ever shown, and the line pushed onward and upward, exposed to a galling fire from an earth-work about half way up the side of the ridge.
From this the enemy was soon dislodged, and the command halted again for breath as well as to pour a destructive fire upon the retreating masses of the enemy.
At the command the line again started toward the summit, crowned by a carefully constructed line of works from which the heavy forces of the enemy poured their fire. The ground was now so steep that I was compelled to dismount. Still the troops toiled upward until the heights were carried, the First Battalion planting its colors upon the earth-work the first of the demi-brigade.
We slept in the fortifications that night, and marched at 10 a.m. on the 26th in pursuit of the enemy. About 9 p.m. line of battle was formed,and Company B, First Battalion, under command of Captain Andrew S. Burt, was deployed as skirmishers. He soon captured a piece of artillery from the enemy, with several prisoners, and having done all that was required of him, rejoined the command, which bivouacked at midnight after a march of about 12 miles.
One the 27th, after a rapid march on Ringgold, the command reached that place at the closing of a severe engagement, in which the enemy was again defeated. The troops remained in bivouac near this town until the morning of the 29th, when the march was resumed, and toward Chattanooga, 18 miles distant, where the command arrived the same evening.
I cannot speak too highly praise of the conduct of officers and men during this trying week. From Sunday, the 22nd, until Sunday, the 29th, the command was constantly and laboriously employed. Without sufficient food and wholly without shelter, their uncomplaining devotion to duty cannot be too highly extolled. And there could be no more glorious exhibition of gallantry than that made by the troops of my command at the assault of the Missionary Ridge.
My thanks are especially due to Lieutenant D. W. Benham, quartermaster First Battalion, Eighteenth Infantry, who accompanied me on the staff at his own request and rendered efficient service. Lieutenant R. F. Little is deserving of honorable mention for the energy and courage with which he performed the duties of adjutant of battalion and detachment.
Captain Henry Haymond, commanding Second Battalion, was conspicuous for the gallantry with which he led his command.
Second Lieutenant John U. Gill distinguished himself by being the first commissioned officer over the earth-works on the summit of the ridge.
Commissary Sergt. Joseph Livsey and Quartermaster Sergt. John W. Price accompanied the command in the line at their own request, and for gallantry are deserving the consideration of the Government. Sergt. Majors Edwin Beach and A. C. Barrows performed their duties to my entire satisfaction. Color Sergt. Rowland W. Evans behaved with great courage and coolness. Sergt. James A. Elliott, Company H, First Battalion, was the first man over the works, and captured 12 prisoners, 2 of them commissioned officers.
I append a list of casualties.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. W. SMITH,
Captain, Eighteenth Infantry, Commanding Detachment.
Major JOHN R. EDIE,
Fifteenth U. S. Infantry, Commanding Demi-Brigade.