Report of Lieutenant Francis L. D. Russell, Battery M, Fourth U. S. Artillery.
CAMP NEAR CHATTANOOGA, September 27, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my battery [M], of the Fourth U. S. Artillery, in the battle of the 19th and 20th of this month:
About 10 o'clock on the morning of the 19th, I received orders from Colonel Grose, commanding the brigade to which I am attache, to follow his command, which was then marching in the direction of heavy firing, which I learned proceeded from General Brannan's division, then engaged with the enemy.
After marching some distance Colonel Grose ordered me into position on the crest of a ridge covered with a dense wood. Immediately on my coming into battery, Colonel Grose's command was attacked, and I was ordered to fire down the hill. The impossibility of getting a clear view rendered my fire very uncertain, and I was still in doubt whether I gave any material assistance. The enemy were finally driven back and the firing ceased for over an hour.
About 2 o'clock in the afternoon the enemy moved up a second time in heavy force. At this period I could see them distinctly, and, loading with canister, I fired as rapidly as possible. The attack was too heavy to be resisted, and, the infantry falling back, left me exposed to capture.
Thinking that to remain longer without a sufficient support would be sacrificing my battery, I limbered up and retired to a better position, about 600 yards to the rear. I there found Lieutenant Cushing, who had placed his battery in position. I formed immediately on his right, with an open field in front. The enemy advancing, Lieutenant Cushing and I opened with canister and speedily repulsed them.
The battle for that day was ended, and toward evening I went into camp with Colonel Grose's brigade.
Early the next morning Captain Standart, chief of artillery, of General Palmer's division, placed me in an open field in rear of General Cruft's brigade, holding me in reserve. I remained there throughout the day, firing but once, when Colonel Grose's brigade was driven out of the woods on the left. I then changed front, and, firing over the infantry, drove the enemy back. I had left my caissons in the woods, about 200 yards in rear of the battery, under charge of my first sergeant. They remained there but a short time, being ordered by some officer back with the transportation wagons.
When the wagons were ordered to fall back to Chattanooga, my caissons were ordered to go too. On the road, three of them being crowded on one side, the poles broken and the enemy firing upon them, the sergeant in charge took the responsibility of abandoning them.
About 5 o'clock in the afternoon of the 20th, I received orders to retreat to Rossville, and arrived at 8 o'clock in the evening.
The next morning I joined my command. My casualties in the two days' fight were 2 men killed, 6 wounded, 14 horses killed and wounded, and 3 caissons abandoned.
51 R R-VOL XXX, PT 1