November 23d, 1863, under instructions from Gen. Grant to ascertain whether the Confederates still occupied the valley, Gen. Thomas disposed forces in front of Fort Wood, the site of which is now marked by the stand-pipe of the water works.
The movement was directed against Orchard Knob, which was the right of the Confederate advanced line, and the low range running south from it.
The center of Gen. Thomas' line was T. J. Wood's Division with Sheridan's on its right.
Baird's was in support of Sheridan and Schurz's and Steinwehr's supported Wood on the left. At 2 P.M. the center advanced with a rush, Wood directing his left (Willich's Brigade) on Orchard Knob, and his right (Hazen's Brigade) on the rifle pits to the south of it, Sam Beatty's Brigade in reserve. After sharp fighting Wood carried the central line.
Sheridan was then moved forward in support. The Confederate works were reversed and occupied by Wood. The line attacked by Wood was held by troops of Manigault's Brigade, which fought till overwhelmed under the misapprehension that they had been directed to hold their line at all hazards. The 11th Corps advanced on the left to Citico Creek.
The Union troops held their new line until the advance on Missionary Ridge Nov. 25.