War of the Rebellion: Serial 055 Page 0242 KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.N.ALA., AND N.GA. Chapter XLIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

companies forward to reconnoiter the ground between our lines and the mountain. They went as far as the timber extended and reported no enemy this side of the works at the base of the mountain. About 3 p.m. I was ordered by Colonel Harker to report to Colonel Opdycke, commanding demi-brigade, who assigned me to a position in the second line, on the left of the One hundred and twenty-fifth Ohio and in rear of the Third Kentucky. Colonel Opdycke advised me that we were going to charge the enemy's works, and that he expected me, when ordered forward, to effect a lodgment without reference to the balance of the command; that I must follow the regiment in front of me only when it advanced.

About 3.30 p.m. the order to advance was given. After marching several hundred yards through the woods, we entered upon a plain which was about half a mile wide, and which extended to the enemy's works. Across this we charged through a storm of exploding shells, which the enemy within easy range poured upon us from the summit of the ridge, but the men, undaunted and confident of success, move forward with a shout. The regiment which was in front of me having obliequed to the left upon approaching the works, I found my regiment unmasked and in the front line, and here Colonel Harker ordered me to ascend the ridge. My men, already exhausted by the long and rapid charge across the plain, pressed on and were shortly half way up the hill, when the troops on our left giving way, we were ordered to fall back. I assembled my regiment in the works at the base of the hill, where they remained for about fifteenth minutes, when we were again ordered forward. The position in which my regiment found itself was immediately in front of a battery, which belched forth a stream of canister upon us with terrible rapidity. In addition to this the enemy, when driven from other points, rallied around this battery and defended it with desperation. It cost a struggle to take it but we finally succeeded, and the colors of the Sixty-fifth Ohio were the first planted upon the yet smoking guns. Captain Smith, of my regiment, was placed in charge of the captured battery, which consisted of five guns, three caissons, and 17 horses. I was then ordered by Colonel Harker to join Colonel Opdycke, who, with a part of his command, had pushed on in pursuit of a wagon train. When I reported to Colonel Opdycke I was placed on the right of the Sixty-fourth Ohio. We moved forward a short distance and halted for half an hour, when we were again put upon the march. We finally halted upon a ridge a short distance south of and parallel with Mission Ridge, where we built fires and prepared to rest for the night.

About 10 p.m. we were again ordered under arms. The brigade was formed and I was ordered to deploy my regiment in front as skirmishers, with the center upon the road leading to Chickamauga Station. In a few moments we moved forward and proceeded as far as Bird's Mill, on the Chickamauga River, taking a number of prisoners on the way, but meeting with no opposition. We remained here until about 3 p.m. of the 26th instant, when we took up our march for camp. My regiment to a man, did its duty. To mention those who acted gallantly would be but to furnish you with a muster-roll of my regiment. I desire to mention but one who distinguished himself by his cool bravery. During the charge up the mountain, when the color bearer, from excessive fatigue, was unable to proceed, Corpl. Thomas H. Johnson, Company K, grasped the color, and, calling upon the men to follow him, dashed up the hill.