first Ohio] to fall back. The second line was in supporting distance, lying on the ground. I ordered the men to lie still until the colors of the advance regiments should fall to our rear, and as soon as our front was cleared of our own men, I ordered an advance, which was gallantly made in the face of a deadly fire of musketry, the Irishmen and Buckeyes keeping up a perfect flame of fire and shower of lead. Our line staggered for a moment, the command "Lie down" was promptly obeyed, and the volley from the enemy's re-enforcements sped harmlessly over their backs. In an instant they obeyed the command to advance again, and were dealing terrific punishment to the foe, when another line opened upon our right flank, doing us more injury than we had suffered before. The time had come to retreat, and I cautioned them in retiring to fight their way back. The line fell back in good order, fighting, and retired to the battery in our rear, where the brigade was ordered to remain and [hold] the position, a commanding one.
That night we were ordered to march to the left, leaving our pickets, and next day were pushed early into action, moving hither and thither to the support of our troops wherever they were hard pressed, our last position being with General Baird's division, of the Fourteenth Army Corps. This division received the order to fall back, fighting, late in the afternoon, after all the support on the right had been driven from the field.
On the top of the ridge to our rear, I halted my retreating force, and seeing that a general rout had taken place from all the forces in our vicinity, I assumed command and ordered all the bugles to blow the assembly. The color-bearers of some twenty regiments planted their colors, and at the cry "Rally round the flag, boys!" the tide of retreat was checked, and I found myself commanding a force worthy to be led by one of much higher rank. I formed to resist cavalry, requiring the men to divide their cartridges with those out of ammunition. Knowing, however, the command was too much disorganized to resist a further attack from infantry, I directed that it should fall back to Rossville and there reorganize.
At this juncture we were joined by general officers and brigade commanders, relieving me from further responsibility, but they accomplished my suggested movement.
The next morning we took position on the left of the works at Chattanooga, and I was placed in command of the advance forces of the division composed of the Second Brigade, Colonel Dick, and detachments from the First and Third Brigades. The enemy that day massing troops in the valley, compelled me to withdraw the troops from Missionary Hill, the Thirteenth Ohio and Forty-fourth Indiana making a good resistance under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Aldrich, and falling back in good order as a grand guard on the picket line. The Fifty-ninth Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel Frambes, came near being cut off, but forced their way in with a loss of 2 officers and 14 men. Since that day nothing of importance has occurred except skirmishers on the picket line.
My regiment entered into battle with 24 officers and 333 enlisted men. Aggregate loss, 57, as follows: Killed, 3 enlisted men; wounded, 2 officers and 19 men; wounded and missing, 9 men; missing, 24 men.
[See report* in full herewith inclosed.]
*Nominal list omitted.
54 R R-VOL XXX, PT I