command during the late movement, together with a report of the general operations of the demi-brigade for that time.
I received orders from Colonel Harker to move this demi-brigade at once, without blankets or rations, and with 40 rounds of ammunition, at 1 p.m. on the 23d. I marched it out in the general column and formed it in two lines near the knoll in front of Fort Wood. At sundown I moved it to its position in line of battle on the old picket line, where it was posted with the Twenty-seventh and the Fifty-first on that line, with the Forty-second Illinois and Twenty-second Illinois in double column in rear.
We lay in this position until noon of the 25th, when I received orders to move to the front and throw out the Forty-second Illinois as skirmishers to cover the whole brigade.
The lines were advanced about 300 yards, and up to the rebel
rifle- pits of their picket lines, and the skirmishers some 300 yards in front of that line. Captain E. D. Swain, commanding the
Forty-second Illinois, was here ordered to advance when the skirmishers on his left did toward the front, governing his movements by theirs, and to carry the first of the enemy's
rifle-pits and go only a few yards beyond. If the skirmishers on his left fell back, he was ordered by Colonel Harker to do the same. At the signal the demi-brigade moved to the front in the following order: The Forty-second Illinois in front as skirmishers, the Twenty-seventh Illinois in the first line, the Twenty-second and Fifty-first Illinois in the second line. The general direction was perpendicular to the Missionary Ridge, with guide toward our left. I gave the Twenty-second and Fifty-first Illinois orders to follow the Twenty-seventh Illinois at a distance of 300 yards.
The Forty-second Illinois advanced at the signal, and, without halting, took the first line of rifle-pits under very severe fire. They sent back here about 100 prisoners. Their line appeared not to halt until they had crossed beyond the second line of rifle-pits, when they fell back after the skirmishers of the brigade on their left had, agreeably to instruction. The Twenty-seventh Illinois by this time had reached the first line, and I ordered them to advance up the hill, as I saw that the enemy had been driven from the second line of pits by the skirmishers. They advanced gallantly, and, joining with the Forty-second, already much extended, gradually gained ground to the point. The fire of musketry and artillery on this position of the hill was terrific, but those regiments never gave and inch of ground, but steadily pushed forward until they gained the summit of the hill at the same time that the brigade on our right did, and carried it gallantly.
Men could fight no better, and as their whole action was immediately under my direction, I saw no fault on their part. They pursued the fleeing rebels some 100 rods beyond the crest of the hill, and until recalled. The Fifty-first Illinois and
Twenty-second Illinois mistook the direction and followed Wagner's brigade up the hill, and as the advanced line held their way so steadily, they were not needed. The Fifty-first Illinois joined us again at the top of the hill, and by order of Colonel Harker I advanced the three regiments about one-half mile to the front, when it became dark and we were ordered to halt. At 7 p.m. they were moved 1 mile to the front and left, where we lay until 12 o'clock, when, having obtained rations and ammunition, and the Twenty-second Illinois having joined us, we were ordered forward to Chickamauga Creek, at which place we arrived at 2 a.m. the 26th.