morning of the 19th ultimo, shortly after crossing the Chickamauga River, heavy firing was heard immediately in our front, being to the right of the center of the line of battle. We were soon ordered to march at a double-quick to the scene of action, distant about 2 miles. Halting in about 500 yards of the rear of our front line (at the time engaged with the enemy), we were thrown into line of battle and ordered to load. The brigade was then ordered forward until the left (my regiment) should rest on the prolongation of Brigadier-General Strahl. in the meantime having moved forward, the connection was not made.
During this forward movement several necessary halts of short duration were made until the command rested on a skirt of felled timber covering the entire front of my regiment. Remaining in this position for a short time, the enemy's shell coming in quick succession through our ranks, we were ordered to make a direct charge upon the enemy, we at this time constituting the front line. The ground over which my command had to pass was badly adapted to this move, especially as the regiment had to march at a right oblique. The ground was thickly covered with felled timber and piles of wood. Under these circumstances I found it impossible to keep a correct line of battle. There were, unavoidably, gaps and groups along the whole line. Having moved forward in this manner about 250 yards with a steady and determined step, we passed about 75 or 80 yards beyond a slight elevation of ground, when a most deadly concentrated fire., both of small-arms and artillery, was poured into our ranks, my regiment at the time being in full view and at short range of the enemy's guns. There being no forces engaged on my left, my command occupied the greater portion of the enemy's attention, necessarily, who had previously acquired the exact range of this position. I soon found it impossible to proceed farther in this direction. The enemy were almost entirely secluded from our aim, being concealed in a thick covering of timbered land projecting in an angular shape into this open section of country. Here the contest commenced in earnest, and with a spirit and daring not often excelled by any troops. A constant and incessant firing was here kept up on both sides but with what effect upon the enemy I have been unable to learn.
The long list of killed and wounded of my command plainly tells what a terrible place this was from troops to hold for any length of time. We, however, held this position for nearly an hour, during which time our supply of ammunition was quite exhausted.
About this time the enemy, having received fresh troops, made a rapid advance upon my line both in front and flank, and, as the sequel proved, would have killed or captured the whole command had I not deemed it proper and right under the circumstances to abandon the position and fall back. This was done in tolerable good order. Several of my men were here captured, including the sergeant-major., J. H. Carothers.
Having retreated but a short distance, I met with Brigadier General George Maney, who inquired of me the cause of this retrograde movement on my part of the line. I told him that my position was no longer tenable; that I was out of ammunition; that two-thirds of my command were either killed or wounded, and the enemy was near at hand and advancing in overwhelming numbers. He, seeing our imminent peril and utter inability to engage longer with any degree of success in so unequal a contest, ordered me to fall back in rear of