up a slight breastwork of logs and stone, behind which we fought until about 5 p. m., when we were relieved by some of General Brannan's division. Our ammunition was exhausted, and we could not procure any more. At about half past 5 p. m. the enemy sent up messengers to Brannan's men stating that some of them were waiting for them (our men) to cease firing in order to give themselves (i. e., the enemy) up. The firing ceased and the enemy came up, but instead of a giving themselves up they fired a volley and charged up the hill, gaining possession of it entirely. The commanding officer of Brannan's troops asked that the Twenty-first should charge up and retake the hill. After some delay one round of ammunition was procured per man from the dead and wounded. With this one round in our guns, we charged up the hill. We delivered our volley, but the enemy was in too large force, and we were forced back. Twice again, with no ammunition, we charged, with the vain hope of retaking the hill. But we were repulsed. In the meantime Brannan's men were reforming and we lay down to wait until they reorganized, intending to make one grand charge, and if possible retake the hill. While we were waiting a column was observed filing in a small ravine on our right flank. Supposing they were our men (they being dressed in blue jeans) we took no notice of them until they formed line of battle facing toward us. They formed and commenced advancing on us; when asked who they were, said they were "Jeff. Davis' men;" supposed they were some of J. C. Davis' division. When they were within a few rods of us they called upon us to "surrender," "lay down," &c. A portion of the men jumped up to retreat toward General Brannan's division, when they poured in a heavy volley, wounding and killing a great many. A few of the men of the Twenty-first who escaped formed, and were led to Rossville by Colonel Walker, of the Thirty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
On the morning of the 21st we collected all that could be found, reported to Colonel Sirwell, our brigade commander, and took position on the left of the Seventy-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.
On the 21st, together with the rest of the brigade, we took up position on a hill near Rossville, where we lay until about 12 m., when we were withdrawn and marched to Chattanooga, reaching our present camp on the 22nd . Since then we have done nothing but work on the fort, &c.
Of the officers and men of this command I have only to say that they have done their duty. We ask no higher praise than that. Every men fought as if the fate of the nation rested on his individual efforts. Lieutenant Colonel D. M. Stoughton was wounded about 3.30 p. m. on the 20th. A cooler, braver, or more patriotic officer than he never drew sword.
You will see by the official report of killed, wounded, and missing that we lost some 272 officers and men.*
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHARLES H. VANTINE,
Captain Co. I, Comdg. 21st Ohio Vol. Infantry.
Captain CHAS B. GILLESPIE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Brigade.
*See revised statement, p. 172.