War of the Rebellion: Serial 055 Page 0263 Chapter XLIII. THE CHATTANOOGA-RINGGOLD CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

KNOXVILLE, February 20, 1863.

Major-General GRANGER:

Effective force of this division at the battle of Mission Ridge was 5,200. Previous dispatch was answered by mail.


Brigadier-General of Volunteers.

No. 62.

Report of Brig. General August Willich, U. S. Army, commanding First Brigade.

HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., THIRD DIV., FOURTH ARMY CORPS, Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, December 31, 1863.

SIR: In conformity with orders, I have the other to submit the following report of the part taken by my brigade in the late engagements at Chattanooga;

On the 23rd of November, at 11 a.m., I received orders to form my brigade in front of Fort Wood, for reconnaissance toward Missionary Ridge. After having formed my brigade, the order was so far modified that I should take Orchard Knob, 1 1/4 miles in front of Fort Wood, and hold it until further orders.

Formation of the brigade: Eighth Kansas, Colonel Martin commanding in front as skirmishers.

First line, Fifteenth Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel Askew commanding, on the right; Forty-ninth Ohio, Major Gray commanding; Twenty-fifth Illinois, Colonel Nodine commanding; Thirty-fifth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Chandler commanding.

Second line, Thirty-second Indiana, Colonel Erdelmeyer commanding, on the right; Eighty-ninth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel William commanding; Sixty-eighth Indiana, Lieutenant-Colonel Espy commanding; Fifteenth Wisconsin, Captain Gordon commanding.

The first line deployed in line of battle, the second line in double column on the center, closed en masse.

On the division signal, which was given as soon as the Second Brigade had formed to my right, I gave the command march. Under a lively skirmish fire the brigade advanced in quick time into the position assigned to me. The small loss, 4 killed and 10 wounded, is explained by the impetuosity of the advance, which did not permit the enemy to reform after being once broken by our skirmishers.

Only a short time before this engagement the Eighth Kansas,

Sixty-eighth Indiana, Twenty-fifth Illinois, Thirty-fifth Illinois, and Fifteenth Wisconsin had been attached to my old brigade. The splendid and determined pressing on of the other regiments established at once between them and the old regiments of my brigade a feeling of companionship and of mutual confidence, which became apparent, two days later, in the storming of Missionary Ridge.

Under orders, I erected an epaulement on the crest of Orchard Knob, and breastworks in front and on both sides of it,under a heavy artillery fire from the enemy's guns, which was but little heeded by the men, and with all its terrific appearance did very little damage.

Some uneasy feeling prevailed among the men concerning General Howard's corps, which had formed to the left of our division, but