War of the Rebellion: Serial 034 Page 0489 Chapter XXXV. THE MIDDLE TENNESSEE CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

To name those who distinguished themselves I would merely be obliged to copy the muster-rolls of the brigade. It is certain that some officers and men were placed in more trying positions, and had therefore better occasion to prove their metal than others. Throughout both days' fight the regimental commanders-Colonels Gibson and Hotchkiss, Lieutenant-Colonel Askew, and Major Glass-had their commands under perfect control, to which all other good qualities expected from accomplished and experienced officers becomes serviceable. In their efforts they were well supported by their officers and men, who, far above the mere martial courage which rushes headlong at the enemy, maneuvered under the heaviest fire as if on the parade ground, obeyed and executed every order without regard to danger, and so kept up a unity of action and order which alone can make courage successful. The advance of the Forty-ninth Ohio Volunteers and the two companies of the Thirty-second Indiana, and, later, of the Fifteenth Ohio on the right, which was made in double-quick, up a steep hill and over open ground, against a concealed and brave enemy, was heroic. The fight of the picket line of the Thirty-second Indiana and Eighty-ninth Illinois, on the second day, against the whole of Cleburne's division, was continued for hours, after having been harassed during the whole forenoon. The successful charges of single companies will find few equals in the history of war. The prompt advance and solid fighting of the Fifteenth Ohio Volunteers and the splendid and irresistible charge of the Forty-ninth Ohio Volunteers are military deeds worthy to be registered in the annals of the nation. The battery came not under close fire, but the men served their pieces so well that they gave the conviction they would do the same under canister range. Cheering, the men went into the fight; cheering, they held their position, partly even without ammunition; cheering, they replenished their cartridge-boxes, and formed, ready for a new battle. The highest ambition of a commander must be satisfied by being associated with such men, who, through patriotism and love for the free institutions of their country, have attained a degree of efficiency which professional soldiers very seldom, if ever, reach. Instances-as when a man wounded in two places returns to the front after having his wounds dressed, and another, standing, without a round, behind a tree, near two of his dead comrades, and keeping his position till he can get some cartridge and open fire again-are anything but uncommon.

To the surgeons of the brigade (particularly to Actg. Brigadier Surg. Gustave A. Kunkler) the thanks of the brigade are due for their untiring efforts in caring for the wounded.

My staff-Captain Carl Schmitt, assistant adjutant-general; Lieutenant S. D. Butler and Lieutenant W. McGrath, aides-de-camp; Lieutenant S. H. Green, brigade inspector, and Lieutenant Hans Blume, topographical engineer- were always present where danger showed and wherever they could be of any use to myself or the command.

Lieutenant McGrath lost his horse by a fall; most of the other members of my staff theirs by over exertion. I must compliment my orderlies for their active and gallant behavior, particularly Orderly James Purdy, Company I, Fifteenth Ohio, who had already distinguished himself at the battle of Stone's River. The spirit and manner with which all the brigades of the division went into the battle, and which is undoubtedly the spirit of our whole Army of the Cumberland, must be to every thinking mind evidence that the tide of the rebellion is turned; that its hours are measured; tat the evil spirits of the Commonwealth have lost their pride and confidence; that they are doomed to their just fate.