Report of Colonel Alexander Mcilvain, Sixty-fourth Ohio Infantry.
HDQRS. SIXTY-FOURTH OHIO VOLUNTEERS INFANTRY, Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 27, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit, through Colonel Opdycke, commanding demi-brigade,of the Third Brigade, Second Division, Fourth Army Corps, the following report of my regiment, since the morning of the 23rd of the present month:
In obedience to orders from Colonel Harker, the command, with 18 commissioned officers and 208 men, advanced in connection with the brigade to the front, and assisted in erecting a temporary breastwork until 11 p.m., when it was ordered by Colonel Opdycke to the front on picket duty, and there remained until 10 a.m. of the 24th. It was then relieved by the One hundred and twenty-fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and returned to the line of reserves, where it remained until 8 o'clock in the forenoon of the 25th. At this time it again went to the front line. About 1 p.m. I had 1 man severely wounded. Soon after 2 o'clock I was ordered by Colonel Harker to prepare for a charge, as warm work was expected. My regiment, by direction of Colonel Opdycke, advanced about 600 yards, and took position on the right of the Third Kentucky and left of----Illinois Regiments. About 3 o'clock Colonel Harker directed me to be governed in my advance or retreat by the line on my left. The command now advanced steadily to the open field in front of the ridge, when it moved forward at double-quick and a run, passing the rebel breastworks without a halt, until it came to the foot of the ridge; but owing to the great distance over which the men had run, they were unfitted for ascending the steep sides of the hill without a short respite for rest, and were therefore halted. The line on the left having commenced falling back to the rebel works for better protection while resting, my command also fell back. After a few moments it again advanced with spirit to the foot of the ridge, and pressed forward until the summit was gained. Here the regiment rested a few moments, and again advanced, under the direction of Colonel Opdycke, in the direction of the retreating rebels. My regiment now being on the left of the brigade, the Third Kentucky going forward as skirmishers, we advanced about 1 mile, and halted, taking 3 prisoners at the last point of halting. About 1 a.m. of the 26th, we again advanced, and halted at Chickamauga Creek, where we remained until about 3 p.m., when ordered to return to camp.
My command lost in advance upon Missionary Ridge 1 captain and 1 private killed, and 6 officers and 25 men wounded.
It is due to the officers and men of this command to say that in the charge across the field, the ascent of the ridge, and the assault of the rebel line, they displayed the greatest courage and valor; and when the stupendous magnitude of the perfectly accomplished undertaking is taken into consideration, their heroism reflects additional luster upon our flag, and will serve to honor the name of the Sixty-fourth, with the many others which participated in that immortal achievement, while its history remains.
Maj. S. L. COULTER,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.