Report of Captain Samuel J. Harris, Nineteenth Indiana Battery.
HEADQUARTERS NINETEENTH INDIANA BATTERY,
October 8, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor herewith to inclose inspection report* of the mounted batteries of artillery of the Fourth Division up to October 1, 1863, and also the operations of the Nineteenth Indiana Battery on Saturday, the 19th, under my command, in the action of the 19th September, 1863, which please find subjoined.
The battery left Pond Spring at 6 p. m. on the evening of the 18th, marched all night, halted at Crawfish Spring, on the morning of the 19th, about one hour and thirty minutes, advanced about 3 miles, and left the main road leading to Chattanooga, diverging to the right, and occupying, with the Second Brigade, several different positions, in anticipation of an attack by the enemy. About 3 p. m., the brigade having been sent forward, the battery was ordered to take position on a ridge running parallel to the Chattanooga road, separated therefrom by a thin growth of timber, and covering all the space intervening. About 3.30 we commenced the action by projecting spherical case over the heads of troops belonging to Van Cleve's division, who were now falling back, and when we could do so without endangering the liver of our own men, used canister, I think to good advantage. At 4.15 the battery and parts of batteries on our right and left having all retired. and receiving a close and destructive fire on my right, I ordered the piece on the right to retire, with the purpose of changing the front of the right
half battery, so as to enable me to meet the fire of the enemy. These instructions were misapprehended. While endeavoring to execute this movement I was disabled by a contusion received on my right side. The bruise, though not serious, was very painful, and being unable to meet the flank movement of the enemy from the cause stated, and receiving no support from the infantry detailed for that purpose, the battery fell back toward the Chattanooga road, in the wooded space before referred to, with the loss of one 12-pounder smooth-bore, which was unavoidably left on the ground, in consequence of the number of horses killed and disabled in the limber of that piece, and the close proximity of the enemy.
Having established a new line, First Lieutenant R. S. Lackey took command of the battery, who, if he has not already done so, will furnish you the report of the 20th September.
Too much praise cannot be awarded to First Lieutenant R. S. Lackey and First Lieutenant W. P. Strackhouse for their gallantry and general good conduct.
The loss of men and horses on the 19th: Enlisted men, killed, 2; wounded, 13; missing,2. Horses killed and disabled, 15.
S. J. HARRIS,
Captain Nineteenth Indiana Battery.
Major W. E. LAWRENCE,
Chief of Artillery, Fourteenth Army Corps.
*See p. 443.