Report of Colonel Ferdinand Van Derveer, Thirty-fifth Ohio Infantry,
commanding Second Brigade.
HDQRS. SECOND BRIG., THIRD DIV., 14TH ARMY CORPS,
Chattanooga, Tennessee, December 5, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the part taken by the Second Brigade in the late engagements in front of Chattanooga.
My command consisted of the Ninth Ohio Volunteers, Colonel G. Kammerling; the Seventy-fifth Indiana, Colonel M. S. Robinson; the Eighty-seventh Indiana, Colonel Newell Gleason; One hundred and fifth Ohio, Lieutenant Colonel W. R. Tolles; One hundred and first Indiana, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Doan; Second Minnesota, Lieutenant Colonel J. W. Bishop, and the Thirty-fifth Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel Boynton, numbering in all 102 commissioned officers and 1,577 enlisted men.
Having been supplied with 100 rounds of ammunition to the man, on the afternoon of the 23rd of November, I moved to a position three-quarters of a mile in front of Fort Phelps, with my brigade formed in two lines, the left resting upon the Moore road and the right near General Turchin's brigade. Here we remained in line, with a strong picket in front, until 8 a. m. on the 25th, when, in pursuance of orders from the general commanding the division, I deployed one regiment (Thirty-fifth Ohio) along my front and advanced it near a mile without opposition, the enemy's pickets having been withdrawn about daybreak that morning, and several small parties left for observation retiring in haste on our approach. After ward this regiment was ordered to rejoin the brigade, when the division was moved to the left, to and beyond Citico Creek, crossing it near its mouth. Passing but a short distance from this creek an order came to countermarch, and we returned and took position about half a mile north of Bald Hill, facing and 1,200 yards distant from Missionary Ridge. At this point I formed my brigade in two lines, the first composed of the Eighty-seventh Indiana on the right, the One hundred and first Indiana on the left, and the Thirty-fifth Ohio in the center. The second line was formed by Seventy-fifth Ohio in the center. the second line was formed by Seventy-fifth Indiana and One hundred and fifth and Ninth Ohio Regiments. The Second Minnesota was placed in front of the brigade, with two companies, under command of Captain Uline, deployed as skirmishers, and the residue of the regiment behind them as a reserve.
I ordered my skirmishers to advance to the far side of the woods, examine the position of the enemy, and report their apparent force in and about the rifle-pits at the foot of the ridge. After remaining in this place for an hour I was ordered to move forward and take the rifle-pits. This was about 4 p. m. I sent word to Lieutenant-Colonel Bishop to move at once with his skirmishers and reserve, and pushed up the brigade to keep within supporting distance. The rifle-pits in our front appeared to be occupied by two battalions of the enemy, two stand of colors being visible upon their works. The skirmishers advanced gallantly into the open field, and, under a heavy fire from the enemy's artillery on the ridge and musketry from the lower works, dashed forward at a double-quick without firing a shot.
As they approached within 150 yards of the enemy great uneasiness was apparent among the men in the rifle-pits, and by the time our