Report of Lieutenant Colonel John G. Hall, Fifty-first Tennessee Infantry,
commanding Fifty-first and Fifty-second Tennessee Infantry.
IN CAMP NEAR CHATTANOOGA, TENN.,
October 4, 1863.
SIR: I respectfully submit the following report as to the action taken by the Fifty-first and Fifty-second Tennessee Regiments under my command in the late engagement with the enemy on September 19 and 20 last:
On the morning of the 19th, in forming the line of battle, I was ordered to take my position and form on the left of the Eighth Tennessee Regiment, Colonel Anderson commanding. The Twenty-eighth Tennessee Regiment, Colonel Stanton commanding, formed on my left. I found on examination that the Sixteenth Tennessee Regiment, colonel Donnell commanding, was formed on the extreme right of the brigade, and that the Thirty-eighth Tennessee Regiment, Colonel Carter commanding, was formed on the extreme left of the brigade, thus placing me in the center. The lines being dressed and the order to load being complied with, the brigade was ordered forward to engage the enemy. In approaching the enemy's line of battle I was in doubt whether the battalion of direction was on my right or left. This embarrassed me somewhat in my movements, and when the brigade went into the action I discovered that in executing and oblique movement to the left I had gone too far in that direction; that my left was much nearer to Colonel Stanton's right than my right was to colonel Anderson's left, Colonel Anderson also having gained some ground on me by a movement by the right flank, which I did not discover at the time of its being executed under the circumstances as above stated. Learning that general commanding brigade was on my left, I determined to direct my movements with those of Colonels Carter and Stanton.
The position which I held during the engagement was an open glade almost entirely level, with the exception of a small mound on my extreme left, with but few trees and but little undergrowth. I saw, from the range of the enemy's balls and from the surroundings of the position which I occupied, that I must necessarily suffer severely in anything like a prolonged engagement. I determined, however, to occupy the position and to keep the regiments as well prepared as could be done under the circumstances for an advance. I remained in this position about-hours. The fire of the enemy was well directed.
We carried into the action 232 muskets. Thirteen men were killed on the field and 102 were wounded, 4 mortally.
The officers and men behaved well, loading and firing with great coolness about 20 rounds to the man.
When the order to fall back was being complied with, Color Bearer W. M. Bland, who distinguished himself at Murfreesborough for his coolness and bravery, was shot though the head and killed. The colors were immediately seized by Sergeant Troborough, but almost simultaneously with his receiving them he received a wound from one of the enemy's shots which caused him to relinquish the colors to Private Rivers, who was also wounded and assisted from the field, and the colors left.
9 R R-VOL XXX, PT II