War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0796 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., N. ALA.,AND N. GA.

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Numbers 174.

Report of Major Samuel C. Erwin, Sixth Ohio Infantry.


Near Chattanooga, Tenn., September 27, 1863.

COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Sixth Ohio in the recent battles of Missionary Ridge:

On the morning of the 18th instant, the effective force of the regiment was 23 officers and 324 enlisted men. On the evening of the 18th, while on outpost duty, Private Hooth, of Captain Thatcher's company was shot by the enemy's pickets and instantly killed.

On the morning of Saturday, the 19th, after returning from a reconnaissance made by the brigade under your personal direction, we were posted in the second line of the brigade, two or perhaps more of the right companies extending beyond out front line, the right company detached and posted on the right of Cushing's battery. WE had been thus placed for a short time when the engagement began and soon became general, the enemy pushing toward our right. Our regiment was extended in that direction and all were hotly engaged. The loss of our regiment was very severe. Captain Gilman, Adjutant Throop, and Sergeant-Major Mellon were all severely wounded. We held our position until the enemy was repulsed, when, our ammunition being entirely exhausted, we retired, by order of General Palmer, across the road to the rear of the Seventeenth Indiana Battery to get a fresh supply of ammunition. Having received it, we were moving in order to join the brigade when the troops in our front and on our right gave way in confusion and the enemy made a dash for the battery, which had been placed in reserve and was without infantry support. We immediately formed in the rear of the battery for its defense, under as hot a fire of musketry as I ever saw. The enemy in front was held in check by a furious discharge of grape and canister from the artillery, but in a few minutes gained our right flank and poured in a destructive fire. We then changed front to the rear on tenth company and held them while five of the six guns were safely retired, when we fell back through the woods in rear of Brannan's division, coming into the Rossville road at a point where Cushing's battery was stationed, from where we reported to you and rejoined the brigade.

Our loss in this fight was heavy. Colonel Anderson was struck by a musket ball in the shoulder and severely wounded. Captain Tinker fell mortally wounded; Captain Montagnier was shot through both legs. Lieutenant Holmes was missed here, and I fear is either dead or wounded and a prisoner. Lieutenant Choate was also sightly wounded. The behavior of all these officers was above all praise. Night having now fallen and the fight ceased, Colonel Anderson, for the first time, retired to have his wound dressed, when it was found to be of such a nature as to preclude the possibility of his remaining longer in the field, and he was sent to the rear and the command of the regiment devolved on me.

Early the next morning we were employed, under your direction, in constructing defenses on an eminence on the east of the Rossville road, and nearly parallel with it, in an open wood. When these were about finished, they were occupied by other troops (whose I do not know), and we were retired and placed in reserve. The brigade being in two lines, my regiment in the second line, formed in double column at full distance, on the right of the Thirty-sixth Indiana, formed