War of the Rebellion: Serial 055 Page 0225 Chapter XLIII. THE CHATTANOOGA-RINGGOLD CAMPAIGN.

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the left oblique in order to capture the party in charge of the guns. They were, however, already cutting loose the horses, and succeeded in getting away, leaving all the guns (four brass pieces and two Parrotts) and several caissons and limbers, and 3 horses still harnessed. Never having captured cannon before, and hence not appreciating the importance of claiming the guns as trophies, besides feeling they were entirely sate in my rear, and thinking I might need all my command in front, I left no guard with them, but immediately pushed forward upon the [retreating enemy] some hundreds of yards to the front. I was now about three-quarters of a mile from the ridge. The troops on my left, who had previously advanced several hundred yards, had all been withdrawn. There was a gap of one-third of a mile between my right and the left of our brigade, and deeming it prudent to advance no farther without support, especially as it was already dark, I was about to retire, when there was opened up a brisk fire of musketry and artillery form a hill or ridge about three-fourths of a mile to my right oblique. After waiting a few minutes until I discovered a stout resistance was being made, and the issue possibly doubtful, directing my original line of skirmishers to protect my left flank I changed front to the right oblique, directing Major Squires to throw out two companies of skirmishers to cover the new front; and sending notice around by the rear of my intention, I took up a line of march for a knob, from which I expected to turn the enemy's position by attacking his left flank. The exceeding and unexpected roughness of our route, comprising steep acclivity, dense thicket and thickly tangled swamps, made the undertaking one of no little difficulty. It was, however, finally accomplished and the height was gained, and so successfully that 1 lieutenant and 8 men, comprising the enemy's right, were captured and their line immediately broken, with the capture of two brass guns. The Federal troops here engaged proving to be our own brigade, I again assumed command of my own regiment, which however, saw no further special service, but remained with the brigade until it returned to camp on the evening of the 26th.

At every step of our advance from the time we reached the enemy's rifle-pits, prisoners were picked up by the men under my command, but, as we were constantly in the extreme front, they were at every opportunity passed immediately to the rear and handed over, without credit asked or given, to whoever would relieve us of their care. There were reported to me 45 thus disposed of; many others were passed, as we advanced, and no notice taken of them, as they seemed making fair time for our rear, and I had good reason to believe they would be carefully looked after and kindly cared for by officers and men who were giving their attention to that part of the work.

Of the conduct of my command perhaps nothing need be said; it was mostly witnessed by the general commanding the brigade. We were in no sense repulsed,not even checked beyond what a prudent caution demanded under the shifting condition of the conflict.

I can only account for being ordered back after getting nearly or quite half way from the base to the summit of Missionary Ridge on the 25th by supposing the ardor of the command had already carried it beyond instruction.

Too much cannot be said in commendation of the personal gallantry of my officers. Maj. W. H. Squires, who at several times was left in command of the regiment, and Adjt. James A. Spence,

15 R R-VOL XXXI, PT II