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

November 24

The Battle of Lookout Mountain

By Kinahan Cornwallis (1883–1959)

THEN came a bloody battle in the clouds—

Clouds that—alas!—to many proved their shrouds.

A thousand feet above the Vale it raged—

On Lookout Mountain desperately waged—

And from the Valley those who viewed the fight,

Ne’er saw a grander—more terrific—sight

Till smoke and mist concealed it from the view—

A fight from dawn to dark that hotter grew

Till all the Rebel hosts were put to flight—

Confused, disordered, and in awful plight;

For Bragg to check the Union army failed,

And Lookout Mountain’s rugged top was scaled,—

Its fortress captured, and the vict’ry hailed,—

And Missionary Ridge, from west to east.

“On vict’ries now—behold—!” said Grant, “we feast!”

’Twas not till night the long day’s battle ceased,

And then triumphant were the Boys in Blue,

Who Chattanooga Valley captured, too,

And with the stars and stripes adorned the view.

“Well done!” said Grant, “you climbed that Mountain well,

Of harder fighting hist’ry ne’er will tell!”

Grant led his forces grandly, and the foe

Surrendered, died, or fled to plains below,

Pursued by Sherman’s and by Hooker’s fire.

Bragg and Rebellion met disaster dire.

Kentucky now—with Tennessee—was freed

From Rebel raids, while Burnside, much in need—

At Knoxville—gained not glory but relief.

“I hail,” said Grant, “one consequence as chief;

It opens Georgia to the Union arms,

And fills the groaning South with fresh alarms,

For fifteen thousand men its battle cost—

The captured, wounded and the dead it lost.”

November, ’Sixty-three, grew dark indeed

To Rebel eyes. Reverses gathered speed.