War of the Rebellion: Serial 055 Page 0530 Chapter XLIII. KY.,SW.VA.,Tennessee,MISS.,N.ALA.,AND N.GA.

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from the colonel commanding the brigade, I moved my regiment to the left and front of Fort Negley, and there took position in the center of the front line of the brigade on about the same ground previously occupied by our advance picket line. Remained in this position, bivouacking on the ground, and doing picket duty until the morning of the 25th, when I moved my regiment, under orders from the colonel commanding the brigade, farther to the left, and at 1 p. m. took position on the right and in the rear line of the brigade, some distance to the left and front of Fort Wood, facing the enemy's works at the foot of Mission Ridge; remained in this position until about 3 p. m.; moved forward with the brigade at a pretty rapid march, until the front line had gained, occupied, and halted in the enemy's works before mentioned. Seeing the front line safely resting in these works, and occupying a position with my command in an open field much exposed to the enemy's fire from artillery on Mission Ridge, I ordered my men to lie down, and remained in this position under a harmless but annoying fire of artillery (the shells falling inaccurately) until the grand and brilliant advance was made by the front line on the enemy's works, playing with so much defiance and apparent confidence and composure upon us from the heights of Mission Ridge. Simultaneous with the advance of the front line, I moved my regiment forward in line of battle, until I discovered my line was under and subject to an enfilading fire from the battery on my left; then I moved double-quick by the right flank, file left, to the works, running at right angles with those just vacated by the front line; here I halted, closed my men up, and immediately moved up a ravine in the ridge by the flank, which effectually shielded my men from the artillery fire, and gained the heights in good season to take part in the action fiercely going on between the front line and the enemy, some distance to the left of the battery captured by them. As soon as arriving at the point where the enemy were resisting our farther movements, I formed my regiment into line with the right resting well down the east side of the ridge, fronting north, and immediately became hotly engaged, the enemy disputing a farther advance down this portion of the ridge, and at the same time seemingly intending to stay our advance until he might succeed in getting off a piece of artillery, for which both sides were grappling. Under this impression, I ordered my regiment forward, which order was promptly obeyed, having previously fixed bayonets, intended charging down the ridge. After advancing near the artillery it was abandoned, and the force contesting my advance made a hasty retreat. I claim for my regiment the honor of having captured this piece of artillery while resting with my line near to it and after the fighting had ceased. Some officer claiming to have authority took it off.

I must here take occasion to say that from the time the charge commenced to be made and until the field was ours, not one solitary man of my regiment straggled from his command, but that every advance and movement was made by them in fine order, nor did one casualty happen to it until I had gained the position and engaged the enemy at the point last named, at which point my entire loss occurred, being 19 in all, as follows: Captain Francis M. Bryant, of Company C, a brave, gallant, able, and efficient officer, was mortally wounded. Four enlisted men were killed, and 14 wounded. A full list* is hereunto attached.


*Embodied in revised statement, p. 85.