Report of Lieutenant Colonel Daniel F. Griffin, Thirty-eighth Indiana Infantry.
HDQRS. THIRTY-EIGHTH INDIANA VOLUNTEERS, Chattanooga, Tenn., September 23, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report the following as the part taken by this command in the engagements and movements of the 19th, 20th, and 21st days of September, 1863.
The regiment, with the brigade, after marching about 10 miles, moved into position at daylight on the 19th instant, near the forks of Chattanooga and La Fayette roads and road running to the Crawfish Spring, occupying the right of the second line, with three companies thrown to the rear and left as pickets. About 9 a.m. brisk skirmishing commenced on our left by General Brannan's division, which soon assumed the magnitude of an engagement. About 10 a.m. our brigade moved in a southeasterly direction to their support on the right of regular brigade, my command of eight companies occupying extreme right of first line [Companies B and H moving in our rear as support to First Michigan Battery, also advancing with us]. I was notified that General Palmer's troops were moving on our right as supports, and cautioned not to fire on their skirmishers.
The enemy now being driven by the troops on our left and center, a very rapid movement to the front for three-fourths of a mile was made, my command, with the brigade, moving to and swinging to the left, capturing many prisoners, who were sent to the rear. The command was now halted on the crest off a hill, with a corn-field on our left and front, and on our right a wooded hill with heavy undergrowth. In coming to this position I had passed within sight of the left of General Palmer's troops moving to the front, and passed through the left of their skirmish line, but for the last quarter of a mile had not seen any of them, which fact was promptly reported; the firing had now ceased on the left, and only occasional skirmish shots [were] exchanged on our front.
Company F, Captain Jenkins commanding, my line of skirmishers, now reported the enemy advancing and moving to our right, as though intending to flank the position and gain our rear. These facts being reported, I was ordered to change my line perpendicularly to the rear, forming almost a right angle with the line of the Thirty-third Ohio, next on my left. The Tenth Wisconsin now moved on our right, and First Michigan Battery, with companies B and H of my command, also on our right. This position was hardly taken when the enemy charged down on our front, driving in skirmishers and advancing in heavy column. Fire was immediately opened by whole line and battery, momentarily checking the advance. But they again pressed forward with such vigor, while raking, both fronts of the brigade with an enfilading fire of musketry, that the left was compelled to fall back, which was soon followed by the whole line, the enemy meantime having charged in heavy force up the hill and into the right and center of my command, which gave way under the pressure, not, however, without suffering much loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners. In passing to the rear I found no troops to rally with, and did not get my command together until nearing the Chattanooga road. Here the brigade was reformed, and about 4 p.m. moved with the division into position