On the 31st the brigade and regiment crossed the Tennessee River on a pontoon bridge, thence by easy marches over the Sand Mountain to Broomtown Valley, thence back again to Winston's thence up the mountain again and along the ridge to Stevens' or Frick's Gap, through the same to a point 4 miles south, opposite the enemy's extreme left. The operations of the regiment, from the crossing of the Tennessee River to striking the enemy's left, embraces a period of some sixteen days, which was employed in marching and countermarching over mountains and through valleys.
On the 18th of September the regiment stood picket opposite the enemy's left and about 800 yards distant therefrom.
At daylight on the morning of the 19th of September we marched with the brigade about 4 miles to a point opposite the left of General Thomas' corps, it being understood we were to re-enforce the left of our line of battle. We arrived abut 11 a.m. at Gordon's [Crawfish] Spring, formed in double column, marched with the brigade 2 miles toward the left of General Thomas' corps, wheeled to the right, deployed column within easy musket range of the enemy, the Eighty-ninth Illinois and Fifteenth Ohio forming the second line, the Thirty-second Indiana and Forty-ninth Ohio forming the first line. The Eighty-ninth Illinois occupying the right of the second line, we had no connection, so far as I could discover, on our right. We lay flat on the ground, without firing, about forty minutes, subject in the meantime to the heavy musketry and artillery fire of the enemy, which wounded 5 of our men, at the expiration of which time the brigade bugle sounded "Forward;" the officers and men obeyed with alacrity, starting forward on a double-quick, driving the enemy almost without stopping (at least not stopping more than five minutes) upward of a mile. About a mile from where we started to charge the enemy, the right and left companies of the Eighty-ninth encountered two of the enemy's batteries; the left, Company C, Eighty-ninth, captured one of the pieces opposite them (a 6-pounder Parrott and caisson), the enemy escaping with the balance. The three right companies were checked by the murderous discharges of grape and canister from the enemy's battery opposite them. It was here that Captain W. H. Rice, Company A, Captain John W. Spink, Company D, Lieutenant Warren, Company E, and Lieutenant Ellis, company B, fell with many of our men. Lieutenant-Colonel Hall, seeing the right thrown into some confusion (caused by an over-zeal of the three right companies to capture the only remaining rebel piece, which was being dragged off by hand), ordered the regiment to halt and fall back 20 yards, firing.
In the meantime order was restored on the right. At this point Brigadier-General Willich came forward and, standing in front of the regiment and amid the shower of bullets poured into us, complimented the regiment for its impetuous advance, calmed their excitement, instructed them how to advance firing and maintain their alignment with the advance of the brigade, and by h is own inimitable calmness of manner restored order an confidence in the regiment, and after dressing them and drilling them in the manual of arms for a short time, ordered them to advance about 30 paces to the edge of an open space. They did so in good order; lay down and kept the enemy in check for the next two hours.
In the meantime the enemy kept up a constant fire, which was vigorously returned by our men. About 5.30 p.m. the enemy, having been re-enforced and somewhat recovered from the severe fright