Baldy Smith and his men did a great job in opening the Cracker Line, and General Thomas lets them know. He even thanks Hooker, who is not Mr. Popularity just now.
ORDERS.] HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, November 1, 1863.
The general commanding tenders his thanks to Brig. General W. F. Smith and the officers and men of the expedition under his command, consisting of the brigades of Brigadier-Generals Turchin and Hazen, the boat parties under Colonel T. R. Stanley, Eighteenth Ohio Volunteers, and the pioneer bridge party, Captain Fox, Michigan Engineers, for the skill and cool gallantry displayed in securing a permanent lodgment on the south side of the river at Brown’s Ferry, and in putting in position the pontoon bridge, on the night of the 26th instant. The successful execution of this duty was attended with the most important results in obtaining a safe and easy communication with Bridgeport and shortening our line of supplies.
By command of Major-General Thomas:
Lieutenant-Colonel, and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND,
No. 265. Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 7, 1863.
The recent movements, resulting in the establishment of a new and short line of communication with Bridgeport, and the possession of the Tennessee River, were of so brilliant a character as to deserve special notice.
The skill and cool gallantry of the officers and men composing the expedition under Brig. General William F. Smith, chief engineer, consisting of the brigades of Brigadier-Generals Turchin and Hazen, the boat parties under Colonel Stanley, Eighteenth Ohio Volunteers, and the pontoniers under Captain Fox, Michigan Engineers and Mechanics, in effecting a permanent lodgement on the south side of the river, at Brown’s Ferry, deserve the highest praise.
The column under Major-General Hooker, which took possession of the line from Bridgeport to the foot of Lookout Mountain, deserve great credit for their brilliant success in driving the enemy from every position which they attacked. The bayonet charge, made by the troops of General Howard, up a steep and difficult hill, over 200 feet high, completely routing the enemy and driving him from his barricades on its top, and the repulse, by General Geary’s command, of greatly superior numbers, who attempted to surprise him, will rank among the most distinguished feats of arms of this war.
By command of Maj. General George H. Thomas: