Report of Maj. Richard T. Whitaker, Sixth Kentucky Infantry.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTH KENTUCKY INFANTRY, Knoxville, December 8, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Sixth Regiment Kentucky Volunteer Infantry in the advance from Chattanooga upon Missionary Ridge, and the subsequent movements of the brigade:
On Monday, November 23, in the regular course of duty, the regiment being on picket with the Fifth Kentucky, Colonel Berry commanding, at the front, the order was received to deploy the picket line as skirmishers, about 300 yards in front of the line of battle to be formed in rear, and maintaining that distance, to advance against the enemy's line. I made the necessary disposition of the Sixth Kentucky, my skirmish line connecting on the right with the Fifth Kentucky, and on the left with the right of General Willich's brigade. About half past 1 p.m., at the signal from the brigade bugle, the forward movement began. When the regiment had advanced some 40 or 50 paces a pattering fire was opened by the enemy, increasing in rapidity and volume as we gradually advanced. My skirmishers advanced with great regularity and precision, preserving an unbroken line and returning the enemy's fire with animation. In this manner, with only one or two pauses, the enemy was driven in my front some three-fourths of a mile to their breastworks. Here they made a temporary stand, but after a few moment's firing my command charged over their breastworks, taking a number of prisoners and small-arms. Having passed the breastworks some 150 yards, the skirmish line was halted, the enemy's entire line of breastworks having been carried. From this time until dark the regiment was under a galling fire of artillery, and a scattering fire was maintained by the enemy's skirmishers, during which Captain Armstrong, of Company F, in command of the right of my skirmish line, was wounded in the foot by a rifle-shot and had to leave the field. After dark the Sixth Kentucky was placed on picked and remained until 2 a.m., when it was relieved by the One hundred and twenty-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry,
Lieutenant-Colonel Pickands commanding.
Tuesday, the 24th, at 5 a.m., the regiment was turned out to clear obstructions in the front, and complete its portion of the breastworks which had been turned against the enemy.
On the morning of the 25th, orders having been received to be ready to move at a moment's notice, preparation was made accordingly by the Sixty Kentucky, and about half past 1 p.m. I was ordered to move and form the regiment on the left of the Sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher commanding, in the front line of battle and the extreme left of the brigade. The order was complied with, and at about 2 p.m. the signal to advance was given. The movement was upon Missionary Ridge across an almost level valley from 1,200 to 1,400 yards in width, 400 or 500 yards timbered, the remainder open ground. At the signal the whole line advanced, and when a fourth the width of timbered ground had been passed the enemy opened with a most furious cannonade from the to bring a number of batteries to bear with both a direct and cross