Report of Colonel Daniel McCook, Fifty-second Ohio Infantry, commanding Second Brigade, Second Division.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE, Chattanooga, Tenn., September 23, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that on the afternoon of the 18th instant my command, then consisting of the Eighty-fifth, Eighty-sixth, and One hundred and twenty-fifth Regiments Illinois Volunteers, the Fifty-second and Sixty-ninth Ohio, and Barnett's battery, was ordered to march from Rossville to support Colonel Minty, who was then disputing the passage of the Chickamauga at Reed's Brigde. Arriving within a mile of the bridge just at dark, the head of my column ran into the rear of McNair's rebel brigade, capturing 22 prisoners. I quietly got into position, allowed no fires to be built, threw out strong pickets, and awaited daylight. During the night Colonel Mitchell, of General Steedman's division, joined me with his brigade.
Before daylight I sent Lieutenant-Colonel Brigham, of the Sixty-ninth Ohio, to surprise and burn Reed's Bridge, which had been carried, about 4 p.m. the day before, by the enemy, after a severe resistance by Colonel Minty.
Colonel Brigham gallantly charged across the bridge, drove the enemy from it, and set it on fire; thus one division of Longstreet's corps was cut off from the two other which had already crossed.
At 7 a.m. on the 19th instant, I received orders to withdraw to Rossville. This order came not a minute too soon, for I have since learned that one division of Longstreet's corps was in my front, another in my rear, only three-quarters of a mile distant, and the third on my left flank, just across the creek.
That afternoon I was ordered to cover the Cleveland road, which I did.
On the morning of the 20th instant, I received orders from General Steedman to join him at McAfee's Church. I lay near this point until I was ordered to march for the battle-field. As I arrived opposite Cloud's Hospital the enemy began shelling my column on the Chattanooga road. To avoid being delayed from arriving on the field, I turned the head of my column to the right to go around some open fields which the enemy commanded by their artillery. While passing around these fields I was ordered by Major Fullerton, of your staff, to form line of battle behind them and cover the Chattanooga road. About 6 o'clock the enemy opened upon me with artillery and some musketry. I soon silenced their batteries. At 10 p.m., by order of General Thomas, I withdrew from the field to Rossville, and was the last brigade to leave the field. The next day my brigade was ordered into position on Mission Ridge. Two guns of Barnett's battery, commanded by Lieutenant Coe, had a severe affair defending the Ringgold and La Fayette Gaps. He repulsed with canister three attempts of the rebels to charge him. At 8 p.m. I was ordered to withdraw to Chattanooga.
My officers and men behaved well under all circumstances, particularly Barnett's battery. To the members of my immediate staff, Captains Anderson and Swift, Fifty-second Ohio, Dr. Hooton, Lieutenants Rogers and Deane, Eighty-sixth Illinois, I return my thanks