War of the Rebellion: Serial 051 Page 0203 Chapter XLII. THE CHICKAMAUGA CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

Numbers 300.

Reports of Colonel Joseph H. Lewis, Sixth Kentucky Infantry, commanding Helm's brigade.

HEADQUARTERS HELM'S BRIGADE, Before Chattanooga, September 30, 1863.

SIR: The death of Brig. General B. H. Helm makes it my duty, as senior colonel commanding, to report the part performed by this brigade in the actions of the 19th and 20th instant:

On the afternoon of the 18th, the brigade took position on the right bank of West Chickamauga, near Glass' Mill, except the Second Kentucky Regiment, deployed on the opposite side as skirmishers.

On the morning of the 19th, the command, with Cobb's battery, crossed the stream. About 9 a.m. a shot from the battery into a house about 500 yards off, where the enemy's skirmishers were concealed, elicited an immediate response from the enemy farther to the right, followed soon after by a spirited artillery duel, in which Slocomb's battery [that had in the meantime crossed over] participated, resulting in silencing the enemy. Soon, however, another battery of the enemy opened fire from a position still farther to the right.

In a short time, orders having been previously issued by Major-General Breckinridge to that effect, the whole command recrossed the stream and moved to the Chattanooga road. Fourteen men of this brigade were killed and wounded on this occasion. From thence we moved toward Chattanooga to the position held by and relieving Deas' brigade.

About two hours after nightfall we reached a point 1 1/2 miles beyond Alexander's Bridge, where we bivouacked till 3 a.m. 20th instant, when we were ordered to our position in line of battle 1 mile or more beyond and on the left of the division. We got into position and were ready to advance by about 5.30 a.m. Soon after getting into position one company from each regiment was [under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Wickliffe, of the Ninth Kentucky] deployed 250 yards in advance as skirmishers. Becoming hotly engaged with the enemy, the Fourth Kentucky Regiment, Colonel Nuckols commanding, was ordered to their support. The skirmishers of the enemy, having the advantage in position, showed determination and kept up a rapid fire, wounding several officers and men before the advance of the brigade. Among others severely wounded was Colonel Nuckols, by which his command was thereafter deprived of the services of this gallant and meritorious officer.

Between 9 and 10 a.m. the brigade advanced in the following order, viz, the Sixth Kentucky, Colonel Lewis, and the Second Kentucky, Lieutenant-Colonel Hewitt commanding, on the extreme right and left, respectively; the Fourth Kentucky, Major Thompson, and Ninth Kentucky, Colonel Caldwell commanding, on the right and left center, respectively, and the Forty-first Alabama, Colonel Stansel commanding, in the center.

The enemy's fortifications did not extend the entire length of the brigade front; but the Sixth, Fourth, and seven companies of the Forty-first in advancing passed to the right and clear of them, consequently fighting the foe on something like equal terms. This por-