fired fewer shots than at Stone's River, but with even greater effect. I cannot but congratulate the country on the rapid improvement evidenced in this arm of the service. Our loss of pieces is, it part, attributable to the rough, wooded ground in which we fought, and the want of experience in posting artillery, and partly to the unequal nature of the contest, our infantry being heavily outnumbered.
For the details of these actions, the innumerable instances of distinguished bravery, skill, and gallantry displayed by officers of every rank, and, above all, for self-reliant, cool, and steady courage displayed by the soldiers of the army, in all arms, in many instances even shining above that of their officers, I must refer to the accompanying reports of the corps, division, brigade, regimental, and battery commanders. The reports of the cavalry command are not it, for the best of all reasons, that they have been out nearly ever since, writing with their sabers on the heads and backs of the enemy.
The signal corps has been growing into usefulness and favor daily for the last four months, and now bids fair to become one of the most esteemed of the staff services. It rendered very important service from the time we reached the Valley of the Tennessee. For its operations, I refer to the report of Captain Jesse Merrill, chief signal officer.
Our medical corps proved very efficient during the whole campaign, and especially during and subsequent to the battle. A full share of praise is due to Dr. Glover Perin, the medical director of the department, ably assisted by Dr. Gross, medical director of the Fourteenth, Dr. Perkins, Twentieth, and Dr. Phelps, Twenty-first Army Corps.
A very great meed of praise is due Captain Horace Porter, of the Ordnance, for the wise system of arming each regiment with arms of the same caliber, and having the ammunition wagons properly marked, by which most of the difficulties in supplying ammunition where troops had exhausted it in battle were obviated. From his report will be seen that we expended 2,650,000 rounds of musket cartridges, 7,325 rounds of cannon ammunition; we lost 36 pieces of artillery, 20 caissons, 8,450 stand of small-arms, 5,834 infantry accouterments; being 12,675 rounds less of artillery and 650,000 rounds more of musketry that at Stone's River.
From the report of Lieutenant-Colonel Wiles, provost-marshal-general, it will be seen that we took 2,005 prisoners. We have missing [4,945], of which some 600 have escaped and come in, and probably 700 or 800 are among the killed and wounded; of our wounded about 2,500 fell into the hands of the enemy, swelling the balance of prisoners against us to about 5,500.
It is proper to observe the battle of Chickamauga was absolutely necessary to secure our concentration and cove Chattanooga. It was fought in a country covered with woods and undergrowth, and wholly unknown to us. Every division came into action opportunely and fought squarely on the 19th. We were largely outnumbered, yet we foiled the enemy's flank movement on our left, and secured our own position on the road to Chattanooga. The battle of the 20th was fought with all the troops we had, and but for the extension and delay in closing in our right, we should probably have driven the enemy, whom we really beat on the field. I am fully satisfied that the enemy's loss largely exceeds ours.