War of the Rebellion: Serial 055 Page 0543 Chapter XLIII. THE CHATTANOOGA-RINGGOLD CAMPAIGN

Search Civil War Official Records

Numbers 175.

Report of Lieutenant Colonel Myron Baker, Seventy-fourth Indiana Infantry.


Camp, Fort Negley, near Chattanooga, December 1, 1863.

SIR: In accordance with orders emanating from brigade headquarters, I have the honor to submit the following statement of the part borne by the Seventy-fourth Regiment of Indiana Volunteers, under my command, in the late brilliant military operations in front of Chattanooga, Tennessee:

On the evening of Sunday, the 22nd of November, I received orders, through you, from Colonel Phelps, Thirty-eighth Ohio, then commanding the brigade, to have the regiment ready to march out the next day, supplied with two days' rations and 100 rounds of ammunition to the man; and on the afternoon of Monday, the 23d, the regiment left camp and lay in reserve the balance of that day a short distance in front of Fort Negley, but about 1 a. m. of Tuesday, the 24th, we were marched farther to the left and advanced to the front line, taking position on the immediate right of Sheridan's division, of the Fourth Corps. During the day we occupied this part of the line, constructing a temporary breastwork of logs and earth.

On Wednesday, the 25th of November, having received orders to got to the left, apparently for the purpose of re-enforcing that part of the line, we marched in that direction a considerable distance, when we were faced about and countermarched toward the right until we arrived near the Chattanooga and Atlanta railroad. In the afternoon of this day we were moved forward to the front line and formed just on the right of the railroad (the division now being to the left of the Fourth Corps), facing Missionary Ridge. the Thirty-eighth Ohio Regiment was the left of the brigade, and this the left brigade of the division. The Seventy-fourth Indiana was placed in the first line next on the right from the Thirty-eight Ohio, with the Fourth Kentucky on its immediate right, and the Fourteenth Ohio in the second line behind it. I immediately deployed Companies B and G, under command of Captain C. B. Mann, as skirmishers to cover my front.

Pending these operations considerable time had expired, and it was probably 3 p. m. when the order was communicated to me that we were to advance over the open ground in front and assault the enemy's first line of defenses, which it was presumed he would endeavor to hold.

The command being given, the troops advanced rapidly to the front, preceded by the skirmishers, before whom the rebels, really found at this point in small force, retreated precipitately, and this first position was now ours without struggle. This line of defense was at the top of a small ridge or hill near the foot of Missionary Ridge, and the works were constructed of logs. Having won this point, the regiment was halted and ordered to lie down for the purpose of resting, the men being considerably fatigued on account of the rapidity of the advance, which had been made for over a quarter of a mile in double-quick time.

It will not, I trust, be inappropriate to state here that during this advance, most of the way across cleared ground and in full view of the enemy, the rebel batteries on Missionary Ridge played upon our