War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0577 Chapter XLII. THE CHICKAMAUGA CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

Numbers 120.

Reports of Captain Peter Simonson, Fifth Indiana Battery.


Chattanooga, September 26., 1863.,

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the part taken by this command in the action of the 19th and 20th:

The battery was first put in position, on Saturday at about 1 o'clock, with the brigade in the woods to the front and left of the corn-field, from which point it advanced with the brigade about half way through the woods, when I was ordered to take a position on a slight ridge, and commenced firing at a battery of the enemy's, which was shelling our line at this point. We fired about 130 rounds, when the opposing battery ceased firing and the brigade charged. I was ordered to follow the brigade, which I did changing front and firing to the left twice, until I reached nearly the point of the woods, where we lay quietly in position until nearly dark, when our line was heavily attacked with both infantry and artillery. The battery opened fire immediately and continued until our left flank broke, when, fearing that the guns would be captured, we retired with the brigade.d

On this retreat one gun was lost by first getting the limber lodged on a tree and then having a horse shot. On Saturday night the battery bivouacked in line of battle with the brigade in the woods in front of the corn-field.

Early Sunday morning the battery was ordered to slightly change its position, which it did, and commenced building log breastworks. Before these were quite completed the enemy attacked the line about 9 o'clock, which lasted but a short time. After it was repulsed, we continued work on the breastworks until the general attack was made, at about 11 o'clock. The battery fought in this position during the entire day, drawing out of it twice;; once on account of the left being turned and once for want of ammunition. At a time when the left was turned we left this position, when the brigade was ordered back, and in leaving lost one more gun by a solid shot from the enemy's battery, disabling it. This gun I spiked.

On the night of the 20th we camped with the division at Rossville, and were in line of battle during the day and night of the 21st at that place, falling back to Chattanooga toward morning of the 21st. The command has been in line since reaching this place until this morning, during which time it has fired a number of shots in support of the line and drove a battery of the enemy from its position on our front, on the afternoon of the 23rd, by firing about 40 rounds. The loss of the command during the fight was 1 killed, 7 wounded, and 1 missing, among whom was First Lieutenant Alfred Morrison, whose conduct up to the time of receiving his wound was an example to the whole command, and who, by remaining with the command since he was wounded, has greatly inspirited the men. I also desire to favorably mention Lieutenants Briggs and Ellison, especially the former, who saved the battery by his coolness and good judgment.

On the afternoon of Sunday, when the final retreat was made, our loss in horses was 30; we also lost some of our harness. The battery fired during the engagement over 1,200 rounds of ammunition.

I also take this occasion to express my obligation to Lieutenant