We captured the battle-flag of the Thirteenth Louisiana Regiment, but it was torn to pieces by the men for trophies before I could take it from them.
After night, being wounded, I turned over the command of the regiment to Captain B. F. Hegler, and returned to camp.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major Fifteenth Indiana Volunteers.
Captain H. C. TINNEY,
Report of Captain Benjamin F. Hegler, Fifteenth Indiana Infantry.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH INDIANA INFANTRY, Loudon, Tennessee, February 7, 1864.
SIR: The following report of the part taken by the Fifteenth Indiana Regiment in the storming of Mission Ridge November 25, 1863, is respectfully submitted, in the absence of the field officers:
The regiment in the disposition for battle, occupied the left of the reserve line, with the Ninety-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry on our right, these two regiments constituting the reserve. In our front was a plain open field, which the brigade had orders to cross and take the rifle-pits at the base of the ridge. As soon as the movement was commenced the guns on the summit of the ridge swept the plain, but with little effect until we neared the rifle-pits, over which, the first line passed and behind which the reserves took temporary shelter. We were soon ordered forward to assist the first line, which partly up the ridge, was suffering severely. The order was promptly obeyed, and the regiment, passing the first line, pushed on for the summit under a sharp fire from the enemy's musketry in the rifle-pits, encircling the ridge and the front, and enfilading fire of the batteries on the crest. The ascent was very steep and our progress so obstinately contested that it was necessarily slow, but in forty-five minutes after leaving the base of the ridge our colors were planted on the crest by Second Lieutenant Thomas N. Graham (the first of the brigade) and the enemy fleeing in disorder.
Our captures amounted to prisoners (not counted) representing many different regiments, several pieces of artillery, and some wagons.
On gaining the crest the regiment was reformed, and, with the Twenty-sixth Ohio, ordered to move by the left flank to capture a battery reported near by in a rive. These guns were taken-their number I cannot positively state, as I did not count them-and as the regiment was ordered to move, with the Fortieth Indiana, on another battery of two guns then firing on us, no guard was left over the guns already taken. On this last battery we moved as the left of the line. These guns being taken by the Fortieth Indiana, ended the day's work.
The conduct of officers and men on this occasion deserves high commendation, and one can scarcely be mentioned before another for gallant daring. Sergeant Banks, though severely wounded, bore the colors until a second shot compelled him to intrust the flag to other hands. But I will not continue special mentions, as space will