the enemy at Ringgold Gap, in the State of Georgia, on the 27th day of November, 1863, by which the advance of the enemy was impeded, our wagon train and most of our artillery saved, and a large number of the enemy killed and wounded.
2 Another ancestor of mine, Great-great Grandfather David Crockett Neal, fought in the 6th Tennessee Cavalry in Wharton's Division at Ringglod Gap.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Once again, Bragg will order Cleburne and his men to save the army.
2 According to Co. D's Capt. F.S. Norman's sparse report of events of the 25th-26th: "... built rudeworks of logs under fire of the enemy during the morning of the 25th, was by these works during the day was thrown out as skirmisher at night to hold the enemy in check, while the regiment marched off, marched that night with the regiment at Chickamauga 7 miles thence to Graysville, Ga. thence to Ringgold 12 miles…"
Sources: Stonewall of the West, Craig L. Symonds; Pat Cleburne: Confederate General, Howell & Elizabeth Purdue; Mountains Touched With fire, Wile Sword; Shipwreck of Their Hopes, Peter Cozzens; Muster Roll of the 32nd Mississippi Infantry, Tommy Lockhart; Official Records, Vol. 31, Pt. 2; Huntsville Historical Review, Vol 26, No. 2. 1999: Transcription of Capt. Daniel Coleman Diary, Univ. North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Monday, November 25, 2013
|Lieut. Arthur MacArthur|
|Gen. Douglas MacArthur, 1945|
* He was awarded the medal 27 years after the event and after an illustrious military career.
Sources: The Shipwreck of Their Hopes, Peter Cozzens; Mountains Touched With Fire, Wiley Sword
|Source: Civil War Maps by Hal Jesperson|
|Source: Wikimedia Commons|
The Battle of Missionary Ridge opened for Cleburne's men at Tunnel Hill at 10:30 AM with a Federal artillery barrage against Brig. James A. Smith's Texas Brigade as Sherman's renewed his attack on the north end of the ridge. Historian Wiley Sword writes:
... Cleburne's duel with Sherman loomed as a classic contest of generals, arguable the best against the best. The crucial question was that of applied combat leadership. The fight on the north end of Missionary Ridge thus was a momentous collision with immense stakes. For Cleburne, it was the test of a lifetime. For Sherman, it was the best chance of his career. No wonder that it would become one of the Civil's War's most remarkable encounters.Cleburne's after battle report of the Battle of Tunnel Hill is captivating and compelling narrative, well worth repeating here:
Up to 10.30 a.m. the enemy contended himself with severe skirmishing, and a heavy artillery fire from batteries erected by him during the night on the detached hill. About this hour he drove in Smith's skirmishers, and possessed himself of the breastworks which Smith had abandoned that morning. A heavy attack on the tunnel and on Smith's line was now imminent. General Hardee sent me directions to take my position at the tunnel, and to take charge of everything in that quarter and to the right of it. The enemy was now in sight, advancing in two long lines of battle, his right stretching far beyond my left, his left stretching beyond Smith's right, where farther view of it was prevented by the woods that covered and bordered the detached hill....
At 11 a.m. the first serious fight of the day commenced. It was heavy along Smith's whole line, and extended some distance south of the tunnel. The right of the enemy's line, exposed to the fire of several pieces of artillery planted over the tunnel, and met by a brigade sent by General Hardee to the foot of the ridge, swayed backward and forward for some time, but did not dare to advance nearer than 400 yards, and finally lay down, contenting itself with sending forward a large body of skirmishers and sending to the rear a much larger number of stragglers. The enemy's left, however, under shelter of Smith's abandoned work of the night before, and protected by the woods on that flank, and by the precipitous, heavily wooded sides of Tunnel Hill, advanced rapidly on Smith's line, and finally made a heavy charge on Swett's battery on the apex of the hill. The artillerymen stood bravely to their guns under a terrible cross-fire, and replied with canister at short range, but still the enemy advanced. When he had reached within 50 steps of the battery, Brigadier-General Smith charged him with the right of Mill's regiment and the left of the Seventh Texas, Smith's north front pouring into him from the breastworks a close volley at the same time. The enemy was routed and driven back to his cover behind the hill-side and abandoned work.
About 1 p.m. it was evident that another grand attack was soon to be made on my division. In a few minutes after it commenced. The enemy again lined Smith's abandoned works, and from them kept up a close, incessant fire on Smith's north front, and particularly on the artillery on top of the hill. Simultaneously a charge was made on the west face of Tunnel Hill. Warfield's regiment was thrown forward outside of the work to the crest of the hill, looking into the Tennessee Valley, to meet this charge. Key['s battery] fired rapidly into the charging line as it crossed the open ground at the west foot of the of ridge, but it was soon under shelter. At the steep the enemy's line now seemed to form into a heavy column on the march, and rushed up the hill in the direction of the batteries. Warfield's fire stopped the head of the charging column just under the crest. Here the enemy lay down behind trees, logs, and projecting rocks, their first line not 25 yards from the guns, and opened fire. Tier after tier of the enemy, to the foot of the hill and in the valley beyond, supplied this fire and concentrated the whole on a space of not more than 40 yards, till it seemed like one continuous sheet of hissing, flying lead. This terrific fire prevented Warfield's men from moving sufficiently forward to fire with effect down the hill, but otherwise it only swept over our heads. The cross-fire from Smith's abandoned work was, however, more fatal. It took Warfield in flank and was constantly disabling men near the top of the hill.
The fight had lasted unceasingly for an hour and a half, and the enemy seemed to be constantly re-enforcing. The First and Twenty-seventh Tennessee, of Maney's brigade, Colonel Field [sic] commanding, was moved in front of the work, and placed on Warfield's right, the latter officer and his gallant regiment, still nobly holding their exposed position, although the regiment was diminished in numbers and almost out of ammunition. It was at this critical period of the day that Lieutenant-Colonel Warfield suggested to me that our men were wasting ammunition and becoming disheartened at the persistency of the enemy, and proposed a charge down upon them with the bayonet. Brigadier-General Cumming gallantly proposed to lead the charge with two of his regiments. I immediately consented, and directed General Cumming to prepare for the charge and went to the left to see that a simultaneous charge was made on the enemy's right flank. I now ordered the left of Mills' (Texas) regiment, being the extreme left of my division, to make the charge on the enemy's flank the moment that Cumming charged them in front, and I remained at the breastwork myself to see the execution of the order.
In the meantime General Cumming, having placed the Fifty-sixth Georgia in line for the charge, and supported it by placing the Thirty-sixth Georgia 10 paces in rear, moved forward to the charge; twice he was checked and had to reform. Warfield's (Arkansas) regiment with empty guns, and the gallant First and Twenty-seventh Tennessee prepared to share his next effort. At the command the whole rushed forward with a cheer, Lieutenant-Colonel Sanders, simultaneously leading the left of Mills' (Texas) regiment on the enemy's flank. The enemy, completely surprised, fled down the foot, the Texas troops on the left pursuing him beyond the foot and nearly across the open ground in front. Our charging columns returned with many prisoners and stand of colors; a fresh force of the enemy, attempting to follow us as we returned from this charge, was quickly met and routed by the Fiftieth Tennessee and with troops of my division. Immediately on his last repulse the enemy opened a rapid and revengeful artillery fire on Tunnel Hill from his batteries on the detached hill, and under cover of this fire he went to work felling trees and fortifying his position.
For 7 hours, and against odds nearly 7 to 1, Cleburne's men had held Tunnel Hill against determined forces.3 But the Confederate success had come at great cost in terms of the brave lives lost. Cleburne's work was not in vain, although he was about to receive disheartening news from further down the line. Even as his men were cheering their triumph on the right, the left of the Confederate line had collapsed and was being carried away. By 6:00 PM, only Hardee's and Cleburne's troops stood in the path of a complete Federal sweep of Missionary Ridge.
Soon after the final defeat of the enemy in front of Smith's position I received a dispatch from General Hardee to send to the center all the troops I could spare, as the enemy were pressing us in that quarter. I immediately ordered Generals Cumming and Maney, with their respective brigades, to report accordingly, and went myself to push them forward. Before I had gone far, however, a dispatch from General Hardee reached me, with the appalling news that the enemy had pierced our center, and were on Missionary Ridge, directing me to take command of my own, Walker's and Stevenson's divisions and form a line across the ridge, so as to meet an attack upon my flank, and take all other necessary measures for the safety of the right wing.
From Cleburne's report:
Soon after night was upon us, and General Hardee ordered an immediate retreat across the Chickamauga, and that Smith’s (Texas) brigade should remain in position and bring up the rear, General Lowrey attacked and drove back the enemy’s skirmishers in his front and then retreated. By 9 p.m. everything was across except the dead and a few stragglers lingering here and there under the shadow of the trees for the purpose of being captured, faint-hearted patriots succumbing to the hardships of the war and the imagined hopelessness of the hour. I now ordered Smith’s brigade to move in retreat. Sadly, but not fearfully, this band of heroes left the hill they had held so well and followed the army across the Chickamauga.
We soon reach Chicamauga & there we find out what has taken place - Everything is confusion - stragglers innumerable hunting their commands - Cleburne’s Div’s alone seems to maintain any order - Ah the bitter humiliation of this disastrous day - That day should not have been lost - There was bad conduct somewhere & I don’t know where - Time will develop - We bivouac near Chicamauga Station sleeping about 3 or 4 hrs -
After several unsuccessful assaults on our lines to-day, the enemy carried the left center about 4 o'clock. The whole ground gave way in considerable disorder. The right [i.e., Cleburne's Division] maintained its ground, repelling every attack. I am withdrawing all to this point.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
|Source: Civil War Maps by Hal Jesperson|
Lookout Mountain lay on the Union's far right. Union Gen. Joseph Hooker advanced his men toward the fog-covered peak, attacking Confederates posted at the base of the mountain.2 Hooker didn't actually plan to attack the entire mountain that day, thinking the steep granite slopes too precipitous to overcome quickly. However, fog masked the Union advance, and Hooker's men were able climb more easily than imagined. One Federal officer, Daniel Wait Howe, wrote, "During a considerable part of the day it was so foggy that we could see only the flashing of the guns, but at intervals the fog lifted, revealing the Federal line in the distance looking like a dark thread, slowly advancing from rock to rock. Then cheer after cheer went up from our own lines, for it was obvious that the Federal troops were steadily but surely gaining ground. Far into the night the flashes of musketry indicated that the weird 'battle among the clouds' had not ceased."
|"The Battle Above the Clouds"|
A romanticized depiction of the Battle of Lookout Mountain
Source: Wikimedia Commons
1 To see a 360-degree presentation of Lookout Mountain and the Chattanooga battlefield, visit the Civil War Trust Website, Chattanooga 360.
3 Historian Wiley Sword writes about Bragg's attitude toward defending Lookout Mountain: "Lookout Mountain had become dispensable in Bragg's eyes. Following the failures at Brown's Ferry, Wauhatchi, and the difficulties with Longstreet, Bragg simply didn't see the military usefulness of this giant mountain beyond that of an observation post." Considering the many Confederate casualties, it's tragic that Bragg hadn't acted on this opinion sooner and vacated the position.
Not all soldiers agreed with Bragg's assessment of Lookout Mountain's importance. It's loss certainly had some demoralizing effect on the troops. Capt. Daniel Colemen of the 15th Mississippi Battalion Sharpshooters in Mark Lowrey's Brigade expressed their sentiment when he wrote in his journal, "Sure enough the enemy did attack Lookout last night and carry it–It is a great blow to us–Reported that a large portion of [?] Brigades was captured" (from the D. Coleman Diary, #3317-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).
4 By evening, Grant erroneously supposed that Sherman had fought his way into possession of the north end of Missionary Ridge at Tunnel Hill. Based on this supposition, at midnight he issued an order for Sherman to attack the Confederates in his front in the morning. At the same time, he issued orders for Hooker to join in attacking the south end of the ridge. Thomas will launch his attack on the Confederates' center. These actions will bring on the decisive Battle of Missionary Ridge on the 25th.