James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

November 24

The Battle in the Clouds

By William Dean Howells (1837–1920)

  • “The day had been one of dense mists and rains, and much of General Hooker’s battle was fought above the clouds, on the top of Lookout Mountain.”—General Meigs’ Report of the Battle before Chattanooga.
  • A battle during the Civil War, fought on Nov. 24, 1863, when the Federals under Grant defeated the Confederates under Bragg. Owing to the heavy mist on the mountain this battle is often called “the battle in the clouds.”

  • WHERE the dews and the rains of heaven have their fountain,

    Like its thunder and its lightning our brave burst on the foe,

    Up above the clouds on Freedom’s Lookout Mountain

    Raining life-blood like water on the valleys down below.

    O, green be the laurels that grow,

    O sweet be the wild-buds that blow,

    In the dells of the mountain where the brave are lying low.

    Light of our hope and crown of our story,

    Bright as sunlight, pure as starlight shall their deed of daring glow,

    While the day and the night out of heaven shed their glory,

    On Freedom’s Lookout Mountain whence they routed Freedom’s foe.

    O, soft be the gales when they go

    Through the pines on the summit where they blow,

    Chanting solemn music for the souls that passed below.