War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0530 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter XLII.

Search Civil War Official Records

we withdrew to the barricade in the edge of the woods again. Just at dark we were withdrawn by order of General Davis, and went into bivouac near the battle-field.

During the night of the 19th the brigade changed its location, crossing the Chattanooga road, and occupying a strong position on a ridge in the woods to the north. Our ammunition was replenished to 60 rounds. At noon we received an order to support General Sheridan on the right. We advanced across the road again and formed in line of battle, and then advanced to near a small barricade in the woods, fronting an open field. Finding the barricade already occupied by our troops, the brigade was moved by the right flank to the rear of General Carlin's brigade, and was ordered to lie down in a small ravine.

This order had hardly been executed when I received and order to move back by the left flank and take position on the left of General Carlin's brigade, the troops that had occupied the ground having been moved away to the left. I directed the movement, passing General Carlin and moving by the right flank forward to the barricade. The three regiments on the right of the brigade reached their position, but the Thirty-fifth Illinois, the regiment on the left of the line, had not reached its position, when the enemy rose up from the tall weeds in front and advanced on us four columns deep, pouring in a destructive fire. The left flank of the brigade was entirely exposed, as the troops that had occupied that position had moved so far to the left as to be out of sight, and we were soon flanked and exposed to a destructive enfilading fire. The enemy in front was terribly punished as he came up. Our men fired coolly from behind the barricade and with terrible effect, the closed ranks and heavy columns of the enemy making their loss very heavy. The brigade held the position until the enemy had mounted the barricade, when flanked on the left and overpowered by numbers in front, the men fell back in confusion, partially rallying about 200 yards in rear, but, finding all support gone and the line on the left in disorder, breaking again.

On the brow of the hill in the woods across the road they were again rallied, formed in line, and left the field by order in the rear of Sheridan's division, which had rallied at the same point.

I inclose herewith a list of killed, wounded, and missing of the brigade during the two days' engagement. By far the larger number were lost the first day; our loss on the 20th being light. On the second day we had hardly 600 men left in the brigade when we were thrown into the fight. These were opposed by at least a full division of the enemy's army. The list accompanying shows the loss to be fully 60 percent. of those engaged,, and amply attests the courage, stubborness, and determination with which the troops fought.

Where all behaved so gallantly it would be invidious to mention individuals as particularly conspicuous for their actions. The vacant ranks, eloquent with heroic memories of the dead and wounded, speak for our absent comrades; the living, who fought by their sides through the terrible storm of two days' conflict, have again established the invincible courage of the defenders of the Union.