War of the Rebellion: Serial 051 Page 0194 KY., SW. VA., TENN.,MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter XLII.

Search Civil War Official Records

Report of Colonel F. C. Wilkes, Twenty-fourth Texas Cavalry, commanding Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Twenty-fourth, and Twenty-fifth Texas Cavalry (dismounted).


October 6, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to report that on Saturday, September 19, about 4.30, my regiment, numbering 735 rank and file and 29 officers of the line, together with 3 field officers, crossed the Chickamauga Creek, and after moving forward about 2 miles formed in line of battle about sundown. The regiment occupied the position on the right of General Deshler's brigade, the right of which brigade rested on the left of General Wood's brigade. We immediately moved forward, passing over the brigade of General Preston Smith, and at a distance of about 600 yards we met the enemy. My company of skirmishers, which had been instructed to keep well to the front, being misled by t he darkness of the night, had come unexpectedly upon the enemy's line of battle and had been captured. After a short engagement with the enemy, especially upon the right of my command, he was routed with considerable loss in killed and wounded, and about 100 prisoners, principally form the Seventy-ninth Pennsylvania Regiments, together with the colors of each of these regiments and most of their field officers; also about 150 stand of small-arms, during which time the company of skirmishers made their escape.

In the engagement I lost 4 killed and 7 or 8 wounded.

The honor of capturing the colors belongs to Private L. Montgomery,

of Company B, and Sergt. C. Martin and Private Pippen of Company K.

Sergt. J. H. Griffin, of Company I, distinguished himself by his gallantry and coolness in taking command of his company when the only commissioned officer in it was absent and could not be found. I recommend that he be promoted to lieutenant.

During this engagement I received a slight wound which partially disabled me, in consequence of which the command devolved on Lieutenant-Colonel Coit and Major Taylor.

Having driven the enemy from the field, the action closed about 8 o'clock, and we bivouacked on the battle-field.

On Sunday morning, an hour before daylight, we reformed our line of battle and threw up temporary breastworks. Between 9 and 10 o'clock we were again ordered to the front. After advancing about 600 yards through the timber, we came upon an open field completely commanded by the enemy's batteries, and we made our way at a double-quick step across this field under a most terrific fire of shot and shell, grape and canister. During this movement we lost 8 or 10 men in killed and wounded.

Having advanced near the enemy's lines, and finding a brigade already in front of us engaging the enemy, the command was ordered to halt, lie down, and await further orders. Just at this juncture, I received a contused wound upon the right leg which completely disabled me, and in consequence of which I was separated from the command until the close of the action.

The officers and men of the command up to this time, with a few