War of the Rebellion: Serial 050 Page 0800 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.

Search Civil War Official Records


pushed back. Colonel Grose swung to the rear on his right and I placed one section commanding the road. The enemy had gained possession of the road, and as soon as I opened on them at about 350 yards with case-shot they left it, but opened a full battery of 12-pounder guns on me. Their fire was rapid and effective and I was compelled, by the exhaustion of my ammunition, to call on Lieutenant Russell for assistance. That officer relieved me while I got off a disabled gun and retired to refill. My caissons had been ordered back by some one from the place, I left them in, and I was ordered by General Thomas to take my guns and find them and refill. I found them back on a hill, but their limbers were coming up at a gallop. I was refilling and fixing up when I met you, and was by your ordered to join the batteries massed on the hill in the rear of the center. This was done,but hardly had I formed in line when the rebels broke the line in front, and, under the supposition that our troops were to fall back on us, I did not come into battery until the whistling of bullets and the appearance of the enemy from the woods in our front. I gave the command, "Action front", but before the pieces could be unlimbered a volley shot all the horses on my right piece, and I saw that, instead of forcing our troops back, they had pierced through and were coming right at us.

There being no support, I got the three other pieces to the left-about, and, directing the sergeant where to take them, gave my attention to the other. The horses on this piece were perfectly ungovernable and in inextricable confusion, and, to complete the thing, the pole was broken, 1 man killed, and 4 wounded. I endeavored to unlimber the piece to draw it off by hand, but it was so jammed up that the united strength of myself and 2 of my men was powerless to do it, and the rapid approach of the enemy and their heavy fire, combined with solicitude for the fate of the other guns, made me reluctantly abandon it. On reaching the others, I found the wheel-horse of one dead, amid all the confusion, he was taken out and his place supplied. This closed the fight for my battery.

I marched to Chattanooga by the Cove road, so called. I regret the probable capture of Lieutenant Robert Floyd, while lying wounded in Johnson's division hospital, prevents me from subjoining his report of detached operations, but the voice of every witness is loud in praise of his cool, determined, and most gallant conduct. He was wounded, I think, severely in the hip and body while endeavoring to pull off the piece of another battery, on the evening of the 19th. I cannot too highly compliment his bravery and efficiency as an officer, and sincerely hope my fears are groundless as to his capture.

The conduct of the non-commissioned officers and men was admirable throughout, cool, steady, and collected, and maintaining that high reputation for efficiency which they have gained under my predecessors.

In conclusion, I would state that personal experience proves to me that too much care cannot be taken in depriving a battery of its proper complement of officers. Had I had more, or even one, I am firmly of the opinion that I could have brought off my gun. Subjoined is a list of casualties in men,* horses, and materiel.#

I am, major, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,


First Lieutenant Fourth U. S. Artillery, Comdg. Battery.

Major JOHN MENDENHALL, Chief of Artillery, 21st A. C


*Embodied in revised, p. 176.

#See Mendenhall's table, p. 623.