War of the Rebellion: Serial 055 Page 0517 Chapter XLIII. THE CHATTANOOGA-RINGGOLD CAMPAIGN.

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Numbers 158.

Report of Colonel Morton C. Hunter, Eighty-second Indiana Infantry.


December 1, 1863.

CAPTAIN: In compliance with orders, I herewith submit a statement of the part taken by my regiment in the late action before Chattanooga.

At 2 p. m. of Monday, the 23rd day of November, 1863, my regiment moved out with the First Brigade, Third Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, Department of the Cumberland, of which it forms part, and took position in front of Chattanooga some half mile beyond the breastworks, where it remained with the division until Wednesday, the 25th. General Hooker's force having stormed and taken Lookout Mountain, and General Sherman having crossed his corps over the river some 6 miles above Chattanooga, and on that morning (the 25th) had attacked the enemy on Missionary Ridge, our division was moved to the left and took position about midway between Fort Wood and the ridge for the purpose of co-operating with Sherman, where we remained until about 2 p. m., when we were ordered to advance and take the ridge by storm. The brigade was formed in two lines. The Eleventh, Thirty-sixth, and Ninety-second Ohio Regiments formed the first, and the Seventeenth, Thirty-first, and Eighty-ninth Ohio and Eighty-second Indiana the second line (the Eighty-second Indiana and Eighty-ninth Ohio acting as one regiment, under my command). We were about 1 1/4 miles from the foot of the ridge, and when we started to advance the rebels opened upon us one of the most terrific artillery fires from the top of the ridge that has ever been experienced by any troops during the present war; yet it did but little injury, as we advanced so rapidly that they could not get proper range upon us. Before arriving at the foot of the ridge we came upon some rebel breastworks, which were held by a strong force, but such was the impetuosity of our charge that the enemy abandoned them and fled to the hill for safety. When we arrived at the bottom of the ridge the men were almost worried down. Some were compelled to rest, others pressed on, while others fell from exhaustion. Here the fire of the enemy was severe and told with wonderful effect, as we were now in full range of their muskets, yet notwithstanding the exhaustion of the men, the severity of the fire, and the steepness of the hill, our brave boys of the different regiments advanced steadily and firmly until at length the breastworks at the top of the hill were reached, when the flag bearer of my regiment, the first of our brigade, and I think the first of the whole line, crossed them, amid cheers and shouts of the true and brave boys of the First Brigade who followed. The enemy gave back in perfect confusion before our advancing columns, and in a few moments the ridge with its artillery and most of its garrison was ours.

Thus ended a most gallant charge and the achievement of a great victory, a charge that will live in history and be crowned as the most brilliant feat ever performed by American arms. Every officer and man of my regiment and the Eighty-ninth Ohio that was not wounded (and be it said to his praise) went up the hill during the action and nobly did his part.

In the engagement my regiment lost 4 killed and 16 wounded.