War of the Rebellion: Serial 051 Page 0507 Chapter XLII. THE CHICKAMAUGA CAMPAIGN.

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Numbers 425.

Report of Colonel James D. Nance, Third South Carolina Infantry.


Near Chattanooga, Tenn., October 10, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor, in obedience with circular of the 7th instant from brigade headquarters, to submit the following report of the recent operations of my command.

The train conveying my regiment and James' battalion reached Greenwood Mills, on the Western and Atlantic Railroad, about 2 p.m. on Friday, September 18, ultimo, when I reported to Brigadier-General Kershaw, who had preceded me, and who ordered me into camp with that portion of the brigade which had already arrived at that point.

Early the next morning we marched, under General Kershaw's command, to the neighborhood of Ringgold, where we remained in line of battle to guard a gap in the mountains until a short time after dark, when we took up the line of march for the Chickamauga. After a fatiguing and remarkably dusty march, we reached the river and crossed it at Alexander's Bridge, and bivouacked on the left of the road, nearly 300 yards from the bridge, about 1 o'clock at night.

About 9 o'clock the next morning (Sunday) we were put on the march, and moved toward the left of our guard line of battle. After going about a quarter of a mile we were massed in columns of regiments and rested in reserve for about an hour, when we were advanced by flank a short distance, and thrown in line of battle about 200 or 300 yards behind and parallel to a line of breastworks in the woods and running, I judge, nearly north and south.

The engagement had by this time fairly opened in our front, and we immediately advanced toward the firing, in a westerly direction, crossing what I understood was the La Fayette road, just to the left of a small house on the left of the road as you approach Chattanooga, and thence through the woods in front until we reached the fence on the edge of a large corn and stubble field.

Here we met a portion of General Hood's division, returning in disorder under a feeble fire from the enemy, who seemed to be forming in front and on a line nearly perpendicular to our line of battle. By order from General Kershaw, I changed front forward on my first company, and the other battalions conforming to the maneuver of mine as the directing one, our line was placed in a position to continue the advance, which we immediately resumed. Our direction was now diagonally across the fields. The enemy's line in front of my regiment rested on the summit of a commanding hill on the west or farther side of the field, along which ran a thickly wooded forest, and I had encounter their fire delivered from this advantageous position before they were driven from it and after they gave way. I suffered considerably while passing over this hill by a fire delivered from the high ground in the woods beyond the field. We passed two or three pieces of artillery on this hill, which I suppose the enemy had failed to put into position before we were upon them. We pressed forward, crossed the fence (which was afterward used for breastworks), and passed about 100 yards into the woods, where we were halted by General Kershaw