Report of Colonel Randall L. Gibson, Thirteenth Louisiana Infantry, commanding Thirteenth and Twentieth Louisiana Infantry.
HDQRS. THIRTEENTH AND TWENTIETH LA, REGTS., In Field, 2 1/2 Miles from Chattanooga, Tenn., September 26, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Thirteenth and Twentieth [consolidated] Regiments Louisiana Volunteers in the battle of Chickamauga until Brigadier-General Adams was wounded, when I assumed command of the brigade:
At 10 o'clock on the morning of the 20th, I was ordered by General Adams to advance. Owing to the thickly wooded character of the ground, I found it difficult to preserve my alignment with the regiment on the left. After proceeding for half an hour we were greeted, on approaching a dense thicket, by cheers and volleys from the enemy. I at once ordered a charge, and pushing forward the regiment with energy drove the enemy at once from his position. We fell upon him with such impetuosity that he broke in confusion, the men throwing away their arms and equipments, and about 80 were so closely pressed that they, together with 1 captain and several lieutenants, surrendered and were sent to the rear. It appeared that there was a regiment with a battery on picket. We were just emerging from the thicket in farther pursuit when Captain Labouisse, assistant inspector-general of the staff, rode up and directed me to halt, stating that I was far in advance of the brigade, and that the brigade commander desired to renew the alignment before crossing the main Chattanooga road, from which we were then distant about 75 yards. I at once halted and the fugitives escaped under cover of the farm-houses, leaving behind their battery. Only one of the pieces, together with all the caissons, fell into my hands. The balance, however, were taken possession of by the troops of our brigade. Having advanced beyond the skirmishers and driven the enemy, I halted for the main line to come up, as I have remarked, for alignment, and our skirmishers being again thrown forward, two of these pieces thus fell into their hands, Major Austin commanding.
My loss in this fight was quite large, having lost 5 killed and 25 wounded-several men dangerously. The conduct of the officers and men was soldierly in every respect. The onset was admirable and the rout complete.
After crossing the Chattanooga road, to which we were moving parallel, I received an order to change front on the left regiment. This threw our line of battle at right angles to the road, the left near to it, and the right [my regiment] into the open field. We advanced then about 800 yards, through cleared fields for the most part and dense thickets, subjected to a constant artillery fire until we reached within about 100 yards of the enemy, when we delivered a volley and charged with a shout; but the men scattered very much in the thick wood, and after dispersing the first line in gallant style, while thus disordered received a terrific and unbroken volley from a second line that suddenly came up, flanking us on the right and sustained by a battery run out for its support. The whole line was checked. Some began to seek cover, and in a few minutes the command gave way in spite of every exertion. Before it had fallen