across the bottom to the foot of Sand Mountain, keeping a strong line of skirmishers in front. Reaching the mountains, the Fifteenth was left at the foot and the Eighth Kansas advanced up the mountain road, occupying the summit at 10 a.m. The Fifteenth Wisconsin was ordered up at 3 p.m., and at dusk the two regiments advanced about 3 miles across the mountain and camped, remaining in this position until the 2nd instant. The Twenty-fifth and Thirty-fifth came up on the evening of the 30th. Frequent scouts were sent out from the brigade during the time we occupied the mountain; one under Lieutenant -Colonel Abernathy, Eighth Kansas, penetrating to near Trenton, Ga., discovering the enemy in force.
On the 2nd we marched 16 miles to Will's Valley; 4th, marched 5 miles to Winston's; 9th, ascended mountain and marched across 14 miles, bivouacking at the entrance of Lafourche [Neal's?] Gap; 10th, marched south along summit of mountain and descended into the valley through Henderson's Gap, bivouacking near Alpine; 14th crossed back over mountain to Lord's farm; 15th, marched back to Winston's; 16th, marched over mountain to Stevens' Gap; 17th, descended into valley and bivouacked near Lee's Spring; 18th, marched 4 miles north on Chattanooga road.
On the 19th instant we marched at 8 o'clock, and at 11.30 o'clock reached a point near General Rosecrans' headquarters.?The brigade filed through the woods to the right, and after marching about a mile wa rapidly formed in line of battle, the Fifteenth Wisconsin, Eighth Kansas, and Thirty-fifth Illinois being in line, and the Twenty-fifth Illinois a reserve directly in their rear. The brigade then moved three-quarters of a mile to the right, then by the left flank forward. We had not advanced more than a hundred yards when the enemy, concealed in the timber and behind fallen logs, opened a destructive fire on us. The men replied with promptness and effect, and pushed forward vigorously. The roar of musketry at this time was deafening.
The Twenty-fifth Illinois was ordered forward and came gallantly into line. The stream of wounded to the rear was almost unparalleled. Still the brigade held its ground, cheered on by the gallant, but unfortunate, colonel Heg, who was everywhere present, careless of danger. The enemy was constantly re-enforced, and at last flanked us on the left, pouring a destructive fire down our line. We had then held the ground three-quarters of an hour. colonel Heg gave the order to fall back, and the men slowly retreated, taking shelter behind the trees, firing at the advancing enemy, and stubbornly contesting every inch of the ground. Fifty yards to the rear they were again formed and again advanced, almost gaining their original ground, but were again compelled by overwhelming numbers to fall back. Again and again they formed and advanced, only to be driven back. Almost half of the brigade was killed or wounded. Colonel Heg was mortally wounded; but the remnants of the brigade, falling back to a fence a short distance in the rear, held the enemy in check until re-enforcements came up and relieved them when they fell back across an open field, taking position in the edge of a forest behind a log barricade. What remained of the brigade I reformed here, with the assistance of captain Morrison, assistant adjutant-general of the division, and again advanced across the field, taking our old position behind the fence, and remaining there until nearly dusk, when the ammunition of the men was exhausted, and
34 R R-VOL XXX, PT I