Report of Colonel Samuel W. Price, Twenty-first Kentucky Infantry, including march to the relief of Knoxville.
HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-FIRST KENTUCKY INFANTRY,
Shellmound, December 3, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my command (the Twenty-first Kentucky Volunteer Infantry) in the recent campaign, during its connection with your brigade, to which it was temporarily assigned:
At noon on the 24th of November last, by your orders, my regiment moved with the brigade from its camp 4 miles above Chattanooga, on the Tennessee River, on the north side, and crossed to the south side of the Tennessee River, at a point opposite camp and one-half of a mile below Chickamauga River. After crossing, it took its position in line of battle on the right of the brigade in front of the first line of works, its right resting near Crutchfield's residence, facing southeast. In this position it remained but a short time, when it was ordered on picket to cover the division and connect with Major-General Sherman's line of pickets on the left, my right extending to the river.
Nothing occurred that night to indicate the immediate presence of the enemy, but all was quiet in our front. The next morning, General Sherman made an assault on Missionary Ridge, and for an hour the regiment was exposed to the fire of our own guns from the opposite side of the river, the shells falling frequently short of range, and bursting above and around us. We remained in this position until 11 a.m. of the 25th, when the regiment in line of battle during the remainder of the day, the division acting as reserve to General Sherman, who was engaged with the enemy.
At 1 o'clock, on the morning of the 26th, the division crossed the Chickamauga River at its mouth, and moved up the Chickamauga about 2 1/2 miles, when it halted and remained until sunrise, when it again moved on, bearing to the right. The Twenty-first being in advance, six companies were deployed as skirmishers, holding four in reserve. In this manner the division moved toward Chickamauga Station, and met with no resistance until within 1 1/2 miles of the depot, when a few shots were exchanged with the enemy, which became more vigorous as we advanced.
My skirmishers moved forward with well-dressed line and well-observed intervals, steadily, but cautiously, driving the rebel vedettes before them until we got in good range of the enemy's forts, when the regiment was ordered to halt for our artillery to open upon the town and heights, which was but a short distance beyond, covering the approach to the depot.
The artillery not receiving a reply, I was ordered to move forward, which I promptly did, and not until the skirmishers got in gunshot range of the station did the enemy contest our advance, when infantry for the first time took a part, but nevertheless we succeeded in driving them a short distance beyond the depot, when they again made a stand and opened their artillery upon us and fought with determination for an hour, when they were forced to give way to the impetuosity of my men,who, without an order from me, charged the enemy, and it was with great difficulty that I kept the men at a