War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0786 KY., SW. VA., TENN.,MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.

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Numbers 171.

Report of Colonel Louis H. Waters, Eighty-fourth Illinois Infantry.


Chattanooga, September 26, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to report for the information of the colonel commanding, the part taken by the Eighty-fourth Regiment Illinois Volunteers in the recent engagements with the enemy.

On the 3rd instant, we crossed the Tennessee River at the mouth of Battle Creek, and proceeded from thence with the Third Brigade to Chattanooga, via Shellmound, Whiteside's Hawkins' Station, and Summertown, on Lookout Mountain, arriving at the latter place in the forenoon of the 9th instant, and in time to see the rear guard of the enemy leaving Chattanooga. During the afternoon we moved to Rossville and encamped for the night.

At daylight on the morning of the 10th, in pursuance of orders received about midnight, I moved my command down the La Fayette road for the purpose of guarding the pass or gap near McFarland's house. About 1 1/2 miles from camp we came upon an outpost of the enemy, consisting of two companies of cavalry, which were soon driven beyond the point I was to occupy, and with a loss to the enemy, as I have since learned of 1 killed and 1 wounded. Our skirmishing had scarcely ceased when we could distinctly hear numerous drums in the direction the outpost had retreated. These facts were promptly reported to Lieutenant Livezey, who about this time came to me with orders for me to return to the Ringgold road and follow the brigade.

On the morning of the 19th, we arrived a second time at Gordon's Mills, and marched thence out the road leading to Chattanooga,to the position assigned our brigade (the Eighty-fourth being on the left of the second line) composed of the Thirty-sixth Indiana and Eighty-fourth Illinois. The steady advance of the enemy on our right made it necessary for that regiment to change front to the right, and most gallantly did it go into the fight, soon checking the enemy on that flank. I moved my command to the front, relieving the Twenty-third Kentucky, and was soon engaged with the enemy advancing upon the angle formed by the Eighty-fourth Illinois and Thirty-sixth Indiana, the former regiment fronting the east, the latter the southeast. The regiments on our right as their ammunition was exhausted, withdrew, and soon the Eighty-fourth and Thirty-sixth were left alone, the enemy meanwhile steadily pushing around our right. We maintained this position until the ammunition of the Thirty-sixth was entirely exhausted and it was withdrawn. This isolated my regiment and left me the alternative of withdrawing or having my command, as I then believed, captured, and I accordingly withdrew. Both regiments behaved splendidly, and Lieutenant-Colonel Carey and Major Trusler are entitled to much credit for their conduct during the engagement. My command, although much broken by the retreat, was soon reformed, and without water or supper we rested for the night in the woods near the road, and took arms next morning but little revived by the night's rest, and suffering much from thirst.

WE moved early inn the morning to support General Beatty, who held the left and was having a brisk skirmish. Our entire brigade