October 26, 1863: Securing the river

Chattanooga Campaign

The Union initiates an attack to secure the Tennessee River for transport.

Official Records:

Bridgeport, Ala., October 26, 1863.

1. The movement on the south side of the Tennessee River will commence at sunrise October 27.

2. The mounted men from Alabama will precede the corps of Major-General Howard (the Eleventh), which will have the advance.

3. Brigadier-General Geary’s division will follow immediately in rear of General Howard’s corps. The commands will carry 60 rounds of small-arms ammunition, 40 in the boxes, 20 in the pockets; the artillery 200 rounds of ammunition. The commands will also carry their full complement of intrenching tools, three days’ cooked provision, three days’ forage for the animals. In the event of General Geary’s wagons not being here, he will arrange for transportation with Major-General Howard.

4. The regiment from General William’s division (Twelfth Corps) will remain, and after protecting the depots here by a proper guard, and furnishing the fatigue details, will hold the bridge head on the south side of the river. Brigadier-General Geary will promulgate this order to the regiments of the Twelfth Corps and cause them to take position at the time of his movement.

5. Brigadier-General Geary will move with such portions of his command as may arrive in time for the movement, leaving instructions for the balance of his command to follow immediately upon their arrival.

6. The column will proceed to Shellmound, and from thence to Rankin’s Ferry. The commanding generals will look well to their right flanks, and guard against any injuries or annoyance from guerrillas.

By command of Major-General Hooker:

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