Report of Lieutenant Colonel William, H. Martin, Ninety-third Ohio, Infantry.
CAMP NEAR CHATTANOOGA, TENN., September 26, 1863.
SIR: The following is and unvarnished report of the action taken by the Ninety-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the battle of the 19th and 20th instant:
On the morning of the 19th instant the Ninety-third Ohio Volunteers, under command of Colonel Hiram Strong, was ordered as a support to the Fifth Kentucky Volunteers, then marching in line
of battle. The advance becoming engaged with the enemy, the enemy's batteries opened fire with shell, one shell exploding directly between Companies G and C (as we then lay at double column at half distance), wounding 6 men. After driving the enemy about a mile, met him strongly posted in the edge of a corn-field and thick woods. The Ninety-third Ohio was ordered to deploy in line of battle and take position the left of the Fifth Kentucky. Companies A and K, in command of Major William Birch, were deployed as skirmishers and were immediately engaged with the enemy, and forced to fall back, losing several men killed, wounded, and missing. Great credit is due Major William Birch for his gallantry and bravery during the several engagements; he was always wherever duty called him, and I cheerfully recommend him to the notice of our commander-in-chief.
After taking our position we were attacked by a superior force. The coolness and bravery of our men repulsed the enemy. In this engagement our brave and heroic colonel (Strong) was severely wounded and carried from the field. Upon the wounding of Colonel Strong I took command of the regiment. At this time the enemy had returned to our front with a battery of two 12-pounder guns, strongly supported by infantry, and undertook to plant his battery within 75 yards of my front. At the first volley from my regiment every horse was killed, and a large number of the gunners killed or wounded. They succeeded in firing one round of grape into my regiment over their dead horses, which killed and wounded several of my men. By this time our gallant and lamented colonel (P. P. Baldwin, commanding Third Brigade) ordered my regiment to charge the battery,he (Colonel Baldwin) leading the charge in person, with the flag streaming high over his head, which resulted in the complete rout of the enemy and capture of his battery of two guns. Lieutenant John R. Gallup, acting adjutant, with 12 men, drew one of the guns to the rear, and delivered it to Captain Simonson, commanding Third Brigade battery. I was then ordered to return to my position, where I was first attacked, and ordered to build temporary breastworks, where we were soon attacked again by a superior force on our front and right flank; nevertheless we kept them at bay about half an hour.
The enemy being in such overwhelming numbers, I was ordered to fall back a short distance, my left flank forming on the right of the Sixth Indiana Regiment. By this time it was quite dark; nevertheless the battle raged furiously from forty minutes to one hour, which terminated in a repulse of the enemy. I then received orders to fall back with the brigade and take possession of a hill one-half mile to the rear, where we bivouacked for the night.
The casualties of my regiment to this time were heavy, having 5 commissioned officers wounded and not less than 100 enlisted men killed and wounded.