American Civil War Battlefields
Photos and Text courtesy of Charlie Moore, LCWRT Member
On Monday afternoon, November 23, 1863, Union troops under the command of Gen. George Thomas formed battle lines in the open valley between the city of Chattanooga and a rocky mound to the east known as Orchard Knob. Rebel soldiers had previously constructed rifle pits along the crest and around the base in order to assist in besieging the city. Around 1:30 P.M. Union buglers sounded the command “forward” and approximately 14,000 troops began marching toward the Confederate positions. Only 634 rebels held the line around Orchard Knob. They were soon pushed back to the base of Missionary Ridge. On November 25, Orchard Knob became Gen. Grant’s forward observation post as he watched the successful Union assault of Missionary Ridge. Although Illinois had no troops take part in the fight for Orchard Knob, the state decided to place a monument atop of it in honor of Gen. Grant whom many Illinoisans considered a native son. The monument was dedicated on Nov. 23, 1899.