19th, when the loss of our brave brigade commander threw the command of the brigade upon Colonel Martin.
On the morning of the 19th, after marching nearly 8 miles, most part of the way on double-quick, we were suddenly turned to the right and marched nearly 1 mile into the timber, when we were formed into line of battle, facing east. Soon after being formed in line we were ordered forward, but had scarcely advanced 50 yards, of rocks, where they lay concealed.
Many of the men fell at the first fire but the others, promptly returning the fire, pressed forward vigorously, and not only maintained their ground, but had nearly penetrated the lines of the enemy, when our brigade commander, seeing the terrible fire to which the line was exposed, gave the order to fall back.
Reforming the line, we again advanced under a perfect shower of bullets, sometimes driving the enemy and in turn being driven by them, until we had fought the ground over and over again, and almost half of our number lay dead or wounded upon the field.
The enemy being largely re-enforced, we took a position farther to the west, on the edge of the timber, where we resisted every effort of the enemy, and finally drove them entirely from that part of the field.
We encamped with the rest of the brigade that night close to the battle-field.
Before dawn next morning we were moved into position on the road to Chattanooga, where we remained until near 12 m., when we crossed the road and took position behind a low rail fence.
Scarcely had we taken our position, however, when the enemy rose up in front of us, where they had been concealed in the tall weeds, and poured upon us a heavy enfilading fire.
The fire was quickly returned, and with good effect, whole lines of the enemy falling at every discharge. This continued for a short time, and the enemy was almost effectually checked in our front, when the troops upon our right and left gave way, and before I was aware of the danger, the enemy appeared in heavy force upon both flanks, when, unsupported and almost surrounded, we were compelled to leave the field or fall into the hands of the enemy. We fell back in disorder until we reached the ground formerly occupied by us in the morning. From here we were ordered to the support of the right of General Thomas, but before reaching the field were ordered forward to this point.
There were many instances of personal bravery and valor displayed upon the field, but all did their duty well.
I submit a list* of the killed and wounded, which speaks for itself of the severity of the contest and the heroic bravery with which our men contested the field. The regiment entered the battle with 406 officers and men. Our loss, as you will perceive by the list, is 217.
J. L. ABERNATHY,
Lieutenant Colonel Eighth Kansas Volunteers, Commanding.
Captain JNumbers CONOVER,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General Third Brigade, First Division.
*Embodied in revised statement. p. 174.