Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Battle Above the Clouds

Today marks the 146th anniversary of one of the most unusual battles of the American Civil War, the Battle of Lookout Mountain, the fabled "Battle Above the Clouds". This battle has some of the most comical remarks associated with it that I have ever seen, for instance the following from the report of Colonel William Francis Dowd of the 24th Mississippi,

"Our whole brigade only numbered about fifteen hundred men, while the whole of Hooker's Corps was rapidly advancing on us. General Walthall was upon the ground early and changed our front...I ordered my men behind rocks, trees and every cover that nature afforded, and instructed them not to fire until the enemy moved out in the open space in my immediate front. In the meantime the Federal troops advanced...The slaughter was terrible on both sides. I
saw our color bearer shot down within a few feet of me, but the colores were
immediately taken up and held by one of the color guard...General Walthall had ordered me early in the morning "to hold my post till hell froze over," and thinking at this juncture that the ice was about five feet over it, I went up the lines and ordered my regiment to retire...and reform in the rear of the Cravens House..."

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