War of the Rebellion: Serial 051 Page 0268 KY.,SW.VA.,TENN.,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA. Chapter XLII.

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placed in reserve to support Walthall's brigade in forcing a passage across the Chickamauga River at Alexander's Bridge. We were soon ordered to form on the left of Walthall's brigade and to cover the front with skirmishers. The skirmishers engaged the enemy, who was concealed in the woods on the opposite bank of the river. The company from this regiment had 3 men slightly wounded by the shells of the enemy. The skirmishers were afterward withdrawn, and the command crossed the Chickamauga the same evening at Byram's Ford, about 1 1/2 miles from Alexander's Bridge. We bivouacked for the night about 1 mile from the ford.

We were under arms at 3 o'clock the next morning, and moved about 1 mile, when we halted. Between 10 and 11 o'clock we advanced northward in line of battle about 1 mile, where we engaged the enemy. His first line was soon repulsed and many prisoners were taken.

Here we captured a battery commanded by a Captain Loomis,* who was also captured. Captain [Loomis] reported his command as Company H, Fifth Artillery. Three men from the First Louisiana Infantry and one from the Eighth Arkansas Regiment were detailed to drive the pieces to the rear. Three pieces were driven to the rear and turned over to Major Palmer, chief of artillery.

Here the lieutenant-colonel commanding, while gallantly leading the command, was wounded and retired from the field. The command them devolved on myself. We pressed rapidly forward and repulsed the second line of the enemy and soon afterward engaged the third line. After a spirited engagement it was discovered that the left of the brigade had fallen back, seeing which the men of my command also fell back. We soon found that the enemy had gotten almost entirely in our rear, when we retired rapidly by the right flank. I reformed the command after we had gone about three quarters of a mile. As soon as we had procured ammunition we moved to the extreme right and occupied a strong position, which we were ordered to hold. Here the regiments on my left gave way in confusion, and my own men soon began to give way. I almost immediately succeeded in reforming them. I could see no reason for this sudden panic. It is true that we were considerably annoyed by the artillery of the enemy, and we occasionally received a scattering fire of small-arms. The command then moved a short distance to the rear, and afterward by the right flank, when we halted and bivouacked for the night.

At about 9 o'clock on the next morning [20th], we moved by the left flank for about 1 mile and then back again to a point somewhat in advance of the position which we had occupied in the morning. We then moved to the front, and while crossing an open field lying on the La Fayette and Chattanooga road we engaged the enemy. The regiments on my left were in the woods next to the field. While under fire my regiment and the Fifth Arkansas, on my right, changed direction almost perpendicularly to the left and advanced rapidly across the field and drove the enemy from the edge of the woods. We then pursued them as far as we could see them. We were then some distance in advance of the Chattanooga road. The regiments


*A mistake. Captain Loomis, the original commander of the First Michigan Battery, was at this time on duty elsewhere. The greater part of the battery was captured and its commander [Lieutenant Van Pelt] was killed. Battery H, Fifth U. S. Artillery was in the same command, but did not lose any guns.