Report of Lieutenant Colonel Martin H. Cofer, Sixth Kentucky Infantry.
HDQRS. SIXTH KENTUCKY REGIMENT, Near Chattanooga, Tenn., September 27, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Sixth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry in the battle of the 19th and 20th instant:
Helm's brigade, excepting the Second Kentucky, rested on Friday night on an eminence east of the west branch of Chickamauga River. That regiment was thrown across the creek in the evening and deployed, except a reserve, as skirmishers.
Just at nightfall on Friday evening, Company B, of this regiment, was deployed along the front of the regiment on the east bank of the creek, covering a small space which the Second was unable to reach on the west side, owing to the fact that the cleared land ran to the bank of the creek and left no cover on that side for skirmishers.
About one hour after sunrise on Saturday morning, this regiment was ordered to cross to the west side of the creek to support the Second Kentucky, which was ordered forward to develop the position of the enemy known to be in front of its skirmishers. Here we occupied a position parallel to and about 100 yards from an open field. A section of artillery was soon brought over and placed in position, when it opened fire on the enemy and a brisk artillery duel ensued. Two other sections were subsequently brought over, together with the residue of the brigade, when a furious artillery fight was had, lasting some thirty or forty minutes, this regiment having moved up very near to one of the sections, but, fortunately, suffered no loss.
About 10 o'clock we were ordered to recross the creek; take position on the Chattanooga road about 1 mile east of the position then occupied. This was done in good order, though not without some delay occasioned by the blocking of the road by the artillery, the movements of which were impeded by the loss of horses. Having withdrawn to the Chattanooga road, we moved along that road toward Chattanooga for about 1 mile, when, turning to the right, we relieved General Deas' brigade, of General Hindman's division. Near sunset we left this position, pursuing the Ringgold road a short distance, when, turning an acute angle to the left, we crossed Chickamauga River at [Alexander's] Bridge, and bivouacked for the night near General Polk's headquarters.
At 4 in the morning of the 20th, we marched out, and a little after sunrise formed line of battle, prolonging the line of General Cleburne's division, this regiment occupying the right of General Helm's brigade, which was on the left of Breckinridge's division. Here skirmishers were thrown out who soon became hotly engaged with the enemy's. Here a number of men were wounded, and, though hotly pressed and subject to an enfilading fire, Company B, Captain G. W. Maxson commanding, stubbornly held its ground.
In this skirmish, of not more than twenty minutes' duration, this company lost 4 out of 25 men.
Soon the brigade was ordered forward. After advancing about 200 yards, we became engaged with the enemy, who was concealed from view by a dense undergrowth, but who readily yielded and fled before a vigorous charge.