rocks. I urged a rapid advance, and with the hearty co-operation of the officers of both regiments the whole line was carried forward in the best order possible, on almost inaccessible ground. Here, protected by the steepness of the mountain, the men were enabled to make good their foothold, and reply to the rebel musketry, which was very galling and almost surrounding us. We advanced steadily step by step. When near the top my attention was called by Captain Howe to the fact that our advance upon the mountain isolated us from the rest of the line with which we advanced upon the enemy's rifle-pits; there was no support on the right or left, and on looking back perceived our forces occupying the rebel works below; to retrace our steps would have been inevitable destruction to the entire command. The resolve to advance and hold every inch of ground until supported was our only safety. The line advanced firmly, taking advantage of every obstacle, under a most furious fire of artillery and small-arms, the enemy rolling lighted shells among my men and throwing rocks upon our heads: but the ground was held and contested with the utmost determination. The rebels did not succeed in forcing us back one step. We remained in our position, our flags and the enemy's almost touching, keeping up a heavy fire, until support came on the right and left, advancing up the mountain. At last orders were given to fix bayonets, and to charge them; once the effort failed, but advancing again, succeeded, and gained the enemy's works, which were covered with dead and wounded, and full of rebels, who made haste to fling away their guns and to get to our rear. As my men swarmed upon the crest the rebels made another stand, commanded, as ascertained, by the rebel General Hardee, but their resistance was very feeble; they were quickly broken, and fled in the greatest confusion. Here a battle-flag was captured; I regret to say it was torn to shreds by the men in their eagerness to secure mementoes. After pursuing the rebels, and the capture of many pieces of artillery and numerous prisoners, the command bivouacked upon the crest of Missionary Ridge.
It is much pleasure that I can report the loss of both regiments as surprisingly little, when taken into consideration with the magnitude of the effort, and its results. A list of casualties is hereto appended.*
I beg leave to call the attention of the general to the following officers whose conduct deserves special mention: Captains Hanna, Jordan, and Howe, Adjutant Ritter, Lieutenants Mounts and Burns, of the Seventy-ninth Indiana Volunteers; Captains Sims, Gregory, and Carnahan, Lieutenants McInerny and Laymon, of the Eighty-sixth Indiana Volunteers. They with all other officers did their whole duty.
Among the enlisted men, where all displayed such daring, it is hard to make a distinction. First Sergt. William M. Johnston, Company D; Color Sergt. Henry C. Lawrence, First Sergt. Simeon J. Thompson, of Company B; First Sergt. Henry N. Osborn, of K; and John W. Hartpence, a drummer, of Company C, who went into the ranks and fought well-the last three of whom are seriously wounded- as well as all non-commissioned officers, have acted with intrepidity and great bravery, assisting their officers in every manner.
I cannot close this without making my acknowledgments and
*Embodied in revised statement, p. 82.
20 R R-VOL XXXI, PT II