Report of Lieutenant Colonel David W. Magee, Eighty-sixth Illinois Infantry.
HDQRS. EIGHTY-SIXTH REGIMENT ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS, Camp North Chickamauga, Tenn, October 10, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor of making the following report of the part taken by the Eighty-sixth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry in the battle of the Chickamauga, on the 19th, 20th, and 21st of September, 1863, which was as follows, to wit:
On the evening of the 18th of September, we marched with the brigade [then encamped at Rossville, Ga.] on the old La Fayette road to the point where it intersects or crosses the Ringgold road, which road we then followed for perhaps 1 mile. I was then ordered into position on the extreme right of the brigade, in a thick woods, with an open field on my front. Immediately after getting into position I deployed two companies as skirmishers, covering my front and right flank, commanded as follows: Company I, Captain A. L. Fahnestock, and Company B, Captain J. P. Worrell.
We remained in this position, sleeping on our arms, until about 12 or 1 o'clock, at which time we were aroused by quite a sharp fire opening on our right, which proved to be skirmishing between the independent scouts belonging to our brigade and some rebel cavalry. Nothing further occurred to break the stillness of the morning. About half an hour before daylight I received an order to move my regiment by the left flank and take up a new position on the left of Captain Barnett's battery [I, Second Illinois], then posted on the north side of the road leading to Reed's Mill. We remained in our new position but a short time, when a brisk fire was opened by my skirmishers. These two companies did splendid work, Captain Worrell having advanced his left about one-fourth of a mile, or until his line was parallel with Captain Fahnestock's, who covered the right flank during the night. You will readily understand by the description of our movement that my skirmishers were not withdrawn when the regiment moved to its new position on the north of the road leading to Reed's Mill. The firing now became quite severe, the rebels advancing in line of battle.
About this time I detailed 2 men from each company, which detail I placed under command of First Lieutenant William D. Faulkner, Company D, to procure water from a spring immediately outside of our line of skirmishers. He proceeded on this perilous duty and succeeded in reaching the spring and filling a few canteens with water, but did it under a galling fire from the rebel line, then advancing upon our skirmishers, who stood like a wall of fire between the enemy and our front. The water party were soon compelled to fall back, which they did in good order, as the rebels opened artillery upon them, compelling them to seek shelter in the woods; not, however, until they had paid them to seek shelter in the woods; not, however, until they had paid their compliments to them in the shape of a few well-directed fires from their Enfield rifles. Lieutenant Faulkner succeeded in joining the regiment again with all his command except Andrew W. Peters, a private in Company H, who continued too long in the good work, and allowed the rebels to approach him so close as to capture him, and is now a prisoner in their hands. The firing now became severe and continuous, the rebels having advanced