the 22nd, when we were ordered with the balance of the division to cover the retirement of the army on Chattanooga, going into bivouac at that point at 9 a. m., where we now are. My loss in officers and men is terrible indeed, and shows how well they maintained the several positions assigned them during the different days that they were under fire and engaged with the enemy.
All have shown great patience, bravery, and endurance; no complaining, no murmuring, but all seeming to strive, one with the other, to perform to the utmost of their ability in support of our glorious stars and stripes.
Commanding officers, Colonels H. A. Hambright and G. Mihalotzy, Lieutenant Colonels G. B. Bingham and H. C. Hobart, and Lieutenant David Flansburg, with their staff officers, are entitled to great praise for their coolness and bravery exhibited during these protracted engagements.
Captains Mauff and Walker, who were obliged to take command of their respective regiments after the wounding of the colonels thereof, so conducted their commands as to meet with my entire approbation.
Considering the peculiarity of the country and condition of ground over which my brigade was maneuvered from day to day, points and positions advantageous to me unknown, obligating me there-by to feel my way along in darkness, I cannot express in terms too strong my satisfaction and gratification at the manner in which my officers and men conducted themselves; and although I would have desired that no falling back should have occurred, yet I believe the circumstances connected therewith are sufficient in themselves to release the troops from all blame or censure in the premises.
My battery was handled most splendidly; and although a large portion of it was destroyed by the fire of the enemy, nothing belonging thereto was left upon the field save the portions destroyed and made useless by such fire. It went into the engagement with six guns, and came out with seven. Lieutenant Flansburg was wounded and taken prisoner on the 19th, and the battery has since been handled by Lieutenant Willits, who has shown himself to be a good officer in every respect.
To my staff officers, Major Wagner, Captains Samuel, Dysart, and Wall, Lieutenants Reichardt and Hazzard, and to my orderlies, too much praise cannot be accorded for the part taken by them in the several engagements. Their personal attention was given to the delivering of orders, and to having them carried into execution. The utmost coolness and bravery was exhibited by them all; and while we mourn the death of one of our companions, the bravest of the brave, Lieutenant Searles, acting assistant adjutant-general, we know he died in a great cause, and while in the performance of his duty. All honor and glory to the dead! All sympathy and compassion for the wounded! All praise to the living!
Inclosed please find list of casualties and map of positions.*
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN C. STARKWEATHER,
Captain B. H. POLK,
Assistant Adjutant-General, First Division.
*See pp. 303-307.