Though our loss in this last attack was heavy, I take it as a very happy incident that the Second Division was able to break the fury of the charge before it could reach the general line of battle on the left of our army. By the skillful and will-timed action of Captain Goodspeed, the battery had reached the bivouac ground before the regiment.
On the 20th September the other two brigades of our division were ordered into temporary breastworks erected during the night in our front, my brigade in reserve. I took my position, in rendezvous formation, behind a slope in an open field in the rear of the breastworks. From here I could support the front and be prepared for the flanks and rear; after a short stay in this position, at 9 a.m. I was ordered forward, and directed by General Johnson to engage the enemy immediately in our front, I obeyed, and advanced the Eighty-ninth Illinois and Thirty-second Indiana over the lines, not engaged, up to the skirmishers, with whom they mixed, and helped to drive back the charging enemy. Feeling sure that the enemy would fall on our flank, I ordered the Fifteenth Ohio back to the support of the battery, where they arrived in the brink of time, the enemy advancing in triple lines on the flank toward the rear. The battery had changed front, and Captain Goodspeed poured double-shotted canister into the enemy, who left some of his dead 50 yards in front of the battery. The fifteenth Ohio gave a volley, and formed on the left of the battery.
The Ninth Ohio (General Brannan's division) deployed into line under heavy fire, and made, supported by the Fifteenth Ohio, a glorious charge.
The same glorious charge was made on the left flank of the enemy's advancing columns by the Forty-ninth Ohio, with rear rank in front, supported by the Louisville Legion, of the Third Brigade. The rebel columns were driven with heavy slaughter, and the enemy was routed. Our army, whose very existence would have been endangered by a success of this bold and powerful charge, was for the time safe. My battery behaved splendidly and suffered heavy losses. The enemy was driven half a mile, when he to some extent rallied and brought the fight to a stand. The Forty-ninth Ohio reported that their ammunition gave out. On my inquiry, Colonel Berry, commanding Third Brigade after the fall of Colonel Baldwin declared he could hold the breastworks with his own command. At this I took the Thirty-second Indiana, leaving the Eighty-ninth Illinois in its old position, advanced with it through the Forty-ninth Ohio, charged and drove the enemy for 1 1/4 miles, leaving the ground strewn with dead and wounded,a nd taking numerous prisoners; then I swept, with the Thirty-second Indiana, to the left through the woods, where I fell in with the enemy's cavalry, and on the Chattanooga road to the open field, where my battery was planted. Here I assembled my whole brigade, and took a position in the northwest corner of the field, which, in my judgement, then was the most threatened point. My skirmishers caught some prisoners (100) in front of my now line, and I learned that a whole brigade of Longstreet's corps was about 500 yards in my front, concealed and quietly lying down in a gap between the line of battle of our wing and General Thomas' position. The enemy's artillery was playing on my brigade, though partly silenced by Captain
Goodspeed, and I could do no more than watch his intentions. At this time I perceived heavy clouds of dust moving through the woods to the left of our intrenchments. The