Lieutenant Davidson, 35th Ohio,
September 3rd 1863
Weather cool. Last night at 10 o’clock, out company was notified to be ready by 2 o’clock this morning. At that time this morning five companies of out regt. started for the river, three miles from here where we spent the day transporting wagons and horses across the river on rafts by means of two canoes nailed together. I spent most of the time servicing horses across by means of the canoes, nailed together. During the forenoon I saw a man taken out of the mouth of Battle creek who had been drowned the day previous form the same boat that I was working in. I saw Genl. Crittenden today. Palmers division commenced crossing as soon as we had finished. I helped some of the boys carry a box out from the river for a company mess box today.
Lieutenant Robert Dilworth, 21st Ohio, in Negley’s division of the 14th Corps, crossed the Tennessee on September 2nd.
Camp Opposite, Bridgeport Alabama, September 3rd,
We crossed the Tennessee for the purpose of cutting off the chilverious [I think he means chivalrous] should he attempt to leave Chattanooga. We crossed 3 miles below Bridgeport and marched 3 miles that night and all day yesterday and when we halted for the night we were just opposite Bridgeport. When two hours march on a direct road would have brought us to that point.
As can be seen, rumors abound.
We received a dispatch last eve that Chattanooga was being evacuated. The 4th Regt cavalry made a raid into town yesterday there were one hundred and ten rebs came in with there arms and gave themselves up without condition. They took the oath.
We had a dusty march. Our wing lay along the Tennessee. Oh how magnificently grand this majestic old river appears, spread out in the bright September sun. The flowing of this river reminds me of the march of the Union army southward.
We came to the fort [a small Confederate work] on the Lookout Mountain facing Bridgeport, upon which with weary steps we slowly ascended. We have just 2 miles from the foot of the mountain to the top. I have reported a little from the road and am seated upon the topmost peak & have the most extended view, with my glass I can see Bridgeport. I can also see a long stretch of cavalry traversing the road. . . .We lay upon the Mt until 2 P.M. We had the artillery and provision train to move up the mountain roads, and with the dust have a very nice time. . . . We crossed a very deep ravine, through which ran a beautiful creek, and upon which was built a span mill . . . We cut the upper story of the mill away and made a bridge over the ravine this way. if it had not been for the mill we would have had to remain here at least two days building a bridge. Just before we left the mountain we ran across a very large yellow rattlesnake.
Confederate letters and diaries during this first week in September are largely quiet, the men remaining in camp or bivouac, waiting for orders. The reason? Bragg’s uncertainty.