At times during the afternoon there was strong skirmishing in my front. Lieutenant-Colonel Tripp, of the Sixth Indiana, was badly absence of so brave an officer, but Major Campbell from this time on handled the regiment in a manner highly creditable to himself. At 5 p.m. the enemy made a final attack on my lines, and this was repulsed as handsomely as the others had been. While finishing the thing off with the battery the question was asked me, "What had become of the troops on my right?" Upon looking in that direction, to my utter amazement, not a soldier was to be seen. I at once supposed that General Palmer's division had gone to re-enforce the right of the army, and ordered up my second line to take the place of that division. While leading it up I received an order from General Johnson to fall back, and this was the first I knew of the army retreating. I ordered the battery ahead, and followed with the infantry to Rossville in the most perfect order. There was not a particle of confusion or panic in the command, but all appeared nonplussed at the movement, when in every single fight of the two days' battle, whether attacked or attacking,we had uniformly defeated the enemy and driven him like a whipped dog. Of course our loss is severe. Such fighting as this brigade did cost heavily.
We marched from Rossville to Chattanooga on the morning of the 22nd, and that evening were ordered to the front lines, where we remained under the fire of artillery and sharpshooters until the evening of the 25th instant, when for the first time for eight days the men took off their accouterments.
The endurance and patience of the soldiers were remarkable, and is but another proof of their courage. I would respectfully call the attention of the commanding general to the worth of the following officers: Lieutenant-Colonel Langdon, whose sagacity, vigilance, and courage deserve well of the Government; Lieutenant-Colonel Martin, of the Ninety-third Ohio, who with an unhealed wound attests his devotion by his presence in the field; Lieutenant-Colonel Tripp and Colonel Strong, most efficient officers; Major Stafford, First Ohio, Major Birch, Ninety-third Ohio, Major Campbell, Sixth Indiana, and Captain Huston, who, when an example of daring is required, are always ready to set it; Captain Prather, Sixth Indiana, in the night fight of the 19th displayed the highest qualities of an officer; Captain Simonson handled his guns with skill and effect and displayed great spirit in the work before him.
I would respectfully ask the consideration of the general to regimental reports for other cases of special mention.
To the officers of the brigade staff I am under many obligations. Comparatively a stranger to them, they rendered me most important service.
Captain F. P. Strader received a painful wound in the knee on the 20th instant, but like a true soldier refused to leave the field. Captain J. E. Jones, Lieutenant W. N. Williams, and Lieutenant J. J. Siddall are among the most brave, energetic,and earnest officers of the army. Sergt. Lambert Schile (of the escort), with the other orderlies, and Thomas Dunn were always where their duties called them.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. W. BERRY,
Colonel, commanding Brigade.
Lieutenant A. S. SMITH,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, 2nd Division, 20th Army Corps.