War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0510 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., N. ALA.,. N. GA. Chapter XLII.

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Numbers 87.

Report of Lieutenant Colonel Joshua C. Winters., Fifty-ninth Illinois Infantry.


Chattanooga, Tenn., September 27, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Fifty-ninth Regiment Illinois Infantry in the operations since crossing the Tennessee River:

The regiment left their camp on south side of Tennessee River on Monday, August 31, at 1 p.m., and ascended the Raccon Mountain; halted at summit and assisted the brigade battery and train to ascend. Then moved forward 4 miles and went into camp. Remained in camp September 1, at which time, by General Orders from corps headquarters, the transportation of the regiment was cut down to 3 wagons.

September 2 crossed Raccoon Mountain and descended into Lookout Valley and went into camp. Remained in camp until 2 p.m. of September 4, when marched 4 miles to Wiston's and went into camp. Remained in camp at Wiston's until the evening of September 9; then marched to the top of Lookout Mountain, and picketed roads leading to valley until Sunday, September 13, when moved back to Wiston's.

Remained in camp at Winston's until 11 p.m. of the 15th of September, when marched again to top of mountain and went into camp at Falls of Little River. Remained in camp until 3 p.m. of September 17, when moved back to old camp on top of mountain.

September 18 marched from camp on top of mountain with balance of brigade; continued march all day and until 11 o'clock at night, when reached Steven's Gap.

September 19 remained with balance of brigade at Steven's Gap, guarding roads and train.

September 20 marched with balance of brigade, at 6 a.m., from Stevens' Gap in a northeasterly direction toward battle-field; when within 3 miles of the division hospital established at [the] big springs [Crawfish Spring] were fired upon by the enemy. I immediately deployed Companies H and K as skirmishers, who pressed back the enemy until the brigade and the train had passed. At the hospitals at [the] big springs joined General Mitchell's corps of cavalry, which had been cut off by the enemy from the right of our main army. Formed line of battle to support the cavalry in the attempt to reopen communication, which was, however, abandoned, and at or about 4 p.m. marched from the hospitals, with the balance of brigade and General Mitchell's cavalry, on road to Chattanooga.

September 21 arrived at McCulloch's farm, in Chattanooga Valley, at about 2 a.m., and bivouacked at or about 9 a.m., the brigade and cavalry having been formed in line of battle across the Chattanooga Valley to hold the road leading to Chattanooga. The Fifty-ninth Illinois was placed in reserve formed in close column by division.

September 22, at 2 a.m., marched with balance of brigade 4 miles in the direction of Chattanooga, then halted until about 9 a.m., when again moved forward toward Chattanooga. After marching about 3 miles were attacked by the enemy with infantry, cavalry, and artillery,who were in position on the east side of the road.