War of the Rebellion: Serial 051 Page 0323 Chapter XLII. THE CHICKAMAUGA CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

morning and ordered forward to join in the fight, which had then been raging for three-quarters of an hour, commencing on the extreme right, and in which the brigades of Generals Deas and Manigault, whom we supported, had already become engaged. We were marched to the front in line of battle a distance of about 300 to 500 yards, when we encountered the enemy, who had just made a stand against Deas and Manigault, by whom he had been steadily driven from the commencement of the fight up to that time. These brigades had here halted. We took up the fight, drove the enemy back about a mile without an instant of halt or wavering. In the onward movement, so successfully conducted, our regimental battle line swept over three pieces of the enemy's cannon, which had played upon us with little or no damage as we advanced. There being some argument among the regimental commanders as to this artillery, I deem it my duty to state that I positively know the facts I have asserted, and that my color bearer (Cole Smith), a most gallant soldier, was the farthest advanced man of our whole brigade at the time, and passed between two of the pieces.

In this first charge we lost in killed, 5; wounded, 53; missing, 4; total, 62.

Finally we drove the enemy out of hearing, and not a shot was being fired by him, when it was discovered that our line had advanced beyond its flank supports, forming a block without protection on either side, and liable to enfilades and even being flanked and overpowered, hence a retreat was immediately ordered and executed by the brigade in excellent order and without a shot from the enemy. Having fallen back some 300 or 400 yards, we rested for half an hour, and were then marched by the right flank a mile or more to the base of an important hill held by the enemy on Pilgrim's Ridge, where we formed line near the road. We had not been here ten minutes before heavy firing on the hill announced that our front lines were engaged. They shortly fell back overpowered by the numbers and strong position of the enemy, and we were immediately marched up the hill to the attack. After a most desperate fight of twenty minutes we were in our turn compelled to retreat, which we did in tolerable order and formed rapidly against the base of the hill. Another charge was soon ordered and executed. We again fell back in good order half way down the hill, formed, and made another unsuccessful charge, when we had again to resume the old line at the base, when Kelly's brigade and other re-enforcements, supported by a flank movement and flanking batteries, accomplished the end for which we had been struggling. We had captured this hill in two of our charges, and had our supports come up in time could easily have held it; but superior numbers and new lines of the enemy coming against us made it untenable by us.

In these charges (the last fights we made) our loss was in killed, 4; wounded, 22; missing, 5.

Night closed the contest. We bivouacked in line at the base of the hill for which we had so hard a struggle, and next day at 2 p.m. we marched from the field in the direction of Chattanooga.

Before closing this report I would call the attention of the brigadier-general commanding to the gallant conduct of Private Cole Smith, Company H, who bore the regimental colors on this hardbought field. I do him no more than justice when I say he is as gallant a soldier as ever faced a foe. His conduct during the day was such as only a gallant soldier and brave man can display. I