Report of Colonel George H. Nixon, Forty-eighth Tennessee Infantry.
HDQRS. FORTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT TENN., VOLS.
SIR: I submit the following report, through you to, Brigadier General L. E. Polk, commanding Polk's brigade, Cleburne's division, Hill's corps, stating the part taken in the battle of Chickamauga by the Forty-eighth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, under my command, on Saturday and Sunday, September 19 and 20, 1863:
The brigade was drawn up in line of battle about 4 p.m. Saturday near Underwood's steam saw-mill, one-half mile west of Reed's Bridge, over the Chickamauga, the Thirty-fifth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, under Colonel B. J. Hill, on my right, and the remainder of the brigade on my left.
At about 6 p.m. an order was given to advance upon the enemy, who were in position about 600 yards in our front and upon the top of a ridge. After advancing about 300 yards, the enemy opened with one piece of artillery directly in front of my regiment with grape and canister. At the same time he opened with several guns about 400 yards to my left in front of the Third and Fifth Confederate Regiments, commanded by Colonel Smith. After passing over a line of Confederate troops, the enemy opened fire with small-arms, their left resting opposite the right of my regiment. A well-directed fire from the regiments on my left, as well as my regiment, broke the enemy's line. They were driven about 1 1/2 miles, when the firing ceased.
About 9 p.m., the enemy being completely routed from their strong position at the first fire from my regiment, the enemy made and effort to remove the piece of artillery I have mentioned as being in my front, but being so closely pressed were forced to abandon the piece, leaving the gun in our possession.
During the engagement Lieutenant-Colonel Hughs, of my regiment, received a painful wound on the hip. Lieutenant Bradley, commanding Company I, was mortally wounded, and died early next morning. I also had 3 privates badly wounded during the engagement.
The enemy being driven back 1 1/2 miles, the command was halted at 9 p.m., and rested on the ground during the remainder of the night. The soldiers suffered considerable from cold, their clothes being wet from wading Chickamauga in the evening.
On Sunday morning, about 8 o'clock, the brigade advanced upon the enemy's lines, and very soon were warmly engaged with the center and main line of the enemy, posted behind breastworks erected of logs and rail picketing, covered with green brush. Their position was naturally strong, and, with these works, almost impregnable. The enemy opened with artillery and small-arms from behind these works one of the most destructive fires ever witnessed by any troops during the war. Perfect lanes were made through the timber by the enemy's artillery; yet my regiment held the ground assigned them i the brigade (within 125 yards of the enemy's works) for more than three hours, not giving a single inch of ground until they had exhausted all their ammunition, and inflicting such a blow upon the enemy that the was unable to advance his lines beyond the ground he occupied.