War of the Rebellion: Serial 055 Page 0484 KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA. Chapter XLIII.

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No. 143.

Report of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander W. Raffen, Nineteenth Illinois Infantry.


Chattanooga, Tennessee, December 3, 1863.

SIR: In obedience to orders, I would respectfully report that my regiment went on picket duty on the morning of Sunday, November 22, and remained on that duty until about 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 25, when we were relieved from picket duty and took up our position, by your order, on the left of the brigade, in the right front of Fort Wood. By your direction, I then deployed one company as skirmishers to connect with the right of the line of skirmishers of General Sheridan's division, which was on our left. We then advanced in line of battle toward Missionary Ridge, emerging from the wood into the open plain next to the ridge at about 3.30 p.m. Advancing across the open plain under a very heavy fire of both artillery and infantry, we took possession of the enemy's rifle-pits at the foot of the hill. After resting a moment or two, we advanced up the hill, dislodging the enemy after a most desperate resistance, and took position on the crest at about 4.30 p.m., our regimental colors being the first on the top of the ridge in this part of the line. The enemy fled in disorder, and we captured one piece of artillery in a ravine at the foot of the ridge, on the eastern side, which was afterward taken possession of by a regiment of Sheridan's division. While ascending the ridge the colonel of the Seventh Florida Regiment of Infantry surrendered to me, and I sent him to the rear under guard. Quite a large number of prisoners passed through our lines, and we sent them to the rear without guards. The regiment went into bivouac on the top of the ridge at about 5.30 p.m.

I would make special mention of Major James V. Guthrie, who was conspicuous in cheering the men in the charge up the hill; Captain David F. Bremner, of Company E, who planted our colors with his own hands in the rebel works on the crest of the hill; Captain James G. Campbell, of Company F, who was wounded, near the top of the hill, while in advance of the line cheering the men forward; Captain Presley N. Guthrie, of Company K, who was also conspicuous in cheering and urging the men forward, during the whole action, and Adjt. Lester G. Bangs, who was severely wounded while in advance of the line as we emerged from the wood at the foot of the hill.

I would also mention, for most gallant conduct, Sergt. George Steel, of Company E, color bearer, and Private Patrick McDonald, of Company K, and John Brosnahan, of Company E, who took the colors in turn after the color sergeant had been wounded. In fact, every man engaged behaved with great coolness and gallantry.

The whole force present in the engagement was 13 officers and 182 non-commissioned officers and privates, of whom were killed, 2 privates; wounded, 2 officers and 22 enlisted men; missing, none. Total killed and wounded, 26. The number who bivouacked on the top of the hill was 10 officers and 157 enlisted men.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.


Colonel, Comdg. Left Wing, 2nd Brig., 1st Div., 14th A. C.