Report of Colonel J. J. Finley, Sixth Florida Infantry.
HDQRS. SIXTH REGIMENT FLORIDA VOLUNTEERS, Near Chattanooga, Tenn., September 25, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my regiment in the battle of the Chickamauga on Saturday and Sunday, the 19th and 20th instant:
On the morning of the 19th, soon after we had crossed the Chickamauga Cree, the regiment was thrown into line of battle with the other regiments of the brigade in an open field, with the enemy's batteries some distance in our front, but sufficiently near to shell us with effect. Here, by order of the brigade commander, Colonel Trigg, our line was formed on a depression in the field for cover from the enemy's fire. Notwithstanding this precaution, the while of my line was subjected over, and near, diagonally in many places from right to left, frequently striking in front and ricochetting over my men, who were in a lying position.
It was at this time that a shell from the enemy's guns exploded upon the right of the third company, instantly killing First Lieutenant James Harys, then in command of his company, and his first sergeant, S. F. Staunton, and also Second Sergt. W. R. F. Potter, and wounding Lieutenant W. S. Simmons on the left of the second company, commanded by Captain White.
The brigade was then ordered farther in front and my regiment put in position for the support of [Peoples'] battery upon the crest of a ridge. Here we were four about two hours subjected to a heavy fire of shot and shell without any casualty.
We remained in this position until about 3.30 p.m., when the whole brigade was ordered to advance to the relief of [Robertson's] brigade, of Hood's division, which had for some time been engaging the enemy about half a mile in front. This advance was made under a heavy fire of the enemy's batteries until we reached an open cornfield in front of my regiment, where the fire became now hot and galling.
At this moment the order for a general advance was given and my regiment moved forward through the open field at a double-quick to the crest of the ridge the distance of about 300 yards under a raking fire from a battery of the enemy which was posted on my left, as well as from small-arms and sharpshooters in front. When the crest of the ridge was attained, which brought us within about 60 yards of the enemy's advance,another battery in our front,a nd still another diagonally to our right, opened a hot and fierce fire upon us, still aided by the battery upon our left, which kept up without intermission an enfilading fire upon my whole line, which told with terrible effect upon my command.
After engaging the enemy in this position for about half an hour without any support whatever, we were ordered to retire by the colonel commanding the brigade, who advanced with my regiment in the charge, witnessed its conduct, and also fully apprehended the necessity of falling back to prevent the utter annihilation of the whole regiment.
While engaged with the enemy form the crest of the ridge, his