Report of Lieutenant Colonel William A. Bullitt, Third Kentucky Infantry, commanding Sixty-fifth Ohio Infantry.
HDQRS. SIXTY-FIFTH OHIO VOLUNTEERS INFANTRY, Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 27, 1863.
SIR: In accordance with orders received from the colonel commanding the brigade, I hereby respectfully submit a report of the part taken by the Sixty-fifth Regiment Ohio Volunteers in the series of engagements which commenced on the 23rd instant:
About 1 p.m. on Monday, the 23rd instant, I received orders to form my regiment and move toward the front, which I did, following the One hundred and twenty-fifth Ohio Volunteers, and being followed by the Sixty-fourth Ohio Volunteers, when the brigade was formed on a ridge a short distance north and to the rear of the picket line. I was ordered by Colonel Harker, commanding brigade, to move forward and deploy my regiment as skirmishers upon the picket line, which I was to support in case they were attacked. While occupying this position a regiment, belonging to General Wagner's brigade, moved ahead of me and deployed, covering about 200 paces I was ordered by Colonel Harker to advance. I meet with no resistance until I had gone about 400 paces, when the line connecting with my right failing to advance my right became exposed. Of this the enemy took advantage and poured several volleys into my line in rapid succession, severely wounding 2 men and ridding the clothes of Captain Smith, commanding the right company. This caused momentary confusion, which was increased by the cowardly behavior of Captain Peatman, Twenty-sixth Ohio, who was brigade officer of the day for General Wagner's brigade. He deserted his line while it was under fire, ran through my command, and threw himself upon the ground behind a hill some distance in my rear. I ordered him to rejoin his command, which he did reluctantly, but in a few minutes he again ran to the rear and screened himself behind a tree.
As I have stated, the confusion here was but momentary; a vigorous fire from my line soon caused the enemy to give way. I now received orders from Colonel Harker, through Colonel McIlvain, division officer of the day, to refuse my right so that it would connect with the line on my right. This done, and having thrown my left forward so that it would cover a gap between the skirmishers of our brigade and those of General Wagner's, I halted and remained undisturbed in this position until about 10 p.m., when, being relieved by the Fifty-seventh Indiana, I retired to the breastworks, which had been constructed about 50 yards in my rear. Here my regiment remained until about 1 p.m. on Wednesday, the 25th instant, when Colonel Harker ordered me to proceed with my regiment to the picket line, and there pointed out a slightly elevated ridge, about 400 paces to the front, upon which the enemy had some heavy earth-works, and which he was supposed to occupy. Colonel Harker directed me to take it with a dash.
Having deployed my right wing as skirmishers, disposed of my left at intervals in their rear, and ordered that not a gun should be fired until the work was entered, I moved forward to find the work deserted. From this point, by order of General Sheridan, I sent two
16 R R-VOL XXXI, PT II