Report of Colonel Wallace W. Barrett, Forty-fourth Illinois Infantry.
HDQRS. FORTY-FOURTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS, Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 27, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor herewith to transmit a report of the part taken by this regiment in the late movement of this army, culminating on the 25th instant in the possession of Missionary Ridge.
On the night of the 22nd of November, I received orders from Colonel Sherman, commanding the brigade to be ready to move at a moment's notice, with 80 rounds of ammunition to the man, and two day's cooked rations in the haversacks. In compliance with a previous order to the same effect, the men already had the ammunition, and the rations were immediately supplied.
At about 1 p.m. of the 23d, the regiment moved out and took a position just in rear of the first reserve of the division picket, in the second line of the brigade, the Fifteenth Missouri being on our right and the Seventy-third Illinois on our left. At about 4 p.m. we advanced about 100 rods, where we lay on our arms until some time in the night, when we moved by the left flank on to open ground on the left of a hill on our left.
Just before day of the 24th, the regiment, by order of Colonel Sherman, moved to the right of the first line of the brigade, behind some protection that had been constructed during the night, the Seventy-third and Thirty-sixth Illinois, successively, being in reserve. We remained in this position until about 12 m. of the 25th, when, the troops on our right being removed, I sent out, by order of Colonel Sherman, three companies from each of the three regiments forming the first line as skirmishers, to protect our front and right flank. This line of skirmishers was under the command of Major Sherman, of the Thirty-sixth Illinois. Shortly after, the whole brigade was advanced to the second swell of the ground in our front in some open timber, and formed in five lines of battle, this regiment still being the right of the first line.
At about 3.30 p.m. the signal was given from Orchard Knob to advance, Colonel Sherman directing me to go as far as I could. As soon as the line cleared the timber and entered the open ground in our front, the enemy annoyed us all they could with their batteries on Missionary Ridge. We crossed the open space, about half a mile wide, on the double-quick, and dislodged the enemy from their rifle-pits at the foot of the ridge in our front, which was at the same time done on our right by the line of skirmishers before spoken of. We now pressed up to the second line of rifle-pits, about a third of the way up the ridge, when we again compelled the enemy to retire.
At this point Captain Harnisch, of Company E, took the colors, which had fallen, and while carrying them conspicuously up to the third line of works, was shot dead. The colors were now taken up by Abraham Loring, a private of Company H, who carried them conspicuously in front of the whole line and planted them first of any upon the enemy's works on the top of the ridge. At the third line of works we were greatly annoyed by a galling fire from a hill on our right. We soon, however, caused it to slacken, and then, with a rush, cleared the ridge of the enemy. It was about an hour and a half from the time the signal was given to advance until we