the balance to those that would come after us. We now advanced toward our right along the ridge. The brigade to our right had not reached the top of the hill yet. The regiment to our left had advanced a little across the ridge and were firing in that direction. I halted with the two regiments at the first earth-works on our right in order to collect the men together. I could plainly see that there was a large force of rebels in line of battle just under the ridge opposite where the next brigade to our right was climbing the hill. At this instant our color bearer was shot down; Lieutenant J. P. Duke grasped the colors and carried them the balance of the evening.
Major Stafford was carrying the colors of the First Ohio. He had received a wound in the leg, but nothing daunted he kept the field and none of us knew he was wounded until after it was all over. I could not restrain the impetuosity of the men of both regiments that were with me, and knowing that the men that were scattered were doing good work somewhere else I ordered them to advance, and we followed them up some 500 or 600 yards along toward the right and up the ridge, the enemy leaving in confusion down the side of the hill. By this time it was very near dark. I ordered a halt and sent officers of both regiments both regiment back to hunt up the men of their respective regiments. I soon had a large majority of both collected together. I now received orders from the general to throw up temporary breastworks, which we soon accomplished. A little after dark I received orders to march the two regiments back along the ridge and form on the left of the Ninety-third Ohio. Tools were now sent us, and as the men had eaten a bite of supper, we threw up good rifle-pits along the front of both regiments. The loss of the the Twenty-third Kentucky this day was 8 killed and 29 wounded.
On the night of the 25th, I sent out a picket force of 30 men and 2 officers from each regiment.
Thursday, 26th, lay in perfect quiet, collecting and burying the dead. We relieved our picket by detail from both regiments, according to their respective numbers. That night about 10 o'clock marched back to our old camp near Chattanooga.
Friday, the 27th, we lay in camp preparing to march to the relief of General Burnside, at Knoxville, Tennessee
Saturday, the 28th, about 1 p.m., I was ordered to report to Colonel Berry, Fifth Kentucky. Our regiment was consolidated with the Fifth Kentucky. We immediately joined the brigade and proceeded toward Knoxville, Tennessee My regiment was formed into five companies, 38 men each, and 13 line officers, 2 field officers, and adjutant, and a surgeon. Marched about 5 miles this day.
Sunday, 29th, marched about 9 miles, and camped close to Harrison, Tennessee
Monday, 30th, marched about 20 miles; camped close to Hiwassee.
Tuesday, December 1, crossed the Hiwassee and encamped close by; distance about 2 1/2 miles from place of starting. At this point I could not help contrasting the speed and facility of crossing here with the slow process of crossing the Tennessee in September last.
December 2, marched 20 miles; passed through Decatur this day, and encamped about 20 miles from our starting point.
December 3, marched 20 miles this day, and encamped close to Sweet Water.
December 4, marched about 12 miles.
December 5, crossed the Little Tennessee at Morganton, on a bridge that General Sherman's command had built the day before. We made 12 miles this day.