20, I have the honor to report that the regiment under my command, consisting of Company D, Captain Houghton; Company B, Captain Griffith; Company C, Captain Blanchard; Company A, Lieutenant Havens; Company E, Lieutenant Trent; Company F, Captain Kennedy; Company G, Captain Latourrette; Company H, Captain McNeill; Company I, Captain Halsted, and Company K, by Captain Yates, marched out of camp at Rossville, Ga., about 3 p.m., September 18, 1863, and took its place in rear of the Eighty-sixth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Magee, and in advance of the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois Volunteers, commanded by Colonel Harmon, and in this order we marched out from Rossville, and proceeded along the old La Fayette road about - miles until we reached the [Ringgold] road, and then proceeded along this road until we arrived at about - miles from [Reed's] Bridge, where we halted for the night, and took position fronting to the north, and a prolongation of Battery I, Second Illinois Artillery, commanded by Captain Barnett, with my right resting on his left piece and my left thrown a little forward. I immediately sent Company D, commanded by Captain Houghton, and Company K, Captain Yates, forward as skirmishers, with instructions to cover my front and flanks as well as that of the battery.
In this condition we rested on our arms, without fire, for the night. Near morning we were aroused by the sound of musketry, but it not being followed up by any further attack, we rested quietly until daylight. During the night I could distinctly hear the rattle of wagons or artillery. At daybreak I received orders from Colonel McCook [who is always on the alert to get the advantage of the enemy] to change my position farther to the east and 150 yards in the rear of Eighty-sixth Illinois, with my left resting on the road. In this position I stacked arms, made fires, and sent out water details, and commenced to get breakfast. While the men were drinking their coffee I saw the Eighty-sixth fall in and file to the left. Slight firing had commenced with the skirmishers, and as the enemy were approaching my rear and left flank, I ordered the men to fall in and take arms. At this instant Captain Anderson, acting assistant adjutant-general to Colonel McCook, came riding down, and gave me orders to move along parallel to the road and take position in rear of the Eighty-sixth, which regiment was then facing to the road, with their left toward me. I immediately filed to the left and commenced moving to the new position assigned me, and had marched about half the length of the battalion, when I saw the Eighty-sixth face to the right and move off by the flank over a rise in the ground. I continued to march in the same direction, and sent my adjutant, C. N. Andrus, forward to learn and report the location of the Eighty-sixth. He soon returned with the intelligence that it was three regiments in advance on the road toward Rossville, and that all the other troops, together with the battery, had left the field. At this time the firing had become severe, and I directed Captain Griffith, Company B [he being in the advance], to take the rear of the One hundred and twenty-fifth Illinois [which was moving] as a guide, while I rode back to the rear of the regiment to ascertain the situation of affairs at the point.
There I found the enemy advancing upon my rear and left flank, also making an attempt upon my right. At the same time they galloped up with two pieces of artillery, drawn by mules, unlimbered within 200 yards of my skirmishers, and opened fire upon us with