Report of Lieutenant Colonel James Pickands, One hundred and twenty-fourth Ohio Infantry.
HEADQUARTERS 124TH OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, Knoxville, Tennessee, December 8, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I respectfully submit the following report of the part taken by my battalion in the advance on Mission Ridge:
On the afternoon of November 23, we were ordered to prepare for a reconnaissance and were moved to the front of Fort Wood, where my battalion, composed of the One hundred and twenty-fourth Ohio and Sixth Indiana, took its position on the left of the first line. We then made a steady and continued advance, and occupied the enemy's rifle-pits on a range of hills midway between Ford Wood and Missionary Ridge.
After gaining the hill I was ordered to form a breastwork, and my men were kept at work until dark, being exposed to an almost constant fire of artillery form Missionary Ridge. During the night we received intrenching tools and continued to work until 1 o'clock when I was ordered to relieve with my regiment the Fifth and Sixth Kentucky Regiments on picket duty. From this time my regiment was separated from the Sixth Indiana, and after being relieved from picket I was ordered to report to Lieutenant-Colonel Langdon, of the First Ohio.
In the advance of the 23d, the loss in my battalion was as follows: One hundred and twenty-fourth Ohio: Officers wounded,2; enlisted men wounded,1; enlisted men killed,1; total,4. Sixth Indiana: Enlisted men wounded,9. Aggregate,13.
On the afternoon of the 25th, I was ordered to relieve with my regiment the Sixth Ohio and Twenty-third Kentucky Regiments on the skirmisher line, with instructions to advance at the signal of six guns and take possession of the works at the foot of the ridge.
To reach the works we were obliged to pass over a cleared space of about 800 yards. Before arriving at the works, the enemy deserted them and began retreating up the hill under a fire of musketry from my line. We lay behind the enemy's works till the brigade came up, when the left wing of my regiment advanced with it, the right wing ascending the hill without support. The fire of musketry and canister was very heavy, and the advance was slow but steady.
Upon reaching the top of the hill, we drove the enemy from the rifle-pits in our front, while several members of Company G turned a piece of artillery loaded with canister and discharged it at the retreating enemy. In a attempt of the enemy to carry off a battery, my men shot the horses and captured the guns and two caissons.
The part of the line commanded by Lieutenant Proctor descended the opposite side of the hill and captured two wagons loaded with arms and ammunition.
The trophies captured were as follows; 7 pieces of artillery, 2 caissons, 8 stand of arms, 1 wagon load of ammunition, and 2 wagons, besides a number of horses.
The loss in my regiment was: Officers killed,1; officers wounded,1; enlisted men killed,4; enlisted men wounded,19; total,25.