did their whole duty with cool and efficient courage, and their example palpably caused their men to deal with deliberate aim death missiles to the foe.
My loss was 4 enlisted men killed, 7 commissioned officers wounded out of 15, and 54 enlisted men wounded out of 271.* The loss is proportionately small compared to other battles and considering the position we charged; but it is not always those who lose the most men who do the most efficient fighting. The fatal fire of my men lessened the number of the enemy and struck terror to others, as was evidenced by the dead on the summit in my front, and the scattered guns and equipments of those retreating. The color sergeant, who carried the national flag, fell exhausted upon the hill-side. Corporal Hayes, of the color guard, had not borne it but a few steps when he fell badly wounded. Being at his side, I took the flag and carried it to the crest of the hill, but had the staff shot in twain below the flag. I saw to my right several flags in advance of ours, and having the advantage of being mounted I hastened on, and when I reached the crest I saw no other for the distance of at least several regiments to the right or left. I do not mention myself in this connection for any self-laudation, but through simple justice to the command, by stating facts, to show that the Third Kentucky was at least not the last to reach the proudly-won summit. The point at which the center of my regiment reached the crest was at the stable to the left of the house, said to be Bragg's headquarters, and immediately in front of the road which leads down the southern slope of the ridge. One piece of the abandoned battery was to the left of this point; the remainder to the right near by. Some prisoners surrendered to us before we reached the crest, and others after we got over the ridge. According to company commanders' reports, the number sums up 131 captured. We saw scores of guns and equipments scattered around, evincing great demoralization and a headlong retreat. I formed the regiment a few minutes after sundown, and advanced by order and under the direction of Colonel Opdycke on the track of the enemy. After proceeding about a mile or less, we came upon their rear guard, who opened a battery upon us, supported by infantry, but we speedily drove them after considerable firing; after which Captain Barnett was ordered to deploy his company to the front. At 8 o'clock he was recalled and returned with 5 prisoners, which he had taken about half a mile to our front. We were then placed in camp in a strong position by Colonel Opdycke, and about midnight, when we were about to enjoy the much needed rest for the night, we were called to arms drew ammunition and rations, and, without a straggler left behind, cheerfully marched under our trusted and tried commander about 4 miles on the road to Chickamauga Station, and went into camp on the creek at Bird's Mill at 3 a.m. of the 26th, where we remained until 3 p.m., when ordered and marched back to our old camp at Chattanooga, as proud a little band of patriots as ever battled for a country's cause; and are yet ready to storm as many Mission Ridges as are necessary to untrammel the proud name of a nation boasted in the world's history.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
H. C. DUNLAP,
Maj. S. L. COULTER, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
*But see revised statement, p.81.