Giving the men about five minutes to breathe, and receiving no orders, I gave the word forward, which was eagerly obeyed.
The forces of General Willich on my left had commenced the movement somewhat in my advance, and those of Major-General Sheridan, on my right, were a considerable distance in my rear. There was in my front the troops of General Breckinridge, forming the left of the enemy's center.
Not much regard to lines could be observed, but the strong men, commanders and color bearers, took the lead in each case, forming the apex of a triangular column of men. These advanced slowly but confidently, no amount of fire from the crest checking them.
Lieutenant-Colonel Langdon, of the First Ohio, gaining a position where the conformation of the hill gave cover till within 3 yards of the crest, formed several hundred men there, checking the head for that purpose, the giving the command, the column broke over the crest, the enemy fleeing.
These were the first on the hill and my command moving up with a shout their entire front was handsomely carried.
The troops on my immediate left were still held in check, and those on my right not more than half way up the hill, and were being successfully held back. Hastening my men to the right and left along the ridge, I was enabled to take the enemy in flank and reverse, and by vigorously using the artillery captured there, I soon relieved my neighbors and carried the crest to within a few hundred yards of Bragg's headquarters,he himself escaping by flight, being at one time near my right encouraging the troops that had checked Sheridan's left.
The heroism of the entire command in this engagement merits the highest praise of the country.
Colonel Aquila Wiley, Forty-first Ohio Volunteers, commanding the First Battalion, was shot through the leg, making amputation necessary. The loss to the service of this officer cannot be properly estimated. He was always prompt and thorough, and possessed capacity and knowledge of his duties that never left him at fault. I know no officer of equal efficiency in the volunteer service, and none whose past service entitle them to better reward. The service and losses of his battalion, composed of the Forty-first and Ninety-third Ohio Infantry, also stand conspicuous.
Lieutenant-Colonel Langdon, First Ohio Volunteer Infantry, commanding Third Battalion, was shot through the face just as he had reached the crest of the hill, and after prostrate from the wound again moved forward, cheering his men. The services of this officers in gaining the crest should be rewarded by promotion to the grade of brigadier-general. He has previously commanded a brigade with efficiency. Colonel Berry, Fifth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, was again wounded just as he had reached the crest at the head of his battalion, being the third received in these operations. He, however, did not leave the field. A like promotion in his case would be not only fitting but beneficial to the service.
On the fall of Colonel Wiley, Lieutenant-Colonel Kimberly,
Forty-first Ohio, assumed command through the remainder of the fight with his usual rare ability.
Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher, Sixth Ohio Infantry, and Lieutenant-Colonel Pickands, One hundred and twenty-fourth Ohio, commanding battalions, rendered valuable and meritorious service. I have also to mention Corpl. G. A. Kraemer, Company I, Forty-first