Tipton’s “Southern Confederates,” Co. C., 6th and 9th Tennessee consolidated regiments, Gen. George Maney’s brigade, served in the division commanded by Brig. Gen. States Rights Gist, of Gen. W. J. Hardee’s corps. Gist’s division was assigned to the Chattanooga Valley front.
On Nov. 23, 1863, Maney’s brigade was stationed on Lookout Mountain opposite Gen. Joseph Hooker’s corps of the Union Army of the Potomac. Hooker’s troops were within easy reach of Maney’s men on the mountain.
While serving as a picket, James Lemmon of Tipton, reported to Capt. Hall: “There’s going to be a big fight on Lookout today.”
Lemmon based this on the fact that a Union picket had called across to him: “Johnny, we are coming after you tomorrow and when you see us coming, get out of the way. We don’t want to hurt you.”
The Battle of Orchard Knob was fought Nov. 23. It was located between the lines of the armies, about middle ways, rising about 100 feet, it was a landmark with a good view by both armies. A Union reconnaissance in force of four divisions, 20,000 men, was committed to the operation with 6,600 more in reserve. The three brigades of Thomas J. Wood made the actual contact with the two lone Confederate Alabama regiments defending the Knob.
The attack commenced at 1:50 p.m. with 5,000 Federals advancing on the 634 Rebels on the Knob. One of the Alabama regiments put up no resistance and retreated the 1,200 yards to the main Confederate rifle pits along the base of Missionary Ridge. The other Rebel regiment, Wm L. Butler’s 28th Alabama, 300 men, fired volleys into Gen. William Hazen’s brigade of 2,256 soldiers.
Overwhelmed by a sea of blue uniforms, Butler lost 146 men and their flag was captured while the balance of men ran for dear life. Within five minutes, the affair was over. Confederate losses totaled 186 casualties; Union losses 167.
Within an hour, the Chattanooga Valley landscape was a sea of Union soldiers and wagons. Watching the imposing formations from atop Missionary Ridge was Confederate generals Arthur Manigault, James Patton Anderson and army commander Braxton Bragg.
Through his field glasses, Manigault estimated that 50,000 Yankees were marching to and fro, directly in front of Gen. Bragg’s headquarters. The sight of the massed Federal ranks stunned Bragg almost to the point of panic. Bragg ordered new troops dispositions shifting troops to the right or north.
That night, Maney’s brigade, States Rights Gist’s division, was ordered to move to the Missionary Ridge line where it took part in the Battle of Missionary Ridge on Nov. 25,1863.
Captain Hall of the 9th Tennessee wrote:
“Our removal from Lookout Mountain had left that part of our line almost without defenders. Gen. (Edward Cary) Walthall was left there in command of a small body of troops…
“(On Nov. 24, 1863) Hooker’s corps, on account of the weakness of our line, had no trouble in driving our men from their works who retreated up the slope of the mountain…This was Hooker’s famous ‘Battle Above the Clouds’…it was a mere skirmish and not a battle and fought not above the clouds but in a dense fog which concealed the enemy from the view of our men until they were so close to our works with such tremendous odds in numbers that protracted resistance was useless.”
Continued next week