Report of Brig. Gen. George D. Wagner, U. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade.
HDQRS. SECOND BRIG., SECOND DIV., FOURTH ARMY CORPS, Loudon, Tennessee, February 22, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my command in the battle of Missionary Ridge, with accompanying reports of regimental commanders:
On the 23rd of November, I received from General Sheridan orders to move to, and form my command in order of battle near the picket lines to the right of Fort Wood. Soon after I was ordered to advance and drive in the rebel pickets, which was done, advancing about 1,000 yards, with the loss of only 6 men. Colonel Harker was on my right and General Hazen on the left. I remained in the position thus gained until the 25th, with but slight skirmishing with small-arms a few shots Battery G, Fourth U. S. Artillery, which had reported for duty temporarily.
About 2 p.m. on the 25th, I was informed by General Sheridan that we were to carry the enemy's works at the foot of the ridge, and possibly storm the heights, and was directed to make dispositions accordingly. I moved my command forward some 800 yards, formed in order of battle, and, lying on arms, awaited the signal to advance. The Fifty-seventh Indiana, Lieutenant-Colonel Lennard commanding, formed the first line, and was deployed as skirmishers at about 2 paces interval. The One hundredth Illinois, Fifty-eighth Indiana, Fortieth Indiana, and Twenty-sixth Ohio, formed the second line, which was commanded by Colonel Wood (Fifteenth Indiana). The Ninety-seventh Ohio and Fifteenth Indiana comprised the reserve, forming the third line. About 3 o'clock the signal to advance was given. The command at once moved forward, ion conjunction with other commands on the right and left, respectively, and was met by a terrible fire which the enemy immediately opened from his artillery posted on the ridge. Lieutenant-Colonel Lennard carried the lower works with his regiment and pushed forward to the foot of the ridge, some 200 yards in advance, where he was joined by the second line, which had moved rapidly forward without halting. At this time I was informed by a staff officer that it was General Granger's order not to go beyond the works at the foot of the ridge. Part of my command, however, was already beyond that point, but I directed it to return to the works, and sent an officer to General Sheridan asking permission to carry the heights, as I saw we must do that or we could not remain, in the works, the enemy having complete of them with his artillery. However, before hearing from him, I ordered the command to storm the ridge, bringing up the Fifteenth Indiana and Ninety-seventh Ohio, which had not yet been engaged, although suffering from the enemy's artillery. The result is a matter of history, as we gained the ridge, capturing artillery, provisions and small-arms; to what amount, however, I do not know, as we pushed on after the enemy as soon as I had reformed the command. The enemy was immediately in my front, retreating in the direction of Chickamauga Station, and attempting to get off a portion of his artillery and train. I immediately pushed forward in pursuit all the troops I had formed, sending the Fifteenth Indiana and Twenty-sixth Ohio, under Lieutenant-Colonel Young, to the left
14 R R-VOL XXXI, PT II