Rickards Reflection History

Rickards Reflection History

– every minute now
Should be the father of some strategem;
The times are wild.

William Shakespeare

General Bragg reported six days after the Battle of Lookout Mountain that outnumbered hard-fighting Confederates on the slope “were not sustained” by his troops on the top. He did not know that 200 of his men made a desperate dash to enter the battle down a defile through the sheer bluff north of The Face, 1,200 feet above you. Fog and cloud made a deep gloom. The ground is steep, rough, all that tires a man.

Col. Wm. Rickards was in command of the 29th Pennsylvania. This regiment had fought at Gettysburg. They were at the base of the bluff above you, reflected at Rickards Reflection pond.

Skirmishers hid behind slashed timber and immense rocks had killed and wounded a number of his men. Suddenly 200 bold Confederates scrambled down a pass to get behind his troops, placing them between two fires.

Seeing the threat Rickards ordered “Change front to rear,” and a charge toward the 200 through the rocks. The Confederates had not seen a support of Union troops, hid by sheer bluffs and dense clouds. The support did not see the Confederates scrambling down and feared Rickards was retreating from the fight. Shouting encouragement, the support charged. Thus the Confederates were caught between two fires and after some shooting surrendered. They had made a brave desperate attempt.

The water reflects the scene and Rickards Reflection serves the memory.

Historical text written by William O. Steele, award-winning children’s author from Signal Mountain, Tennessee