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PERPETUAL SUPPPY OF READING MATTER.

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About this time another arrangement was made, which proved of the highest benefit in providing reading matter. Hitherto our papers had been chiefly religious, but our funds were now sufficient to provide a larger variety on which we might depend during the march. Accordingly we procured twenty copies weekly of the N. Y. Evening Post; twelve copies each of Atlantic, Harper's, Continental and Eclectic Magazines, and also the Army and Navy Journal, which, with the large number of religious papers, gave us all the benefits of a perpetual reading room. This plan was found so beneficial that it was kept up to the last.

On the night of the 14th, the enemy fired the remainder of the bridge. A few shells were thrown during the night and the next day, but with no particular effect.

All signs began to indicate a movement. Companies B and C, supported by D and E, made a reconnoissance, followed in a few days by Companies A, F, H and G. At the close of the month, trains came in loaded with pontoons and materials for building, and September 2nd, the bridge being completed, the word “ Forward” was sounded and we were once more on the march.

CHAPTER XXVIII.

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BATTLE OF CHICKAMAUGA.

HATTANOOGA, the objective point of our next

campaign, was the "gateway of Georgia,” and, in a sense, of the whole South, for from it opened valleys, through which operations could be carried on and supplies furnished in almost every direction. But

the very features of the country which gave such advantages to forces holding Chattanooga, presented the most formidable obstacles to any force operating against it, especially from the north. Protected as it was by a rapid stream over two thousand feet wide, on the banks of which were cannon ready to sweep away any army that should attempt to cross, it was still further inaccessible by the mountainous region to the north, over which it was exceedingly difficult to operate an army, and even more difficult to supply it so far away from any practicable base. Its lines of communication south were protected by mountainous ridges running south and south-west, through which the openings were but few and easily defended, but across which it was a stupendous task to throw an attacking force. Indeed, much as the War Department had complained of Rosecrans' delay, the event showed that he had not overrated the difficulties of the task, especially when his deficiency of mounted men was considered.

A FLANK MOVEMENT.

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A flank movement being the only one which promised success, and the country north and north-east being unfit for army operations, it remained to cross the mountain ridges on the west and south-west and strike the enemy's communications south, compelling either the evacuation of Chattanooga or fighting a battle on equal terms.

The success of such a movement, involving the passage both of the river and several high mountains, depended upon keeping the enemy in ignorance of our real plan, by diverting its attention and resources to a different quarter. This was most effectually done by a brilliant feint by Crittenden, whose corps crossed the Cumberland Mountains into the Sequatchie valley in four days, though they had to drag their cannon over precipices by hand. Thence he despatched four brigades, two of cavalry, Col. Minty's and Wilder's mounted infantry, and Gen. Hazen's and Wagner's brigades of infantry, to proceed to points on the river opposite Chattanooga, above and below the town, and make a feigned attack. This was done. Some of Wilder's troops above the town let ends of logs, rails and bits of timber float down past Bragg's front, as if they were preparing a bridge; other troops slapped boards together to make a lumbering noise, while Wilder unlimbered his artillery and shelled the town. In the meantime the other corps of the army had been concentrating at Stevenson, Bridgeport, Battle Creek and Caperton's Ferry, the pontoons and other preparations being kept out of sight, and when the time for crossing had come, Bragg's attention had been so completely absorbed by the movement on his front that the whole army was transferred across the river without opposition.

The passage of Sand Mountain involved the necessity of making and repairing roads, and when this had been done as far as practicable without too much delay, such was the steepness of the ascents on the different routes of advance that teams were often doubled to move the artillery and wagons. By September 6th these movements in the main had been completed, and the army, except what was left to threaten Chattanooga on the north, lay along the western base of Lookout Mountain from Wauhatchie, a point six or seven miles from Chattanooga, to Valley Head, thirty-five miles distant.

It was on Sept. 2nd that Sheridan's Division, to which the 36th belonged, received orders to cross the river. As there were not pontoons enough to reach across both channels, the engineers had finished the bridge by setting down trestles and planking them over—a device which came near costing us dearly. It was an exciting time. Thoughtful men realized the peril of putting such a river in their rear with such mountains in front, while the measured tread of infantry, the rattle, shout and crack of the whip, as the heavily laden wagons bounced from the banks on to the narrow pontoon causeways; the heavier jar and crash, as the huge artillery vehicles rumbled over the planks, must be heard to be appreciated. The troops passed over safely and in fine spirits, and marching forward about four miles, went into camp in Hog Jaw Valley, where Gen. Negley, of the 14th Corps, had preceded us and was preparing to ascend the mountain. We soon found that the officers were destined to an unpleasant night, for word was brought that in attempting to cross the bridge some of the trestles had broken, precipitating several wagons into the river. This meant that we must shift for ourselves for shelter and food. Good use was made of the abundance of soft corn growing near, which, with salt, was quite a pleasant change from army diet. Next morning troops were under arms early, but we did not march. By and by our wagons arrived, the bridge having been repaired during the night, though it gave

ASCENDING THE MOUNTAIN.

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way a second time. It seemed little less than miraculous that, in accidents so dangerous, no men were lost, and only one mule. Two men, however, were much injured in camp by the fall of a tree.

It was an interesting sight to watch Negley's Division ascending the mountain road, which in many places was as steep as an ordinary house roof. The teams of six horses or mules had to be doubled to accomplish the task. Some of the men were so impatient of the delay that they went to the top to reconnoitre, and brought exciting news of the scenery and prospect. By and by they had as much of mountain climbing as they desired.

It was not till Friday, about three o'clock, that the way was cleared and we began to ascend. It took our battery four and a half hours to go up. On reaching the top we continued our march for about five miles and went into camp at dark, much exhausted with the heat and dust. It took most of the night for the train to come up the hill, and, with all the care that could be exercised, several wagons fell over the precipice on the roadside, which varied from ten to one hundred feet deep. The next day we crossed the mountain, and descending a bill even worse than the one we ascended the day before, went into camp near Trenton about three o'clock. Our train came in early, so that we made ourselves quite comfortable, and were especially gratified to find a creek of most beautiful water, supplied from a spring which gushed out of the rock in a stream as broad as a man's body. Such water in so great abundance makes a soldier happy. On Sunday we resumed our march down the valley, passing numerous houses with rich and beautiful farms. We found here, too, more men at home than usual, and quite a number who had been paroled at Vicksburg. The heat and dust that day were almost intolerable. One man sank down by the roadside and

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